Sculpture from Richard Conover is on display in the glass cases February 1-29, 2020.
I began making my “Fantasy Miniatures” 10 years ago when one of my students (I was a volunteer tutor at an adult education center) gave me the nest of a mud dauber wasp. That kind of wasp makes a stucco nest in which to lay its eggs. I made a little environment for the nest and was hooked. Most of the creatures I create are made from local seeds and seed pods. There are a multitude of both around Pima County. Every year I find new seeds and pods.
After giving a seed or pod a head with eyes, it then becomes a creature. I sometimes use store-bought beans for heads. The creature is decorated with acrylic paint and often adorned with horns and antenna. Most everything I use is botanical. I also use feathers from local birds and some insects and insect parts. Almost all of the insects I use are found deceased. Once I have the creatures, I then make an environment for them to live in. The plants I use are almost always indigenous. When I make a miniature, I want it to be fun to look at and full of things that people walk by every day but never really see.
My 9″x12″ miniatures take 25 to 40 hours to create. I sign them “Uncle Rich” because my nephew Ryan wants many of the miniatures I have created (therefore, those are not for sale). I occasionally use a photograph as my background – photos I have taken over the years.