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Dioramas
 

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A Diorama is a model, representing a scene with three-dimensional models and figures,
either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.


"Il Presepio” (Presepe, pl) - is a classic Neopolitan Christmas Nativity scene, consisting of hand
crafted
miniature figures and animals in a realistic setting; a diorama. This Italian tradition dates
all the way back to St. Francis of Assisi, who commissioned the first presepio in the 13th century.


I see myself as a direct decedent of this tradition of Italian craftsmen, carrying on the building of
miniature dioramas, although not using a religious theme. My dioramas usually depict the early
20th Century, and the theme is Industrial, focusing on the daily lives of everyday workers and
their surroundings.     Below is some of my recent work...


 
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The Ogre Takes an Evening Ride

An old country Ogre urges his faithful Wild Boar to move along, as he takes his pet raven for a ride on the cart.
This fantasy diorama is totally hand-made, from polymer clay, wood, brass, plastic, Tibetan lamb's wool, leather,
paintbrush bristles, and an old washcloth.
That makes it truly a multimedia piece. It is about 16" long, and 10" high.
The boar was inspired by the movie "Beasts of The Southern Wild" (great flick). The pet raven was made from
polymer clay, with paper feathers. The base has real dirt and gravel, with carved plaster stone wall,
made one-stone-at-a-time.

of1

of7  of3

of4  of5

of6


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Vespa Repair Shop

This diorama is an enlarged and re-built version of the "Vespa Tune-Up" shown below. I started with a much larger
base,
and added a building front, a corner fence, and a whole bunch of details from other scooter models
I had. I think that it looks a lot better, and garnered a lot of "Wow" comments. It was clearly the favorite of the
crowds at a recent Art Show. Built July, 2017

sc1

sc2   sc1

sc4   sc5


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La Strada, Senza Uscita
(Dead-End Street)

This is an Italian street scene, set in a "low-income" area, perhaps in 1950's Naples. A serious game of checkers is
the focus here. It is being watched by "Nonna" (grandma) on her balcony. Otto watches leaning against the street light.
1" scale, about 16"W X 12" D. Street Lights and building are lighted. Made from Styrofoam, plastic, brass, wire, etc.
Figures sculpted by me. Balcony railing and lights made by Antonio Malacario in Naples.  Built 2015-16.

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st1   st5

st1   st4

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Il Caffe - Bar

 
This Diorama shows a scene in an Italian Coffee Bar in the 1920's. The Espresso Machine is a vintage model, and the figure sitting on the right is a portrait of my father, Pasquale. Most of the diorama was made by me, but a few things (cups, saucers, stove) were made from kits. The scale (as are most of my dioramas) is 1" per foot.  Built, 2015

bar1   bar2

bar3   bar4

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Vespa Tune-Up

This Diorama is an earlier version of the "Vespa Repair Shop" seen above. It is focused on the details of the models.Vinnie, the amateur outdoor mechanic, works on tuning a customer's scooter, while the owner looks on.

This diorama is based around an inexpensive diecast toy scooter. It was stripped of paint and disassembled, and then rebuilt and detailed, especially the engine. The figures are my own sculptures, and some of the hand tools are commercial items.  Built, 2016

v1   v2

v3   v4

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The Courier

This diorama was inspired by a sketch from Ian McCue, a concept artist. It depicts a future time and place , including levitating versions fo our vehicles. The model again started with a toy scooter, with a new jet engine and a custom driver.  Built, 2016

m1   m2  

m3   m4

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