It’s a small world…



 

The thing about Beth Pomroy is, she likes to keep busy, especially with her hands. She loves how focusing completely on the details of her work quiets her mind.

The tiny worlds Pomroy creates in her Tremont studio are so rich in feature, so abundant with color, that the viewer is also completely engaged with them – by the quality of the perfect tiny Red Sox sign and bar glasses, by the way that small black stones are transformed so naturally into bed pillows; and by tiny paper books strewn about comfortable furniture.

The eye lingers in Pomroy’s worlds. Everything is in fantastically accurate proportion. And it’s all made by hand. Pomroy meticulously crafts or re-appropriates everything – the perfect, tiny red lobsters, their plates from mussel shells; the tiny rolls of white paper towels; the picnic tables of wood.

What are simple miniatures at first glance become deeply detailed, hypnotic worlds on closer study.

“You look at ‘em, and you look at ‘em, and you look at ‘em again,” Pomroy said of her work. “I love watching people look at them.”

Pomroy is the “tiny worlds” portion of Beez Inc Porcelain and Tiny Worlds, a gallery on the Tremont Road. Her partner, Beth Herrick, creates beautifully painted ceramics, which she sells from there and elsewhere.

Pomroy has worked as a house painter for some 30 years, but her artistic side may be getting the better of her. Her tiny worlds are catching on. She estimates selling upwards of 80 of the creations since she started making them in 2011. Demand shows no sign of letting up.

Good thing winter’s coming on. That’s when Pomroy tends to squirrel away in her cozy, upstairs studio, where baubles and bits of every little thing fill trays and containers. She works while standing, a wood-framed window affording her a view of the woods. She can look straight out onto the actual world, be it rain, sleet or snow. At her hands, meanwhile, virtual little worlds take shape.

“I’ve always had a fascination for the tiny things,” Pomroy said. “I’m really particular about things. I don’t need perfection, but I like it damn close.”

Her first tiny world literally appeared before her eyes when a friend gave “the Beths” a fairy house as a gift a few years ago. It was made of sticks and rocks and other natural materials, and quite novel to Pomroy.

Soon after that, Pomroy’s mother-in-law, Mary, died. She was very close to her, she said, and began to take long walks in the woods to calm her mind. It occurred to her to put the materials together into her own fairy houses, and that is what she began to do. She soon realized that it was crafting the details that she loved the most.

“It took a lot of concentration, sort of helped me keep my mind busy,” Pomroy said. “Even to this day, I love the quiet when I am working on them.”

Pomroy’s early fairy house work caught the eye of authors Ashley Rooney and Barbara Purchia. Her work is featured in their book, “Fairy Homes and Gardens,” due out from Schiffer Publishing Oct. 28.

While what she makes now can more rightfully be called sculptures than fairy houses, Pomroy is quite upbeat about being featured.

“It’s pretty exciting to have an opportunity like that,” Pomroy said. “I didn’t expect to get any attention with them when I started doing them. You know, being a 50-year-old woman from Tremont, a house painter.”

As if that is all there is to her worlds.

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. rlevin@mdislander.com
Robert Levin

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