I have found, in my time spent searching for miniature things online and in antique stores that the definition of “miniature” varies greatly and depends upon the item for which you are looking. I don’t think any of us who collect or create miniatures for dolls and/or doll houses would consider a miniature poodle a miniature, but well, it is! When searching online for miniatures, I often insert the word “tiny” for good measure since the word “miniature” has such a varied meaning. Even so, I’ve found tiny items that, while much smaller than the human version, do not by any stretch of the imagination qualify as miniature in the 1:6 realm. TRW (the real world) is not, for the most part, aware of the existence of 1:6 scale or any other scale that doesn’t have to do with doll houses or model railroads. Action figures are showcased on cartoon networks and prime time television shows with lovable nerds who collect the figures and who hang out in comic book stores. (Just fyi, I could totally hang with these nerds! Well, some of them. lol) And Barbie…well, Barbie is known almost everywhere. So, you can do searches for “Barbie scale” this and the other and come up with some items that might work for you. Using the search terms “1:6 scale” online will often give you action figure returns and it will usually return OSS (yours truly) and my creations/repaints. But, if you are wanting to dig deeper, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a good amount of time and have your Thesaurus handy.
Another way to track down items for our scale of play is to cultivate “the eye”. Some collectors come by it naturally. Others must work at it. There really should be a training course for it, but I am not aware of one. Someone out there, get busy and create one please! “The Eye” is that enviable ability to spot items in TRW that, while not miniatures per se, are able to make the transition to the 1:6 realm. I have a friend (and she knows who she is, and she’s now thinking, “What? You only have one friend?”) who has “the eye”. It is a real treat to tag along with her on a trip through a craft store or home decor shop. She can spot something from across the store and make a beeline for it. Most of us would look with skepticism upon a napkin ring holder or drawer pull or coaster. She turns them into fabulous 1:6 scale items. My most often used line around her goes something like this, “Wow. I never would have thought of that.” Once in a great while, I discover something that turns on that light bulb over my head, but yeah…it doesn’t happen often.
One item I recently discovered while searching (and searching and searching…) for “miniature glass bowls” is the salt-cellar or open salt. I stumbled upon some vintage, clear glass salt cellars on Etsy one day, and that ol’ light bulb almost exploded with sudden radiance! A “tiny” bit of glass by human standards, something that holds a wee bit of salt, became something else entirely in my eyes. It was a joy to see the vision in my head translate into tangible form. I was thrilled with the results, and I now spend a good amount of my time searching for salt-cellars. Happy hunting!