The Mini Time Machine Museum had a lovely December, filled with musical performances, family craft activities and special holiday décor featuring various time periods from around the world. With children out of school and folks bringing their out-of-town guests to see our museum, we were truly bustling! Perhaps the most popular place to be was our Enchanted Realm Gallery – which is filled to the brim year-round with scenes of magic and delight – but when the frost nips the air this time of year, the gallery really seems to sparkle. We like to tell visitors that our resident fairy, Caitlin, has a hand in the magic around here, but perhaps this time we ought to give credit where credit is due: to the elves!
Our museum Founder, Pat Arnell, is positively an expert on magical miniatures, and her taste in elves is no exception. Quite a few of the elves in our collection were hand-crafted by the same artisan, Cynthia Baron. A well-known contributor to Miniature Collector for years, Baron’s skills are first rate with a style distinctly her own. Each figure is rich with personality, eyes merry with mischief and curiosity, and an appearance of illustrated whimsy as though each sprung right from the pages of children’s literature. In her article, “A Wonderland of Fictional Figures,” author Stormy Williams explains the aesthetic inspiration that gives Baron’s pieces such charm.1 “She attributes a great deal of her present interest and inspiration on the subject of fantasy creatures to her particular fondness for the artistic styles of turn-of-the-century illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Milo Winter, whose works are conceptually similar in that they create auras of peculiarity which come from surrealistic figures and settings.”2 This love of the peculiar has seen Cynthia Baron tackle subjects such as Alice in Wonderland, witches and goblins, and even unique film personalities like Charlie Chapman. But it is her elves which continue to bring her fans back, time and time again. Click here to continue reading a pdf of this article >>