Collector: Tricia Bender
Collection Name: Hold Me Closer, Tiny Houses

Collector Statement:

"There are eight pieces in the collection at present, but it is always growing. It all began just three years ago in 2020 but was not a hobby picked up due to the pandemic and temporary shutdown like so many others. I had spinal surgery in the fall that required an extended recovery period. I did a lot of different things during my recovery, all of which I enjoyed, but building the blue house, my first miniature house ever, was an experience I will not soon forget. I had never done anything like it before and it reminded me of the model cars my dad used to make. Even as frustrating as the work could be, I knew I would make more. 

The pieces in this collection find their unique qualities in a couple of different ways. They are all handmade and not always by instruction. I have changed things on many occasions because I found a better way to make something or liked another item more. I have removed details or added fun things to fit a theme. Speaking of which, the stories or themes I associate with each structure also give them a certain individuality in that they reflect my own loves and ideas. The pink house was made entirely because it is the perfect house for the characters in a story I wrote. The family of four would fit right in with its two dads cooking and playing the violin, and two daughters to share the bunkbed. The detective agency represents my love for Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, and mysteries in general. I made the three Japanese homes because I love the architecture and the beautiful gardens. It is a country I would love to visit someday. I need to make an Egyptian pyramid next. 

This collection is small but means the world to me because of its connection with my dad. He passed away only a year ago and I miss him dearly. I never realized how much he influenced the person I am today until he was gone. I always used to think most of my pastimes and personality came from my mom, what with all the sewing and crocheting and baking, but so many of the skills I have now and the talents I have discovered I either learned directly from Dad or by watching him do things. I mentioned he assembled and painted model cars, not unlike the structures I build, but he also handmade his own copy of a game called Beat Detroit because he liked playing it so much and could not find one in stores back in the 1970s when there were no internet searches. He decorated cakes and painted, and even started writing a story in the style of a serial radio program called “Edselman and the Boy Ranger”. When I look back, it seems I picked up a lot of these same loves from him. I think of him now whenever I write a story or work on a structure or paint. It makes me realize that pieces of him are part of me and he does not seem quite so far away."

Featured collections items:

  • Beach House 

  • Pink House 

  • Detective Agency 

  • Greenhouse 

  • Japanese Garden (biggest) 

  • Japanese House (medium) 

  • Japanese Apartment (smallest) 

  • Blue House