We chat with Barbara Latzko
Hi Barbara, tell us about your latest project? Right now I’m working on a 1/48th scale church. My husband and I were at a flea market and it caught my eye. After several minutes of indecision (did I really need another project?) my husband finally said ‘just buy it’ because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t stop thinking about it. It was nothing special, just a beige-coloured church. I painted it white and added a foundation, wood floor, post and beam ceiling and stained glass windows. I envisioned a country church scene. It now has a stone wall surrounding it with a cemetery, apple trees and a wedding happening inside. It is almost finished and I’m really happy with how it is shaping up.
Tell us about your houses. I have a Beacon Hill, which I have done in a Victorian style, a General Mercantile, which I’ve modelled in the 1940s, a colonial, and a more modern style that is my granddaughter’s — we made it for her when she was six. These four are all twelfth scale.
Do you make or collect? I used to buy everything that went into my houses when I was first learning this craft. Now I’ve gotten into making as much as I can. I really like finding odd little things in flea markets or antique shops that can be changed in some way to fit in one of the houses.
How enthusiastic is your husband about your hobby? I am very lucky to have a very supportive husband in this miniature world. He’ll see something at an antique shop or flea market and show it to me to see if it will work in one of the houses. He and I built the General Mercantile from a 1970’s plan book that I found. This took months but we worked around football. He also made the plexi glass covers for the houses to keep our lovely cat out as much as we can.
He and I built the General Mercantile from a 1970’s plan book that I found. This took months but we worked around football.
When did your mini madness start? My jump into the mini world started about 15 years ago when I was lucky enough to get my first house for very little money. It was the Beacon Hill. It was orange and in disrepair and needed a lot of love and attention. I spent hours and days and months and months working on it and making it beautiful. Then I was hooked.
Other hobbies? I also crochet and sew and paint and build things with wood. I am willing to try to learn anything.
Do you buy too much stuff? I don’t think I buy too much. But does any miniaturist think they buy too much? The most extravagant thing I have purchased was a handmade trunk full of travel items. Since then I have learned how to make my own travelling trunks and many other pieces.
What do you love about our hobby? I think what draws me to miniatures, and why I enjoy it so much, is that it’s very relaxing. Life can be busy and stressful. There are no worries in the miniature world. I get so much joy when I’m working on something that’s giving me a challenge and I figure it out, and it looks great.
I think what draws me to miniatures, and why I enjoy it so much, is that it’s very relaxing. Life can be busy and stressful. There are no worries in the miniature world.
Small Talk is a regular feature in Dolls House World where readers share their love of the wonderful world of miniatures.