This miniature world by artist David Simmonds is designed to tell the story of the creator’s life, and every aspect of it has been hand-crafted with great detail: the figurines you see playing in the garden were painted by hand with great effort, the tree you see sprawling out of the earth and daring to scratch the surface of the glass looks like it lives and breathes, and the smashed greenhouse gives the impression that a world has been sealed behind the antique glass of the dome.
This miniature was made over a period of weeks, and is in the maker’s own words his first “true” miniature piece. David’s process begins by writing out a concept on a piece of paper and building a scene around it. He then lets these ideas germinate for a few weeks while he plans his approach to the piece and ensure he conveys the right message. Once he is confident in his ideas David sets out straight to work, he doesn’t make any sketches, drawings, or schematics, and the whole piece lives in his head until it is finished. First comes the “land” base, followed by buildings and scenery, the last to come are the people who make the scene. Antique glass domes are used in most of his pieces to seal off the scene from the real world once the scene is complete.
The miniature you see here has a very personal story to it. David and his wife met when they were children, and this miniature tells the story of their lives together since. At the front, you can see them abandoning their bikes and meeting at the bench which was their secret rendezvous spot as children, just over the bushes behind them you find a garden where they can be seen enjoying a sunny day with their children as adults “living the (tired) dream”…
Making miniatures is David’s passion project, but it took him a number of years to find the time to dedicate himself to it. David works as a graphic designer, and believes that this placed him in a unique position to create and communicate stories through miniatures. He began working on very small scenes at first inspired by Doyle’s work, he says that one of the hardest things to do is acclimatise to the medium of miniatures, and this was his first challenge. However, as time went on David found his won voice, and began to express his ideas more easily as he grew more confident in the art he was creating.