Toil & Trouble Miniatures by Pascal Parker
When I was about 4 years old, my Mom and I went to pick up to-go food from a Chinese place near our house; the restaurant had this little shelf with tons of perfectly crafted miniature decorations on it. There was an old rotary phone, a piano, a typewriter, just totally random things, but they were all so detailed and perfect. My mom bought me the rotary phone and I still have it today.
How did you first get started making miniatures?
The movie The Indian in the Cupboard was the first thing I remember really sparking my fascination with miniatures. The detail in the tiny fire, the teepee, the horse, everything. It got me so excited that I asked my mom to buy me Sculpey from the craft store and immediately started creating my own miniature village for my toys to live in.
Do you remember the very first miniature you ever made?
I made a cheeseburger for one of my Barbies, I don’t have it but I wish I still did.
Are all your miniatures wearable? How did you get into miniatures as jewelry?
No, in fact most of my miniatures aren’t wearable. I found that a lot of people were really fascinated with my miniatures but didn’t really understand them or know how to enjoy them. Once I started turning them into jewelry, it kind of gave them a purpose and people were able to get into them a little more.
What is your favorite type of miniature to make?
I love making anything I haven’t made before. Every time you create a new food, it presents you with a whole new set of challenges to make it believable. I really enjoy the problem solving involved and it is incredibly rewarding when you get it right in the end and find a technique that works.
Creating any kind of topping is something I find particularly challenging. I tend to get frustrated with how time consuming it is, I refuse to make canes (because I am terrible at them), and therefore have to make each slice of tomato or olives or whatever, by hand. Keeping myself on task without sacrificing the quality and consistency is something I am always working at.
Do you collect miniatures yourself?
I do collect miniatures. Whenever I visit a new state or town, I like to visit antique stores and typically you can find these really unique, miniature ceramic animals. I only get one and I name it on the spot. I wish I knew who the artists were but unfortunately, that is never mentioned.
What’s your favorite food?
Spaghetti! Or really anything with sauce. Or anything that can be dipped in sauce. So, sauce.
Shay Aaron was the first miniature artist I was really inspired by. I love his work, his attention to detail is fantastic, and his work is so cohesive.
What’s to come from Toil & Trouble?
When it comes to my miniatures, my goal is to create a series of “non-traditional” dollhouses: frat houses, teenage girl rooms, college dorms, etc. These would include styles of furniture and decor that you don’t typically see in dollhouses or hobby shops. It’s a long way off since it will mostly require the use of materials other than clay, but I’m working on it. I also just recently launched my Etsy shop where I sell my miniatures as well as my other work which includes original ink drawings, jewelry, patches and handmade buttons and drawings.
Other activities you enjoy?
I enjoy making all sorts of things, and I work in a lot of different mediums and am trying to learn as many art related skills as possible. I paint, draw, create custom portraits, am learning to blow glass, and work with metal to create non-food related jewelry, all of which can be found on my Etsy.
Besides my art, I enjoy reading, cooking, eating, spending time with my cats, scuba diving and hiking in North Georgia.