Tiny Treasures

By Louise Irvine

The museum’s curated Studio Collection now features miniature ceramic art for sale by Alex Meiklejohn. Alex has specialized in making miniature ceramics for the last 30 years and he has exhibited his tiny treasures at specialist craft shows around the States. His tiny works of art are scaled to 1:12, 1 inch to 1 foot, which is the standard for miniatures in dollhouses.

Alex grew up in Rhode Island and his mother inspired him to work with clay when she started pottery classes as a hobby. He began throwing pots on the wheel at junior high school and then studied ceramics at Rochester Institute of Technology for American Craftsmen. His work has been influenced by early American potters and British potters working in stoneware, including the Doulton Lambeth Studio artists and the Martin Brothers. See Alex’s comical fish in the Dive into WMODA exhibit.

Over the years, Alex has produced miniatures in earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain, which is his favorite type of clay. His work features many different styles of decoration and glazes demonstrating his years of experience as a master potter. Occasionally he wood-fires his work for interesting smoky effects and he has even tried salt-glazing in the past. Alex throws his miniatures “off the hump” on the wheel, which is a technique that allows potters to make multiples of small forms quickly. It is productive but challenging as could be seen in The Great Pottery Throw Down, now showing on HBO Max. You can watch Alex demonstrating how he produces his miniature ceramics off the hump on the potter’s wheel on Saturday, June 5.

Alex’s miniatures have been avidly collected for shadowboxes and dollhouses and they were featured regularly in Miniature Collector magazine. The collector’s delight in miniaturization is felt by many nostalgic adults, who can relive childhood and re-examine life at a Lilliputian level.


Museums in Miniature