“Rock Island” is a dream. There is a chair next to this display where you can get eye-level with the scene and enjoy all the tiny details. See below for the list of fish and critters.
The Art of Miniatures with Caveman Al
“If it’s not built from scratch, I can’t call it art.”
– Caveman Al
We followed the line of pavers next to the parking lot behind the building. “She said it was in the alley.” Steve and I were apprehensive about nosing around, it looked like someone’s backyard. We passed another little walkway lined with roses and saw a man looking back at us through the door. I recognized him immediately and gave a little wave. “I saw that confused look on your faces and knew you were probably looking for me.” He opened the door and welcomed us into the cutest studio on earth.
Meet Caveman Al. He has been designing homes and miniature making since he was 8 years old. He doesn’t work in any particular size
– I think the project dictates the scale – and everything is made from scratch.
Yep. Everything. No sourcing, no customizing, no scouring the internet for the perfect miniature to complete a scene. Al makes everything, including the fish in the sea and the leaves on the trees.
I wanted to stay and play.
Here are some photos I took with my iphone, (I should have brought my good camera!) so make sure you head on over and visit his website & gallery, Al has a bunch great photos of projects that we did not see in the studio when we visited. All his artwork is for sale and he does some custom work too.
Click to enlarge the photos.
Every leaf was made from scratch. Al uses vellum, wire, polymer and marble dust to create the leaves. Each leaf can take almost half an hour to make. The tree is about 15″ tall.
The studio was tiny, about 15 by 12 feet but it was filled with Al’s creations. Al got the nickname, Caveman Al, from a newspaper article about his work several years ago.
It’s just a little vacation. Crystal clear resin lets us enjoy every inch of detail. The sign says, “Al’s Island Reservations Only”
Don’t sneeze. Steve holds one of Al’s tiny sharks, about 1/4″ long.
The walls are lined with more photographs of past projects, processes and details.
A step-by-step on how Al makes a palm tree.
Okay, this is the house I’m building when I win the lottery – with Al’s permission of course. The house is called Walnut Manor and it’s 1/96th scale. The floors can be lifted off in layers so you can see all the juicy details. Note the pool in the center and the garden all around the house.
The second floor of the Walnut Manor. I love the balcony in the middle, overlooking the pool.
Miniature scenes of all shapes and sizes are everywhere in his studio. Al calls them “Personal Walls” The items on the floor reflect the people in the frames. Al does custom work too – wouldn’t this make a great gift for a Mom or Grandmother?
I think this gazebo is large size or 1″ scale. Of course I fell in love his garden miniatures.
Al was a delight to talk to. His sense of humor shows up in his art – if you look closely there is a naked man waiting for his laundry in “The Laundwich Shop” – a sandwich laundromat.
Hanging out with Al makes me want to quit my day job and make miniatures. If you are ever in the area of Anacortes, he is worth a visit. You can find Al on the Anacortes Art Walk, on the first Friday of every month.
Checkout more of the lovely details on Al’s website here. There are a ton of photos in his gallery, including photos of his masterpiece, the “Out to Lunch” house shown above.