Friday, March 6, 2009

One-of-a-Kind Miniature Buildings

Gene Gill’s Landmark Miniatures are one-of-a-kind. The artist will not duplicate a piece and he will not mass-produce one. The models are carefully researched which includes a personal visit to the original landmark for on-site sketches, measurements, and photographs. Back in the studio, the artist utilizes his resource materials to hand-craft each piece in mixed media. The media includes the traditional wood, sculpey, styrene, as well as whatever else may work. And it is not unusual for some miniatures to contain from 5,000 to 10,000 individual pieces. When all construction is finished, the model is totally hand-painted by the artist to emphasize the intricate architectural details and to unite the various materials, so they appear as one. The final step is to secure the miniature to a wooden base inside its own protective Plexiglas cube. Most people ask: "How long does it take to make one?" This depends on how complicated the architectural design is and how much exterior detail is involved. Notre Dame took 4 months and the U. S. Capitol took 6 months to complete. But in general, the artist can complete an average Landmark in 2 to 3 weeks, working 10 hours per day and 7 days per week. Because the replicas are quite accurate and the scale is so small, Gill is able to produce only 10 to 12 Landmark pieces per year.

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