Pay attention to the crystals inside of the geode. This particular geode’s crystals are made of clear colored quartz. Quartz also comes in different colors such as blue, red, yellow, and even pink. Where have you seen quartz crystals before?
Look specifically at the figures in the geode. Pay particular attention to their clothes. The details in their bathing suits are hand painted with polka dots and other designs.
Take a look at the water inside of the figure. The water is made of a material called resin. This material gives the appearance of real water. It even gives the water a sense of movement.
What is it?
This miniature portrayal of figures in a swimming hole was created inside of a large geode. A geode is a large rock lined with crystals. There are two pieces of the geode that fit together to form a whole. The geode itself is relatively large, meaning you would need two hands to hold it. However, it portrays a miniature scene using tiny model train figures that are barely bigger than a fingernail.
Who made it?
Becky Wareing Steele, a Denver-based artist, created this small scale sculpture. Becky’s work with miniature dioramas uses 1:160 scale figures, which means that these figures are 160 times smaller than life-size figures. She enjoys working with small scale works because she says looking at them helps us perceive our place within our own environment.
What inspired it?
Becky was inspired to make this diorama because she wants people to see the connections between ourselves and our environments. Growing up, she worked on model train figures with her father. She says, “through my use of humor in my artistic practice, I am able to connect the viewer with my work. There is something familiar and comforting to my medium that allows me the opportunity to find those commonalities with my audience and it becomes more of an ongoing conversation rather than something I work on in private.”
How is it made?
First, Becky finds her geodes and her husband cracks them open for her. However, when she found this geode it was already cracked open. She uses a variety of different tools to make these sculptures come to life. Most importantly, she uses a table-mounted magnifying glass that allows her to see the miniature figures properly. She also uses pliers and tweezers in order to make her sculptures come to life. She also hand paints each of the figures in her miniatures. She says that you can always find a variety of different tools in her studio, “There is always an abundance of googly eyes in my studio as well, because you never know when you are going to need those.”
- What is the first thing you notice when you look at this artwork?
- Imagine that you could shrink down to fit inside this artwork. How do you think it would feel? Where in the artwork would you go first? What would you do?
- What do you think inspired the artist to make this artwork?