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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.
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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Goblets & Chalices
How They're Made
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.
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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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!
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.return to top of page
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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Bear & Alisa Limvere - Elbert, Colorado USA