Daily Mini Interview: Atomic Miniature

Atomic Miniature by Michael Yurkovic
Classic Mid-Century Modern Furniture and Accessories in 1:12 Scale

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DSC09549 copyMy brand in this world is Atomic Miniature, dedicated to producing museum quality Mid­‐Century Modern furnishings and accessories in 1:12 scale for the discriminating collector and miniaturist. I recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to support my craft with new tools and machinery. You can learn more and donate here!

Campaign Update: The Daily Miniature will match your donation to Atomic Miniature’s GoFundMe campaign! Contact dailymini@thedailymini.com for more information.

My formal training as an Industrial Designer exposed me to the world of design in general, and especially to the great designers/inventors of the mid 20th century, including Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Eero Saarinen to name but a few. I grew up in a middle class, blue­‐collar family, and really didn’t have the exposure to these works of contemporary art in my everyday world. As I became more experienced as a designer, my appreciation for detail evolved, and I began to realize what made some of these deceptively simple designs so special. That is the major challenge for me in depicting designs from this era in scale: there are few elements to portray, but they must all be done with precision, and sometimes according to the eye and not the raw dimensions.

R8 copyOne of my careers to date has been as a professional toy inventor. I worked with my partner in all aspects of the discipline, from brainstorming initial concepts, to sketching, prototyping, and finished concept renderings. Then there was the presentation aspect, presenting to high­‐level management from Hasbro, Mattel, and more. We sold a few concepts, and even managed to have an item included in the Museum Of Contemporary Art store in NYC. I learned tons about prototyping, electronics, mechanisms, materials, and various processes while doing this. We built all our own demonstration prototypes, so I had to learn many new things, especially about lighting and electronics. Very cool and challenging stuff.

Enough about me for a minute, there are some miniaturists out there who really do it for me. Bill Robertson, whom I had the pleasure of studying with for 6 days in Castine, Maine this past June. So much in the way of pure skill, historical knowledge, and teaching abilities wrapped into one. Add to this a great sense of humor and un­‐rockable patience. It was an amazing time! Another idol of mine is Ichiyoh Haga from Japan. 3 copyHis work, like Bill’s, is so delicate and sensitive. Blows me away. His work in metals, wood, and any number of other materials cooks my mind. I especially like his Parisian shop fronts from the early 20th century. Lovely work!!

Ok, back to me, besides Mid­‐Century, I find myself drawn to any number of styles. A bit schizophrenic yes, but having done a 17th century sewing stand in Bill’s class recently, I had a whole new appreciation of that era. Same with the work of Mark Murphy. His cabinetry is so beautiful and delicate; I want to know more about that. Nell Corkin and her wonderful work in 1:144. I’ve dabbled in that a bit, but she makes me want to dive in headfirst. Then there is Elizabeth Gazmuri and her wonderful claw foot cabinets. Mind-blowing, and something I’d love to try. Beth Freeman­‐ Kane and her wonderful petite dioramas, so delicate and wonderful. I am so drawn to all that goodness.

Ash3 copyI’ll be showing again with Tom Bishop at his fall Chicago Show, come by and say hi. Tom puts on a great event, and I’m happy to be there. Later on in November, I’ll be in Philly, where I hope to play some serious ping pong again with the dailymini team.

Advice is such a curious thing, but if there’s one thing I can suggest, and it may sound cliché-ish, but do what you love. If it’s art deco great, if it’s tiny animals, do it. If it’s something completely different like surfing, do it. There is only one you, damn it!

Industrial Designer and artisan Michael Yurkovic has over 33 years of experience. To support the development of his museum quality miniatures, you can now donate to his GoFundMe campaign. For more information and images, visit the Atomic Miniature website and make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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