Mini magic from Patience Brewster
November 12, 2019
Patience Brewster’s love of all things little started, coincidentally enough, when she was little.
As a child, Patience began collecting small items, starting with Steiff animal toys that were gifts from her father and dollhouse furniture from her grandmother. Entranced by their tiny details, Patience started her own collections of little objects. Later, when in college, she made miniature books and containers, including one that has a story hand-painted on a delicate blown-out egg.
Today, Patience still collects small items, drawn by the fine handiwork that they display. She also creates them, designing miniature versions of her figures and ornaments for the Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs collection.
Patience’s Mini Ornaments are entirely handmade and hand-painted in the Philippines, following the same creative process as their full-size counterparts. “It starts from scratch,” says Patience. “There’s no shrinking it down like you might on a computer.”
First, sculptors carve the Minis from blocks of Philippine mahogany, working from Patience’s illustrations. Some extra-fine details are added with a sticky clay that is carved as well.
Then, mold makers use the carvings to create molds and cast the pieces by hand-painting stone resin into the mold. After the figure has been removed from the mold and sanded, it’s ready for painters to paint colors and patterns with tiny brushes. Extra-fine embellishments of gold leaf, silver leaf, and glitter can be added, as are attachments and accessories, including the tiniest of beads or feathers.
Most of the Patience Brewster Mini Ornaments are sold individually, but there are holiday groupings available, making it easy to celebrate the season in style, even if you’re tight on space. You’ll find the Patience Brewster 12 Days Mini Ornaments Set, which includes all the characters in the song’s 12 verses, from the partridge in a pear tree to the 12 lords a-leaping. There’s also the eight reindeer and their accompanying elves in the Dash Away and Moonbeam collections and a 13-piece Patience Brewster Nativity Mini Figures Introductory Set. Patience says the Nativity Minis are a good way to bring the Christmas story down to a teachable size for children. “It helps children understand what Christmas is all about,” she says.
Other ways to use Patience Brewster Minis abound, especially for decorating. Of course, they’re perfect for a smaller tabletop tree. You can also tie a Mini onto a package, hang it from a chandelier, embellish a stocking or add one to every place setting on your holiday table. Taking the Minis beyond the holidays, place one on a shelf, hang one from a lampshade or pop it on a windowsill or anywhere else that it might bring a smile.
So, as you can see, with the Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs Mini Ornaments, it’s easy to have yourself a merry (little) Christmas, as well as celebrate whimsy and wonder year-round!