Miniaturist of the Month: Jo Dixon
Real Good Toys Miniaturist of the Month is Jo Dixon from Fairborn, OH. Jo describes herself as a “closet miniaturist”. She explains that she loves miniatures, but doesn’t get many opportunities to share her work with other like-minded miniaturists. Well, let’s get to know Jo and her love of all things mini.
Jo’s love of miniatures began when she was just a child. During the holidays, she remembers annual visits to Washington, D.C. to stroll among the downtown department stores with their store windows all decked out for the Christmas season. It was a magical experience for a child, and Jo says that eventually building a dollhouse allowed her to recreate vignettes based upon her experiences.
Jo began building her Federal Victorian by Hofco in October 1983. Hofco manufactured dollhouses from 1977 to 1992 in Woodsboro, MD. Real Good Toys created the Front Opening Federal Manor to fill the void this grand dollhouse kit left behind. At that time Jo was working full time and she said it took her three years just to finish the basic structure of her dollhouse. As with all miniature enthusiasts, she started furnishing her dollhouse before all the detail work had been completed. During that time, Jo went through a divorce. The dollhouse and all the uninstalled parts had to be packed. Over the years, Jo moved several times, each time bringing along her packed up dollhouse. Finally when she retired in 2011, she decided to unpack the house and do some renovating. She gutted the entire house, cleaned it and decided to enclose it. The original kit instructions were for a front opening house, but she didn’t build it that way, and in hindsight she said that was a huge mistake. Jo said, “I had to create my own enclosures, which were as difficult as building a house from scratch”. She is pleased with the results and is happy the house is closed up to reduce dust build-up. Jo still has some work to do on the house, but like all miniaturists we talk with, your projects are never really done. Jo has done an amazing job on this dollhouse and the decorating is exquisite.
Living in Ohio, winters tend to be harsh and they last forever. Miniatures are Jo’s winter project. When she is not working on her miniatures, she is outside working on her landscaping, her other love. Jo also enjoys traveling and cooking. She says, “I am married to my best friend, Cliff. We are both recently retired and are loving life”. Jo and Cliff are preparing to sell their home and enjoy the milder climate in South Carolina. Jo is looking forward to packing up her beloved dollhouse for the last time.If you want to see more of Jo’s work, check her Facebook page, Jo’s Dollhouse and Miniatures. Check out her latest project. She is converting a CD cabinet into a Miniature Boutique. It looks very interesting. I just love re-purposing things.
Thanks for sharing with us Jo. It is so much fun to get to know these amazing miniaturists and their work.
So who’s next? Email your information with a few pictures attached to email@example.com.