Creating miniatures expands horizons leading to new vocation

by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: April 12, 2021

It may come as a surprise that one local resident was actually thrilled that her world shrunk during the global pandemic. Becky Gannon entered the world of miniatures and found her life expanded as she became a miniature enthusiast. “I got into miniatures during COVID-19,” she stated. “I wanted something positive to do to occupy my time. Since I was a child, I have always had a fascination with miniature houses. My parents would take me to the Smithsonian to see their exhibit of ‘minis’ and, of course, I had a Barbie Dream House. I raised two boys so unfortunately, the Dream House wasn’t part of their childhood experience.”
During the past year, Gannon found her interest in miniatures provided her with a creative way to pass the time at home. “I started thinking of arts and craft that I could do and a dollhouse popped into my mind,” she recalled. “I posted photos of my house and its rooms filled with my creations on Instagram. My son suggested that my dollhouse needed its own Instagram page. Since I created @Dollhouse_flair on Instagram, I discovered there is a major ‘mini’ community on the venue. I have 4,500 followers on my Instagram from all over the world including London, Istanbul, New York and Sylvania.”

Gannon is happy to report that the negativity that is often apparent on social media today is a stark contrast to miniature followers. “Everyone has been so friendly and nice,” she said. “Right before Christmas, I found I was missing all the holiday merriment and activities. I reached out to members of the ‘mini’ community asking them to decorate their dollhouse for the holidays with the hashtag #lightupminiworld. The reactions were amazing. I think it gave everyone something festive to do. Over 500 people from 35 different countries participated. I thought that was pretty good for a little event on Instagram. It was really uplifting. I did another Instagram event for National Pet Day and again the enthusiasm and engagement of followers was overwhelming.”
Gannon has dabbled in miniatures since college but has taken her passion and creativity to a whole new level. “It is such a unique experience without limitations,” she stated. “You can make food items, mini paintings, wallpaper and furniture. I recently got a mini potting wheel to create items for my home. It becomes a reflection of what is interesting to you. I love the decorating piece and am known for my bright colors, but I enjoy placing personal points of interest in my work. For example, my oldest son was on the television show Holy Moley on CBS so I put a clip of him on my mini tv. My youngest son is into birds which you will see throughout my houses. I also have a mini of my dog Ziggy. It brings the house to life along with my mini books, plants, and cocktails.
Gannon believes the surging interest in miniatures can be attributed to the pandemic. “There was always an interest,” she said. “In a world that is uncontrollable, it is wonderful to have complete control of something. You are making things with your hands and it feels great to experience a sense of accomplishment. Some of the things I make, and some I transform or repurpose. I recently took a champagne cage and made it into a side table. I enjoy looking at decorating sights and will often show my husband photos. Sometimes he has to ask if the photos are from real homes or from mini ones.”
Gannon finished her first house and is currently working on her second. “In my miniature community we are always refurbishing,” she stated. “My first home took so long to complete but now that one is done, just like stray cats, another one will show up. How many houses are too many? Check back in a year.”
When asked about her mini future she has expansive plans. She has taken over son Drew’s bedroom as a workshop and also has a Podcast. “My husband and sons wanted me to do one,” she said. “The accounts I find most interesting are the ones where I know the person’s backstory. In my podcast, I talk to people about their history in miniatures and what inspires them. I interviewed a woman from London who is a life coach. She talks about her miniature but also talks about the positives of having a hobby. I spoke with another woman in New Zealand who has a dragon crashing into her mini cottage which she calls “Life interrupted.” Again, 2020 was the perfect timing for her creation. I will be sharing these on Mad About Miniatures which premieres on April 20 and will come out every other Tuesday. Mad About Miniatures will be available on Itunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all major podcast apps. You can also listen at my website”
Another appealing aspect of minis is that each structure can have anything and everything you can imagine. “My big house that I am working on now has nine rooms and three rooftop terraces,” she stated. “I am trying to decide if I should turn the middle terrace into a helicopter launch pad.”
Gannon spoke about some of the things that inspire her creations. “When I was watching The Queen’s Gambit, I set up a mini chess board game,” she said. “I never considered myself a painter, but I am pretty good at mini modern works. Most of the dollhouses you see now are very modern, the kind that you would want to live in. I spoke with one woman who said she’ll never have the bathroom she created in her mini in real life, but it’s satisfying to have one in her miniature world. That’s part of the fun. You are only limited by your imagination and your ability to make tiny little things. It has brought me happiness, joy and especially sanity during these crazy times.”
Gannon plans on continuing her big world of minis. She stated, “It’s so crazy, but it’s universally appealing. There are some people who will never make minis but find them joyful to look at. I have fun making miniatures and meeting people in parts of the world that I normally would not talk with. What a great way to take excess energy and turn it into something positive!”

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