Archive for the ‘Tiny Inspiration’ Category

Elegance in Balsa

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Every Tiny Art Build Party is a fount of inspiration. Some people arrive with materials in hand and an idea ready to go and others with a bottle of tequila and the desire to make something. This past weekend’s Tiny Art Build Party in Oakland saw all kinds from Doug Worley chopping toothpicks down to size to Hot Damn’s protest signs for the Bity Billion Bunny March to Adam’s popsicle stick gate.

Wooden Horse by Suzanne Forbes (photo by mikest)

Wooden Horse by Suzanne Forbes (photo by mikest)

The Oakland Tiny Art Build Party also saw the appearance of the marvelous artist Suzanne Rachel Forbes. Suzanne is a distinguished Bay Area portrait painter, sketch artist, and illustrator… who just so happens to be an amazing balsa sculptor! In 2009, she made an exquisite balsa wood horse using only the scrap wood that the BPAF brought to the Tiny Art Party. Amazingly Suzanne crafted the horse freehand without a single reference image. Piece by piece it came together using nothing but glue, an X-ACTO, and whatever materials are on hand at the time.

Balsa Betty by Suzanne Forbes

Balsa Betty by Suzanne Forbes

This year, Suzanne has continued her tradition of refusing to ask for a tiny art grant. Instead, she comes to the Tiny Art Parties to build using whatever materials have been gifted. She is also pushing her tiny art farther this year: Suzanne has taken on the challenge of sculpting the female form—specifically the iconic Bettie Page, again using only scrap balsa wood, an X-ACTO and glue. It was truly astonishing to watch the hips, waist and bosom slowly gain form from her talented hands.

More of Suzanne’s stunning art can be found on her website, Flickr, and Etsy. She also is a writer for the sex-positive website CarnalNation.

Tiny Inspiration

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Here’s a couple bits of tiny art inspiration to get your creative juices flowing for this year’s Balsa Man!

World’s Smallest Postal ServiceWorld’s Smallest Postal Service

The World’s Smallest Postal Service (WSPS) is a teeny tiny transcription service and roaming post office. Artist Lea Redmond is the Postmaster, setting up her tiny mobile office in cafes and shops where passers-by can write a letter and have it turned into a “world’s smallest letter.”

Your letter is transcribed on a miniature desk in the tiniest of script, sealed with a miniscule wax seal with the sender’s initial pressed into it, packaged up with a magnifying glass in a glassine envelope, and finished off with a large wax seal. It is a double delight: for both the sender and the recipient.

When: Saturday, March 13th from 2pm to 6pm
Where: The Curiosity Shoppe – 855 Valencia Street (twn 19th & 20th) – SF
Cost: Free to watch letters being made, $8 to order your own.

(via FunCheap: World’s Smallest Postal Service)

Miniature cities on a power strip

Miniature cities on household objects

The senior thesis exhibition, at the Kyoto University of Art and Designhas some amazing small works on display which perfectly fit into this year’s theme, “The Forged Village.” I wish I could go to Kyoto myself and see these wonderfully detailed cities atop common household objects.

More info and photos at Spoon and Tomago: Student Work | Kyoto University of Art and Design.

(via Boing Boing: Miniature cities on household objects)

A small gift from the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things!

Friday, August 7th, 2009
World's smallest version of Babe, the Blue Ox

World's smallest version of Babe, the Blue Ox, photo © Erika Nelson

If you’re looking for a tiny replica of the World’s Largest Can of Spinach, Carhenge, or Babe the Blue Ox, look no further than The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things (WLCoWSVoWLT).

The WLCoWSVoWLT is more than just a collection, it’s a sideshow-painted Ford Econoline van-turned-traveling-museum full of miniature versions of roadside America attractions.

Erika Nelson, artist and director of WLCoWSVoWLT, is the mastermind behind this magical mobile menagerie of roaming replicas. She often tours the country, seeking out and documenting the oversized kitschy Americana that we can all be proud of. Erika speaks at art schools, universities, art commissions, and is a consultant for cities and Chamber of Commerce who are looking to improve their local skyline with a gigantic fiberglass (or steel, or wood, or whatever) thing.

Think big by thinking tiny

Although she encourages people to think big, Erika knows how to think tiny. Not only does Erika understand the concept of Balsa Man, she loves it. Unfortunately, Erika and her collection will be unable to attend the event; however, she has offered to send on-loan THE WORLD’S SMALLEST VERSION of The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things! (seen below).

This marks Balsa Man’s first official tiny art car! Of course, this on-loan miniature van will have to register with the Department of Minute Vehicles.

Erika and the World's Smallest Version of WLCoWSVoWLT

Erika and the World's Smallest Version of WLCoWSVoWLT, photo © Erika Nelson

Along with this minute museum Ericka has offered a donation to the Black Pebble Arts Foundation in the form of a crisp $2 bill!

Thanks Erika!

PS: She also teaches kids how to sculpt things out of SPAM. She is our people.


WLCoWSVoWLT is Balsa Man’s first interstate piece of art and the BPAF recognizes the daunting task of shipping art across the country. Thus, we are proud to award Erika Nelson tiny transportation & shipping art grant of to cover all postage to and from the event!

Erika’s grant proposal was excellent as it contained an actual size version of the World’s Smallest Version of the WLCoWSVoWLT.