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In Jonesborough, making miniature works of art is a BIG DEAL

Their final products might be small, but for those working diligently to create miniature scenes, the hobby is huge. Just ask the group of minaturists that meets monthly, and has for the last 20 years, at the Jonesborough Pizza Parlor to create their tiny works of art.
“My mother started me off with miniatures,” said Judy Lewis, an emergency room nurse in Kingsport, whose mom also attends the miniature meetings. “She bought me a doll house kit when I was still in school, and I haven’t stopped since.”
At this particular meeting, Lewis is working on her Blue Moon Bakery, a mini pastry shop filled with tiny treats no bigger than a finger tip. Despite their smallness, the morsels look realistic and delectable enough to eat.
Nearby, Lewis’ mom, Carol Jaynes, works on a project she is creating based on the book, The Secret Garden. Everything about the piece is exquisitely detailed down to the hollyhocks on one corner, the fountain and the door hidden in ivy.
“The ivy is made out of paper glued to fine wire,” Jaynes said. “You have no idea how long it takes to make that much ivy.”
The miniature replicas of real-life scenes typically are created in one-inch, half-inch or 1.444-inch scales. Miniaturists who meet each month in Jonesborough come from as far away Pigeon Forge, Bristol, Kingsport, Elizabethton, Stoney Creek and Glade Springs, Va., to talk shop. In addition to each other, group members turn to glossy magazines, websites, national conferences and even ‘miniature’ cruises to get expert advice and new ideas about their beloved hobby.
“Some people say they couldn’t do this because it would be so stressful, but it’s really not. It’s a great stress reliever,” Lewis said. “Besides, it gives mom and me a chance to do something we love together, and to travel to the conferences together.”
When the group meets, members adopt a project and everyone starts with the same essential elements. But what each person does with those elements varies greatly.
“When everybody gets their project, they do it their own way,” Jaynes said, noting her own tendency to create beach scenes. “We’ll do a little house and I will do a little beach house; we’ll do a little shop and I will do a beach shop. If we do a little restaurant, I will do the ‘Crusty Crab.’”
When Lewis finishes a project, she proudly displays it at her house.
“I have projects that both my mother and I have done on my shelves and in showcases,” she said. “I am proud of them.”