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Who says size matters? Chris Toledo creates magnificent miniatures inspired by 20th-century Spanish-style architecture. Watch his process, here!

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- I think when people first thing of miniatures, they instantly go to dollhouses, dolls, it's a toy. But in reality, it's so much more. It pretty much encompasses every genre of art from sculpture to painting to interior design to history. Growing up here in southern California, I was always surrounded by Spanish-style architecture. My dad was a contractor, he mainly focused on restoring historical properties. To do real justice to that era of architecture, you need to have the real details that you would see in the larger homes. And that's one thing that you don't really see in miniature very often. Through these old catalogs I came across this stove that I instantly knew I wanted to make. So it was just a matter of transferring those sizes from large scale to the miniature version. Once I have the initial design put together, I then transfer those files to a laser cutter which helps me individually cut all the pieces out of a different material that I would use to create the finished product. And then I'll use wood glue. It's essentially just like putting together a puzzle. Certain pieces had to have a slight bevel to make it more three dimensional so I would start with a resin mixture and using a syringe, I apply it to each piece individually and slowly build up until I have the exact roundness that I would want for the finished piece. I take all the pieces outside, I lay them out by color and then slowly start building up the layers from a primer all the way to a clear sealer. I wanted to try to stay as true to the original colors as possible so I kept it simple and did a white, gray and a black. For the hardware and the gas tubes that go throughout the stove, I started with just a base of brass tubing, I soldered all those pieces together into exact forms that I would need which I then nickel plated. I would then add the oxidizer which gives the pieces a little bit more of an old, used, rustic look. To recreate the porcelain knobs, I used clay and pin heads. I started out by rolling out the clay into small tubes, cut those into grain-sized pieces then transferred that to the oven where I would bake it. Essentially use Krazy Glue to glue that to the pin head then just stick it right into the knob. At this point it's time to put it all together. We start by installing all the handles by drilling two little holes on each door and just lay the handle on top and pop in two small nails to get it all to lay in place. Once I get the hardware finished, it's a matter of snapping all the doors and enamel pieces in their place. And then we get ready to stick it onto the front. To attach the front facade, I carefully line the whole piece in a very thin stripe of Krazy glue, align the piece to the core that I had already made and then glue them together. Using the same Krazy glue, I would then attach the top of the stove, the legs and all of the aligning pieces that would make up the shape of the stove. Once I have all the hardware and metal pieces glued on, it's ready to go in the kitchen. Ever since I got involved with social media and started putting my work out, I get people questioning if it's an actual miniature. I kind of take that as the biggest compliment you can get. As an artist, I'm always looking for new challenges. You know, what else can I shrink down? It's kind of hard to not be happy when working on miniatures.