In the Eye of a Needle: Micro Miniatures by Flor Carvajal

In the Eye of a Needle: Micro Miniatures by Flor Carvajal

February 25, 2021 – June 27, 2021

Thanks to a journalist’s challenge, Colombian artist, Flor Carvajal, discovered a new passion for creating micro-miniature sculptures so small that they fit on the head of a pin or in the eye of a sewing needle. All she needs to make these amazing pieces of art is good lighting, a magnifying glass, needles, and synthetic resin. The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is proud to present, for the first time in the United States, these micro-miniature sculptures made by Flor Carvajal.

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Exhibition Overview

Flor Carvajal was born in San Andres, Colombia. From an early age, Carvajal was fascinated by arts and crafts and created poetry and participated in her local town’s theater. In 1989, while making Christmas ornaments, she had an epiphany, she pictured the holy family (Mary, Joseph, and Jesus) in a puddle of glue and Styrofoam on her worktable and she began to dream of the possibilities. This vision inspired her to create a miniature manger out of the Styrofoam. Lured by the challenge of working so small and fascinated with the work, Flor created an abundance of tiny mangers using a variety of recycled materials.

Carvajal exhibited her miniature mangers at the Vivero Plaza, located in Bucaramanga City, Colombia in 1999. Hoping to drum up some publicity for the show, she called the Vanguardia Liberal Newspaper. She was told by the Vanguardia journalist that he would interview her if she had the smallest manger in the world. Carvajal could not say that she did and was stunned when the journalist hung up on her. Her disappointment and anger at being so rudely dismissed inspired her to rise to the challenge; she became determined to create the most minute manger in the world.

Columbian Micro Miniature Scultpor Flor Carvajal

Flor Carvajal at work

It was 2:30pm when Carvajal started to sculpt mangers on both a penny and a lentil bean using Styrofoam material. She quickly realized Styrofoam was not suitable to the task and she switched to synthetic resin. Using this new malleable medium allowed her to sculpt incredibly small figures. Working until sunrise, and to her surprise, she managed to create a manger on a lentil, a grain of rice, the head of a nail, and finally, the head of a pin, using only her natural eyesight and needles to sculpt these micro miniatures.

The next day she added these micro miniature works of art to her exhibit at the Vivero Plaza, and they became the main attraction of the show. People lined up to see the smallest manger in the world– a micro miniature on the head of a pin. Since that time, Carvajal has been creating both religious and secular pieces that celebrate Colombian culture, and her work has been exhibited throughout South America. This debut exhibition in the United States will include these themes as well as her latest micro sculptures of Looney Tunes characters.

You can see more of Flor Carvajal's work on her Instagram account @florcarvajalartista.

Associated Programs

Virtual Artist Talk with Flor Carvajal

On March 27, 2021, TMTM Executive Director Lisa Hastreiter Lamb, joined Flor Carvajal and her United States agents, David and Claudia Cook, via Zoom to discuss Carvajal's work.

We've posted the recording here for those of you who missed joining us live.

Special thanks to Claudia Cook for translating Carvajal's responses from Spanish for this interview.

Inspired Listening

Enjoy this playlist featuring salsa, currulao, joropa, cumbia, pop, and rock inspired by this exhibition.

Exhibition Support​

Our 2020 Exhibition Season is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This exhibition is supported in part by Zona Mechanical. Zona Mechanical provides HVAC/R (commercial and residential) services throughout local Tucson and surrounding areas. (ROC#317222)