Monday, 18 March 2013

Gayle and Laurie Davey: Miniaturists

Gayle and Laurie Davey in their miniatures display room

Twenty eight years ago, Gayle and Laurie Davey were introduced to the world of miniatures. A neighbour showed Gayle her dolls house and invited Gayle to go to a miniatures club meeting. That was enough to get her hooked! At first Laurie wondered what he could do; after all, he had been involved in various sports clubs rather than making models. He soon found there was plenty, and he hasn't stopped making tiny things since! 
  I visited the Daveys at their home where they have a treasure trove of minis - a room set out displaying the various dolls houses, room boxes and miniature furniture and accessories they have made and collected.
Wendy: Do you remember the first miniature you made?
Gayle: Yes, it was an upholstered red velvet chair. My first dolls house was a Greenleaf kitset one.
W:  What is your favourite scale to work in?
G: We prefer 1:12 scale as you can get lots of detail into projects that size.
W: And your next project?
Laurie:  It's an Art Deco house - we have the building set up ready to be decorated.
A gentlemen's club in 1:12 scale

W:  Where do you get your ideas for making miniature furniture?
G:  We enjoy looking round second hand and antique shops, seeing a piece of furniture we like, then going home and working out how to make it. We also copy pieces from photographs of the real things. (Gayle showed me a working mangle she had made, a copy of a real one she'd seen at the Rangiriri Hotel.)
L: Most of the furniture kitsets we've made have been in rimu, a native timber.
Gayle's Haunted House

W: What do you really enjoy about the hobby?
L:   I like making the buildings (we've got our workshop out in the garage), cutting out all the kitsets and teaching others how to make minis.
G: I like designing the kitsets and, for a change, doing fantasy projects like the Haunted House and Fairytale Castle.

W: I know you are involved with several miniatures clubs. You're president of the Hibiscus Club now.
L:  Yes, and we were founding members of the Papakura Club and now go to three others; the Auckland, Waitakere and Hibiscus Miniatures Clubs. That keeps us busy! We've both been president of the Auckland Club; me for 6 years and Gayle for 4 years.

As you can see, the Daveys have a wealth of knowledge about our hobby and are always happy to share their miniatures and ideas with others.
Thanks, Gayle and Laurie, for your time spent talking to me and showing me all your wonderful minis.


  1. Oh wow! What a wonderful couple, thanks for the introduction. Wish I still lived in Auckland....

    1. Hi Susan, yes, they have taught me a lot about mini making, and I love seeing their projects.

  2. What a blessed couple they are to be enjoying the miniature hobby together! Thank you for introducing them, Wendy!

    1. hi Lucille, Gayle & Laurie have done so much in the world of miniatures and are always happy to share their knowledge.