It's a Small World




New England in miniature.

Milford artist MaryLyn Yonika gets all the details right in her stoneware candle houses - all just inches tall. Shutters, clapboards, chimney bricks and the weathered barn boards of classic Yankee barns are studied and reproduced in clay. The small details are a joy to behold. The church has glass windows and barns are topped with hand-hammered copper weather vanes while houses have lintels, pediments and sidelights.

When lit with a tea light inside, windows of each building are illuminated with a soft glow. One can almost imagine Thanksgiving dinner being enjoyed by tiny denizens inside.

Yonika has degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Massachusetts College of Art, but it was a request from the local school for a holiday raffle item that started her down the path to creating miniature villages. She borrowed a friend's ceramic studio to complete that first project, a Bavarian village, which was well received. Yonika picked it up from there, but as a lifelong resident of the area, she focused on the simple architecture of classic Colonial houses and farm buildings of New England.

Each structure starts as a rolled slab of stoneware clay. The walls and roofs are cut from her pattern and each building is constructed with the care of a craftsman and eye of an artist. After a bisque firing, Yonika spray paints the exteriors, often adding texture with a light sandblasting for a weathered appearance. Her collection includes more than 24 types of buildings - each signed and dated. She has also completed special commissions for home "portraits."

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmens' Sunapee Fair is the only show Yonika attends, but her studio will be open for the N.H. Open Doors shopping and touring event on November 6 and 7. In this statewide event artisans of all types open their doors to the visiting public.

Maps are available online at nhopendoors.com to plan routes through Monadnock and other regions of the state.

- Susan Laughlin

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Remarkable Women 2017: Artists to Watch
    11 visual artists you need to keep an eye on
  2. The Local's Guide to Portsmouth
    If you're looking for the best cafes, restaurants and bookstores, then you can tail a Portsmouth...
  3. Reflections on the Lake
    Lake Winnipesaukee memories run clear and deep for this world-famous singer-songwriter.
  4. Kelly Roosa Cohen
    President of Cohen Closing & Title, LLC
  5. Global Food in the Granite State
    There's a big world of global food out there — but you don't have to travel far to find it....
  6. Portsmouth's Bookstores
    Crack the spine of an old or new classic at one of Portsmouth's bookstores
  7. For the Birds
    NH Audubon's annual Birdathon gives you a chance to hone your bird-spotting skills.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags