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Miniatures

Standing People Designs offers a full line of scale miniature wood turnings for dedicated doll-house collectors and miniaturists. Most of our work is done in 1" or 1:12 scale. Many of our smaller pots will work quite nicely in a 1/2" (1:24) environment. Each piece is unique because it was turned by hand by Bear Limvere, the artist.

Materials are carefully chosen for these small works. Woods are selected for their beauty, the fineness of their grain, and their ability to be worked in small scale. Many exotic and rare woods, such as African pink ivory, African blackwood, kingwood, and ebony, are used to create these fine works of art. We also use other materials, including various palm nuts ("vegetable" ivory), synthetic ivory, and acrylics.

Bear believes that wood is a gift from the tree, and should be used without waste and to maximize its beauty. Each wood species has its own characteristics of color, grain, luster, and density. In addition, each tree grew slightly differently, subject to the changes of light, water, and soil. The challenge of turning is creating consistently beautiful forms from such a variable substance. Miniature turnings allow Bear to create beautiful shapes from woods and materials that would be prohibitively expensive if turned in full-size forms.

Our vases and pots are fully hollowed, with wall thickness between 1/16" (1.5mm) and 1/8" (3mm) throughout. Careful technique and special tools are required to hollow these forms through the very small opening at the top, considering that the artist cannot see the tool and what it is cutting. We use quality finishes to enhance and preserve the natural beauty of the wood.

We use the same methods and attention to detail in the creation of our miniatures that we use in our full-size pieces. Inspiration for our shapes and forms is drawn from a wide range of sources, including classical and modern turnings, pottery, and glasswork. We strive to create miniature turnings that are indistinguishable from full-size pieces on close-up view.

Carved Vessel

We care as much about our turnings as you do about your homes. We strive to create miniatures that you will be proud to show in your homes and that will last for generations.

We offer wholesale pricing to qualified retailers. Please contact us for more information.


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Product Lines

Signature Series

Signature Series
laminated bowl

Bear introduced the Signature Series in early 2007. Each piece is carefully planned and created. They are unique, and take more time and care than our "production" pieces. Each of these miniature works of art is signed and serial numbered. Each comes with a card that identifies the piece, materials, size, and includes a photo of the work.

Signature Bottles
bottle    bottle

These miniature bottles are designed with additional care and time. Each is unique in concept, and made from hardwoods, verneers, and natural materials.

Hand-carved Vessels
carved form

Each of these miniatures is carved by hand from rare burls. Some are left with the natural-edge, some with bark, and some sculpted. These pieces are inspired by larger pieces Bear saw at an art show in Baltimore. Each is absolutely unique, organic, and will look grand as a centerpiece. Or let you imagination run wild...!

Signature Hollow Forms
hollow form hollow form

These miniature vases are designed with additional care and time. Each is unique in concept, and made from hardwoods, verneers, and natural materials.

Signature OT Vessels
OT form   OT form

Each of these miniature hollow forms is decorated on a special ornamental lathe. The piece is held steady in a jig, and a rotating cutter cuts a "facet". The piece is moved and the process repeated. Simple patterns may have a few as a dozen seperate cuts. Complex patterns may involve hundres of cuts. After decoration, the piece is hollowed, finished, and buffed.

Signature OT Platters & Plaques
OT platter
OT platter

Each of these miniature platters or plaques is decorated on a special ornamental lathe. The piece is held steady in a jig, and a rotating cutter cuts a "facet". The piece is moved and the process repeated. Simple patterns may have a few as a dozen seperate cuts. Complex patterns may involve hundres of cuts.

We also offer these ornamental turnings in clear and tinted acrylic. These may be used as holiday ornaments, "stained glass" windows, or table-tops. That's what we came up with as ideas, can you find other uses?

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Hollow Forms

Pots & Vases
pots

Our hollow forms (pots) will enhance almost any setting. They are crafted from beautiful woods in a variety of styles from classic to Japanese to American Southwest.

Sizes range from just under ½" to 1¼" in diameter, and ½" to 2½" tall.

Stave-laminated Pots
segmented pots

These vases feature multi-colored woods in length-wise angled segments. Each "stave" is cut to exact angles and glued together to create these stunning pieces. Laminations may contain 6, 8, 12, or 16 segments. Sizes are similar to our pots above.

Bottles
bottles

Inspired by classic ceramic forms, these beautiful pieces are fully hollowed, and feature a neck in contrasting wood. Sizes range from just under ¾" to 1¼" in diameter, and ¾" to 1½" tall.

Bud Vases
bud vases

Our bud vases are designed to hold a small spray of flowers. Sizes range from 1/3" to 1/2" in diameter, and 3/4" to 1" tall. The center hole is 1/16" bore.

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Bowls

Fine Bowls
bowls

Our fine bowls are created with the same care as our hollow forms. They would look great filled with fruit or salad on a dining table. They also look fantastic on their own!

Sizes range from just under ½" to 1½" in diameter, and ¼" to ¾" tall.

Rustic Bowls
rustic bowls

Our line of rustic bowls is patterned after Bear's grandmother's dough bowl. We make them from select maple. They are unfinished, and range in size from 1" to 1¾" in diameter. These bowls may have a flat or round base.

Plates & Platters
plates

Like our bowls, these platters are crafted from woods selected for their beauty. Forms range from classic to modern. Sizes range from ¾" to 1½" in diameter, and less than ½" tall.

Tazzas
tazzas

A tazza is a wide bowl with a stem. They are widely used in Europe for serving fruit and sweets. Ours range in size from ½" to just over 1" in diameter. Height ranges from ¾" to 1".

Salad Sets
salad sets

Our salad sets are a large bowl with 4 or 6 matching small bowls. They are finished with food-safe oil, just like our full-size sets. We also offer just the small bowls in sets of four.

Large bowls are between 1" to 1½" in diameter, and between ½" & ¾" tall. Small bowls are approximately ½" in diameter and ¼" tall.

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Lidded Forms

Canisters & Cookie Jars
boxes

These delightful lidded pieces are turned with a snug-fitting lid. They will look great as cookie jars, canisters, or serving ware! Sizes are similar to our pots.

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Goblets & Chalices

goblets

Our goblets and chalices are turned from exotic hardwoods and acrylics. The chalices are slightly larger, and often follow traditional forms. Goblets are available in singles and pairs.

Chalice sizes range from ½" to ¾" in diameter, and between ¾" & 1¼" tall. Goblet sizes range from less than ¼" to ½" in diameter, and between ½" & 1¼" tall.

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Candlesticks

Candlesticks
candlesticks

Our pairs of candlesticks will compliment any decor. Each comes with a scale acrylic candle.

Candlestick sizes range from ½" to ¾" in diameter, and between ¾" & 1½" tall.

Rustic Candlesticks
rustic candles

Our "rustic" candlesticks are turned from small branches, with natural edges. These would look great in a cabin or mountain lodge home. They are available in singles and pairs, and include acrylic candles.

Size ranges from ½" to ¾" in diameter, and between ¾" & 1½" tall.

Rustic Sets

These candlestick sets are turned from small branches, which are cut into 3 or more sections and turned individually. They look neat on their own, or fit together as a unit.

Size ranges from 1" to 1¼" in total diameter, and between ¾" & 1½" tall.

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Other Products

Chip-n-Dip Trays
chip-n-dip

Our chip-n-dip trays are a delightful addition to any serving table. They feature a small center recess for your favorite dip, and a large outer tray for chips or veggies. Sizes range from ¾" to 1½" in diameter, and less than ½" tall.

Bowl Stands
bowl stands

These stands are specially designed to hold our bowls for display. They are larger across the bottom than standard, and will hang on a wall. Each is hand-made from jewelry wire, and come in black, silver, copper, and gold-tone.

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How They're Made

Lathe

All of the works are created by hand on a lathe. In essence, a lathe spins the material being formed, while the artist holds edged tools against the piece, carving or "turning" it to the desired shape. Many times when turning the inside of the work, the artist cannot see the tool or what it is cutting, and so must turn by feel and sound. Special care is taken to keep details crisp and in scale with the turning. Specialty turning techniques, such as ornamental turning, use different techniques to enhance a turned piece. For example, ornamental lathes hold the piece still while spinning an edged tool into the piece, carving regular patterns to create fine designs and details.

Nova Lathe

Most of Bear's work is done on a full-size Nova 3000 wood lathe, the same one he uses to turn forms up to 16" in diameter. He also has a big Nichols/Ulery lathe, which can turn forms up to 80" in diameter or 12 feet in length, and yes, he has turned miniatures on it to prove it's possible. He does use a Jet Mini-lathe to rough out wood, but prefers the stability and versatility of his Nova 3000. He also uses a modified ornamental lathe to create many of the finely carved details in his ornamental turnings.


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Tools

Mini Tools

Because there are so few commercial tools available for this scale of work, Bear has had to make most of his tools, both the tools used to shape the wood (gouges, scrapers, and chisels) and the tools used to hold the wood ("chucks"). He shapes and grinds high-speed steel to create the extremely small-scale tools that he requires to create his miniature turnings.

Hollow forms, where the opening is smaller than the largest diameter of the piece, require special tools that can enter through the small opening and then "turn the corner" to hollow out the larger diameter inside the wood. Bear creates his own hollowing tools with the required bends to reach the interior areas of each hollow form. Bear strives to create forms that have the same wall thickness throughout, turning each piece to have between 1/16" and 1/8" wall thickness all the way to the bottom. In fact, some pieces are turned so thin that light can be seen through the walls!

Chuck

Bear has modified chucks from metal-working technology to hold the wood while turning. These chucks must be strong enough to hold the wood firmly while spinning at 2500 RPM, and still be small and unobtrusive enough to allow Bear to access the wood with his tools safely. Because Bear must work very close physically to the spinning wood to see what he is doing and to be able to use his tools to shape the wood, standard-sized chucks are too large and too dangerous, creating a potential hazard of damage or injury.

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Finishing

After Bear has completed turning each piece, he carefully sands it smooth. He then applies the same fine finishes that he uses on his full-size forms, buffing each piece to to bring out the sheen and beauty of the material. He inspects it to make sure that there are no flaws and to make sure that each piece meets his high standards. Each piece is then signed on the bottom, packaged, and labeled with the wood name.

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