March 2009
Featured Item
EV Miniatures
of Ericka VanHorn
Photos courtesy of
Ericka VanHorn
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

Thank goodness Ericka VanHorn believes her favorite quote or there would be no voodoo shop, no mermaid's hoard, nothing from the vivid imagination of the Colorado artist.

The world of miniatures almost never saw this talented artist. As a child she admired an old printer's drawer filled with tiny collectibles hanging on her grandmother's wall. Some of those items are in her collection now.

Her fascination never went further until at age seventeen she partnered with her mother to make a dollhouse for her then-seven-year-old sister.

"I don't think she ever really liked it as much as I did. When she got older I sold it on eBay for her."

By the time she placed the house up for sale, VanHorn owned and operated a gift shop.

"While the dollhouse was for sale I got a lot of emails saying that they wanted to know where I got the food on the tables. I had made it from Polymer clay! There was so much interest in the food that it got me thinking maybe I could earn some extra money on eBay making mini food," she said.

Her new venture soon began earning enough income that she sold the gift shop and focused on food. She has been a full-time miniaturist for eight years and has done so well on her own website and her CDHM gallery that she rarely sells on Ebay any longer.

And she hasn't limited her miniature repertoire to food.

"I think I started making miniature books because I did not see anyone making books that I would like to have. So I made them for myself at first. Someday I would like to make more realistic period books," she said.

Currently her non-food work has a decided fantastical theme, including orreries and astronomical inventions.

"I specialize in miniature fantasy books but I also love to make miniature orreries or celestial instruments - and there will always be miniature food. I love to make extravagant sweets in miniature." She hopes to offer her creations for sale at shows or in workshops someday.

"If I can get enough inventory built up, that is. One of the funniest sales I didn't make was when someone asked me if my reflector orrery kit was a working kit and how tall it was as they wanted it to be in their real-size office," she chortled.

Quite a compliment to detail for a one inch to one foot scale artist.

She is self-taught and currently the only member in her family interested in making minis although her brother is testing the waters.

"My mom paints, my dad plays music and my sister likes to bead jewelry. Recently I've convinced my brother to make some miniatures. He likes to sculpt and has made some really wonderful dragon heads and even a Harry Potter Thestral. My family is really supportive and pretty crafty, but otherwise it's just me that is the real miniature addict," said VanHorn.

Addict is a word her sister chooses frequently to describe her.

"I find inspiration everywhere. I am always thinking of ways to make miniatures. I will often be walking by something and say to my sister 'I want to make a miniature one of those' and my sister will say 'do you ever not think of miniatures'?!" said VanHorn with a laugh.

Actually, she does. When not mini-crafting, VanHorn and her mother have a strange hobby.

"We like to find old cemeteries so I can take photos of the interesting gravestones and my mom takes grave rubbings. I love photography and taking infrared photos. Going to the mountains and taking photos is one of my favorite things to do," she said.

Back home in her workshop with her other favorite things her favorite needle tool is always close at hand for any project she would like to attempt. Like the someday haunted house project.

"I have always been interested in spooky and strange things. I have plans for building a haunted doll house."

Giving her courage to attempt the house is her favorite artist Rik Pierce.

"I was lucky enough to take one of his classes and now I feel inspired to try any mini building my imagination can think of," she said.

Other miniaturists are inspired by VanHorn. Her voodoo shop was featured on the cover of the October 2008 American Miniaturist magazine; her "Honeydukes Sweet Shop" graced cover of the January '07 Dolls House and Miniature Scene; her mermaid's hoard was on the August '06 cover of Dollhouse Miniatures; and other pieces were featured in the 2008 Haute Doll Magazine and April '06 Miniature Collector.

Stop by her gallery and take a look.

Visit Ericka's Gallery

Explore the Books Category

CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Handmade orrery and books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn 15th century books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Handmade Books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Mini Books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van HornDolls House Books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Dolls House Food
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Miniatures
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Dollhouse Books
CDHM artisan Ericka Van Horn Orrery Miniatures
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