By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester resident and artist Jackie Marion sees things in a very small way.
Her finely detailed creations in clay and other materials show life in miniature in everyday settings mainly comprised of recycled items such as tea cups, baskets and boxes. One of her little worlds is now on display at Wagnalls Memorial, located at 150 E. Columbus St. in Lithopolis.
“I have boring evenings and am always looking for something to multi-task, watch movies, and be creative,” said Marion, who is also a Master Gardener. “I have been making miniatures at Christmas for CornerSmiths for several years and wanted a spring project.
This spring I decided to make a store for the fairy gardens at Wagnalls. The Master Gardeners of Fairfield County and others create them in the spring.”
Marion’s original creation was a vegetable and fruit market, but she realized it was not weatherproof. That hurdle did not stop her. While she explored ideas for weather protection, she kept making other miniatures.
“Before I knew it, I was out of control and in addition to the market, made a fairy hat store, a fancy dress shop, an ice cream parlor, a bakery and my favorite, a community garden maintained by gnomes and supervised by a fairy,” said Marion, who also created a ceiling full of handmade paper origami birds this year for CornerSmiths.
While a wide variety of miniatures are available online for purchase—generally for use in doll houses—Marion found it costly to purchase them pre-made.
“For my first miniature, the market, I made the cabinets and did the displays, but it cost a fortune for the fruit and veggies. One of my fellow Master Gardener friends, who makes the houses for the garden, suggested I try clay. That opened up a whole new world for me. And such fun. I also use fabric, paper, wire, and things I scrounge up for props.”
Marion said her favorite miniature to create was the community garden and found it very entertaining to handcraft the vegetables. The tool shed is made from a hinge and the gourd trellis is a napkin holder. She also uses PVC pipe in some of her miniatures.
In trying to solve the problem of weatherizing her tiny creations for Wagnalls, the opportunity to share her art inside Wagnalls Memorial opened up.
“I was selected to display them because I stopped to see Tami (Morehart) and told her my dilemma about putting them outside and she offered a showcase inside. I was thrilled as my outside presentation possibilities were limited,” said Marion, who anticipates her creations will be on display throughout the summer.