is a scale model, representing a scene with
three-dimensional models and figures,
either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit. Dioramas have become my favorite
means to express my ideas in 3 dimensions.
"Il Presepio” (Presepe, pl) - is a classic Italian 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...
The Ogre Takes
an Evening Ride
In this Diorama the focus is on the details of the models. Vinnie, an amateur outdoor mechanic,
works on tuning a customer's scooter, while the owner looks on.
It is based on an inexpensive die-cast toy scooter, which was stripped of paint, disassembled,
and then rebuilt and detailed, especially the engine. The figures are my own sculptures, and
some of the hand tools are commercial items. I also added lots of details from other scooter models
I had, piled in the back corner, near the workbench. This diorama garnered a lot of "Wow"
comments at a recent Art Show. Built July, 2017
ERIS, A Steampunk Airship
This is a "flying diorama'! It is an Airship, run by Gnomes, designed and built in a "Steampunk"
style. It is about 21" long by 14" wide, and was made from wood, brass, plastic, wire, string, muslin,
and many other bits. It can be set on it's landing gear, or hung from a thin fishing line.
I built it in 2019.
La Strada, Senza Uscita
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. I recently disassembled it and used many parts to create other new dioramas.
Built 2015-16, disassembled in 2019.
Vieni Ora (Come along, now)
In this Diorama, a young woman is trying to coax a donkey along by offering a carrot. The donkey is tired, carrying sticks, potatoes, lemons and other goods to market. For a long time, I've wanted to sculpt a donkey in 1/12 scale. I also sculpted the woman to match, and set them on a simple base.
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
This diorama was inspired by a sketch from Ian McCue, a concept artist. It depicts a future time and place , including levitating versions of vehicles. The model again started with a toy scooter, with a new jet engine
and a custom-sculpted driver. 1/12 Scale. Built, 2016
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