Miniature model making attracts international pupils

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A miniaturist who creates intricate buildings and figures using card and paper maché has been running a series of workshops at the Strutts Community Centre this week.

Penny Thomson, from Belper, ran the course for students who travelled from as far as Sweden to hone their skills over three days at the former school on Derby Road from November 13 to 15.

She first developed her talent by making a small-scale house for her elder daughter and from there has become a well respected craftswoman in her field.

Pupils were able to construct their own street scene during the sessions, run in one of the former classrooms at the school before taking their creations away with them.

The tiny replicas featured a pub from yesteryear, complete with lit windows and a mini pub sign.

Penny said: “This one is very popular when seen on the stand at shows as well as a workshop it was another chance for those who missed it in the past to make this scene.”

Fascinating buildings are just one facet of Penny’s work, which also includes figures of famous people as well as cameos - where paper maché links natural materials such as driftwood, seaweed or funghi and automata where the figures have mini working parts.

She has previously exhibited at Miniatura at the NEC and Glasgow, the British Toymakers’ Guild show the Art of Play, Tom Bishop’s fairs in the UK and Chicago and IGMA in the USA. In 2010 she also had a figure of Shakespeare included in an exhibition at a museum in Kentucky.