Good Things Come in Small Packages

Masterpieces need not be large or made from rare materials. These pint-sized pieces are proof that the hands of an artist can elevate even the simplest of materials.

These artists were inspired to recreate real and imaginary coastal getaways with beachfound treasured combed from their shorelines.

miniature coastal art huts

Donna Bishop, Seth Draper, DriftwoodSails,Tim Charnick

beach huts made from driftwood

Tim Charnick, DriftwoodSails, Nicola McFarlane Young

tiny beach art from driftwood

Eileen Keelan, Seth Draper, DriftwoodSails

beach cottages made from driftwood

Ingrid Mayes, Rowy Marynissen, Tim Charnick

These tiny art pieces capture scenes from the sea, the forest, meadows, and even the desert. These assemblages can tell a story, capture a memory, or create an imaginary reality.

miniature beach art

Seth Draper, Crafts by Cris, Barbara Smith

mini beach art

Alice Ahrens, Meagan Gardiner, Aimee Harpt, Alice Ahrens

 sea glass art

Seth Draper, Angelina Kazmer, Angelina Kazmer

mini beach art

Driftwood Fish, Jean St. Denis, Maureen Lombardo, Angelina Kazmer

tiny shell art

Angelina Kazmer, Machel Spence

tiny beach art

Inga and Klaus Ortelt, Sonja Benedict, Kristin Norton

tiny coastal art

Gina Olkowski, Helen Frost, Lynn Williams, Jean St. Denis, Surfside Sea Glass Jewelry, Rachel Fields

Lorraine Hamlin wanted to take her daughters on a beachcombing adventure before her youngest daughter headed off to college, so they headed to the California coast, just north of Santa Cruz. “The water at the cove near Pigeon Point Lighthouse looked so blue—like Hawaii—on that day! My girls agreed to go beachcombing with me at Año Nuevo State Park,” says Lorraine. “We found micro mollusks, mini sand dollars, and sea glass.”

northern california coastal art

As they passed by Big Basin State Park, they made plans to visit at the end of their trip, but they decided to go to Lake Tahoe instead. Lorraine says, “After all, we could visit Big Basin any time!” Little did they know that Big Basin would be consumed by wildfires soon after their trip, in early August 2020.

“As we compare our photos of the Coastal mountains to the fire photos, we are so glad we got to share a beautiful day together along the coast before it was too late,” says Lorraine. She framed some of the beach finds they collected together. Adds Lorraine, “This little gift just means so much to us!”

Maggii Sarfaty isn’t sure if she’ll ever own her dream cottage on Sanibel, so she built her own miniature version. “It is covered in hundreds of scallops, with tiny shell specimens I hand collected,” says Maggii. “The only store-bought items are the bathroom fixtures and a heron on the beach. It has everything a beachcomber needs!”

dollhouse beach house

Maggii’s Sanibel Cottage is a 1" = 1' scale model and was a prize winner at the 2018 Sanibel Shell Show. Our biggest question: When can we move in?

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine November/December 2020 issue.

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