There’s something deeply fascinating about gazing at a miniature world. Artists and craftspeople draw on incredible technique to create something detailed and perfectly proportioned — and that can be held in the palm of a hand.
Greek artist Gregory Grozos’s miniature worlds within pocket watches take it to the next level.
Each handmade piece tells stories of imaginary microcosms, with tiny figurines within homes, workplaces, or out in nature. “All the themes and ideas are my own and many of my works can be broadly categorized as steampunk, fantasy, and whimsical in style,” he said.
Some illuminate fairy tales, such as one pocket watch featuring a miniature Jack and the Beanstalk scene. Another is a wondrous steampunk factory, with a figure shoveling coal into a stove.
“I discovered an interest in making miniature things a few years ago,” said Grozos, who attended the Athens School of Fine Art and lives in Limassol, Cyprus. “I am a visual artist by trade and have been making works of art featuring miniature worlds of all sorts while participating in a number of art fairs and exhibitions.”
He explains, “I had the thought that ‘Hmm, how about a really, really small world that one could carry on him or her.’ So, I started to explore how I could use my materials and knowledge in creating unique pieces of jewelry.”
Materials might come from anywhere.
“They include the odd bric-a-brac I might find at street markets, scale model figurines, tiny houses and miniature flora,” he said. “I use many techniques to build my miniature worlds, I build miniatures from scratch, I sculpt, I paint them and put them all together.”
His sources of inspiration are traditional and classical art of the East as well as of the West. “This has set me upon a path to gradually discover a rich treasure-trove in knowledge, wisdom and beauty. I am currently engaged in exploring how to fuse a contemporary aesthetic, as well as modern techniques and materials, with traditional subject matter such as images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, paradises and heavenly worlds and other such themes of ancient lore.”
His interest in Eastern thought comes from a deep place.
“Some people ask, ‘How can you be so patient’, or ‘What inspires you?’ Well for one, what helps immensely is my practice of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese meditation practice that has greatly benefited me in so many ways.”
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“An important aspect of Falun Gong, the three principles of truth, benevolence and forbearance, have made me see art and creativity in a new light, making me want to make things that are more beautiful, bright and positive,” he said.
Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com