Meet the miniaturist whose tiny homes are a delight

Meet the miniaturist whose tiny homes are a delight

The Guardian

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Carmen Mazarrasa builds exquisite doll’s houses where she can control everything – except when the mice decide to move in…

At moments of unrest I open Instagram and scroll impatiently until I see what I need to see, and then I exhale, a gleeful loosening. What I am looking for is something recognisable – a plant, a pencil, a chair, a bowl of dumplings – shrunk to a fraction of its size. How to describe the pleasure, the sweet, squealy pleasure of studying a miniature iPhone, suitable only for a busy mouse, or smoked salmon bagel that would fit on the head of a pin, or a set of tools balanced on a fingernail? My favourites are the miniatures that are truly banal – a plug extension lead on @DailyMini recently thrilled me, as did a rack of postcards showing scenes from holidays appropriate only for ants. In those moments of tightening stress, when the world feels far too large, I have plenty to choose from.

The world of tiny things is growing. Artists sculpting miniature objects have found new audiences on Instagram and clients on Etsy – a recent purchase of mine on eBay was a gutted fish on a plate, at 1/12th its real size. I am also watching a pack of crumpets. Once the stuff of elderly hobbyists, over the past decade miniature making among millennials has seen a boom. The queen of the miniacs is Carmen Mazarrasa, whose tiny rooms, filled with covetable things, make the viewer feel wobbly, both at the scale and their desire. Because it’s not just that the rooms of rugs or ceramics or beds look real, it’s that they look like rooms you might see in Architectural Digest, filled with artful paintings and replicas of iconic chairs.

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