06 September 2022
Be inspired: Welcome in the harvest in your miniature scenes with Linda Cummings, Cristina Hampe and Kathleen Holmes.
Image above: Ready for harvesting. Picture: Kathleen Holmes
The new season
The crunch of crisp leaves underfoot reminds us that autumn is one of Mother Nature’s finest works of art. As summer blends seamlessly into autumn, her brush paints our landscape a natural rich tapestry of red, gold, orange and auburn, charming us with its brilliance. However, whilst the leaves may be falling fast, autumn is also one of the most bountiful seasons. It is, of course, harvest time. The world around us may be constantly evolving with every sunrise and sunset, but since time immemorial, the harvest has been an immovable constant in our lives. These days we can find a cauliflower on supermarket shelves come rain or shine, no matter the time of year, but it wasn’t always that way.
Say it with cauliflowers this autumn. Picture: Linda Cummings
Celebrating and giving thanks for the harvest has been a long-held custom, with the traditional church Harvest Festival a fairly recent addition to the autumnal calendar by comparison. It began courtesy of a service presided over by the Reverend Robert Hawker in Morwenstow, Cornwall just six years into the reign of Queen Victoria in 1843. Meanwhile, the tradition of the Harvest Supper for all those responsible for gathering the carefully tended crops continued through the generations up until the 20th Century.
Literally bringing the harvest home. Picture: Kathleen Holmes
Squirrelling ideas away
It is this veritable combination of tradition, vibrant colour and fresh produce that makes autumn one of the miniaturists’ favourite times of year too, bringing home the very best of the harvest and the season in small scale. The garden outside Kathleen Holmes’ stunning one-of-a-kind dolls house changes according the holidays and the seasons. Her autumnal display is simply inspiring, and a love letter to the season down to the tiniest detail.
The ‘leafy’ suburbs! Picture: Kathleen Holmes
Beneath a supremely realistic tree trunk is a miniature squirrel, found collecting acorns for the winter amongst the fallen leaves and thus reminding us that animals too have their own harvest to bring home. One of Kerri Pajutee’s fabulous creations, this friendly squirrel also has more than just their nut stash to feel big headed about at this time of year as the part of the squirrel’s brain incorporating memories, the hippocampus, actually increases in size during autumn!
Squirreling away acorns for winter. Picture: Kathleen Holmes
Whether it’s the fruits of the season cascading from beautiful cornucopias or magnificent vegetable displays, exemplary artisan, Linda Cummings captures the very essence of the harvest in all its glory.
A cornucopia of inspiration! Picture: Linda Cummings
The perfect harvest display. Picture: Linda Cummings
In an exciting piece of miniature photography, IGMA Fellow Linda has displayed a hessian lined crate of foraged mushrooms on top of their full-size counterpart, telling a very visual story as it demonstrates the sheer volume of work lavished across the board within her portfolio.
Fun with fungi! Picture: Linda Cummings
Meanwhile, Linda’s harvest crate is a delicious delight, and not only for its wide-ranging crop of vegetables, but also for the freshly baked triumph that is her wheatsheaf loaf, complete with the obligatory mouse!
Ready for the Harvest Festival. Picture: Linda Cummings
Staying with the spirit of home baking, the extraordinary talent of Cristina Hampe delivers on every level. You can almost hear the crack of the crust as the knife sinks into her sugar sprinkled miniature apple pies. Cristina has also perfected the art of the peeled apple. It is this almost startling level of detail found amongst the current crop of miniature food artisans which sets an increasingly high bar of imagination and talent.
Classic Apfelkuchen. Picture: Cristina Hampe
You might not think of a small scene centred on peeling the humble potato as the most fascinating of miniature ideas, but it really is and Cristina turns the idea into something that leaves you wanting more. The potato has an ancient history dating back thousands of years, but fast forwarding to our own time there was nothing miniature about the potato grown by Peter Glazebrook back in 2011. Weighing in at a whopping 4.98kg during the National Gardening Show, it and Peter remain in possession of the Guinness World Record for the heaviest potato!
Peeling layers of detail. Picture: Cristina Hampe
Top of the crops
Actually a fruit and not the vegetable many might believe, no autumn in small scale would be complete without the ubiquitous and classic pumpkin. It isn’t something that falls off the miniature radar easily and Cristina is no different. Small enough to sit on the tip of a finger, her pumpkin pie is a visual feast, and who could resist the adorable pastry squirrel and hedgehog? The crust features several pastry leaves and even if it weren’t made from polymer clay this would be one pie far too good to eat!
Pumpkin pie. Picture: Cristina Hampe
Over the years, Linda has imaginatively miniaturised the pumpkin in many a culinary guise, from pumpkin soup to a pumpkin and chocolate gateau! It is through her traditional display of assorted pumpkins which wins the Best in Show rosette for its perfect use of autumn colour, burnished leaves hiding beneath the freshly harvested fruits. Of course, pumpkins aren’t just for eating, they’re also an incredibly popular seasonal decoration. Kathleen sets the immersive scene perfectly by incorporating them within her autumn garden. They look fabulous sitting by the front door, but Kathleen’s thoughtful design extends to the back of the vintage style truck parked in the driveway, where you will find pumpkins piled high. The eagle eyed will also notice tiny pumpkins included on the garland strung carefully across that white picket fence.
With artisans and miniaturists like Linda, Kathleen and Cristina in our midst, shepherding in the new season, it’s easy to see why the autumn crop is feverishly awaited in the world of small scale. You really do never know quite what this years’ miniature harvest will yield!
Fancy creating your own miniature harvest? Why not try this simple tutorial to create a crate of carrots, peppers, peas and more!