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Work Samples

Wings of Desire globes and orrery

Wings of Desire, Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk, Berlin, angels, miniatures, mini art, metal sculpture, glass marbles, vignette, library art, literary art, cinematic art
Wings of Desire - The movie was nearly required viewing as an architecture student. This vignette is based on a dream-like scene of an elderly man named Homer reminisces of more peaceful times while Cassiel, the angel, observes and listens from the swiveling stool nearby.

Fahrenheit 451 - parlor scene before fire

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, Julie Christie, Francois Truffaut, miniature art, literary art, metal sculpture, library art, book art
Vignette of Fahrenheit 451, one of a series of six miniature library scenes from film, television and literature. This is the Victorian parlor as depicted from Ray Bradbury's novel and Francois Truffaut's 70's movie.

Julia's Kitchen in a Box

French cooking, Julia Child, Julia Childs, food art, miniature art, mini art, metal sculpture, vignette
Julia's Kitchen in a Box Miniature scaled replica of Julia Child's kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, made mostly of steel. 12" tall x 20" wide x 9.5" tall

Close up detail of Office Coffee Table

Modern industrial, coffee table, metal furniture, steel furniture, modern meets traditional, glass top table
Modern industrial meets old world style. Miniature room, made of mild steel, sits on track within weathered steel table frame and under half inch thick glass top. Other materials: fragment of rustic tool (briefcase), handmade paper books, bicycle parts, aluminum can (crumpled paper in wastebasket).

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About Jill

Baltimore City

Jill Orlov's picture
As an architectural sculptor of vignettes in metal, I create miniature worlds that evoke memories connecting to history with a modern twist. Miniatures encourage taking a closer look; everything is condensed within a focused field of vision. Like listening to a whisper, you must lean in and look carefully. My vignettes draw you in to alternative worlds, built mostly of steel and carefully selected found objects, which tell a story of the past, present, or the imagination. Fiction, reality or fantasy -... more

Wings of Desire

My original plan was to represent the scene where one of the main angel characters, Damiel, is overlooking the shoulder of a young man reading while other angels sit on the balcony ledge. I came across a 41 second scene where Homer, an elderly man, climbs the library steps and sits down amongst these huge glowing globes. As he stares at a spinning solar system model, an orrery, he daydreams: “The old man wonders why we cannot just have peace but always war. If he gives up, mankind won't have a storyteller, and humans will forget their childhood.” There is a lack of lines, man-made boundaries, on the globes.  Similarly, library, although, enclosed physical spaces, they provide endless places to travel and concepts to learn.

Fahrenheit 451 vignette

This is the second in a six part series of libraries represented in film, television and literature. This vignette is a combination of scales in which the Victorian parlor is depicted in Ray Bradbury's book and Francois Truffaut's 70's movie version. A three tier bookcase becomes the various levels of a Victorian parlor and a woman's forbidden library in the attic. Again, a play on scales with classic books on the upper and lower shelves, while a miniature bookcase is revealed on the upper "attic" level. This is the forbidden library in a not too distant future when it is illegal to read or own a book. Reminiscent of Stasi led Germany and the current assault on education and culture as we know it. Libraries are losing their significance. The middle tier is the miniature vignette after the "firemen" have discovered the library in the attic and have thrown the books over the railing  - this is just before the house is set afire. A powerful scene turns the power around when the woman takes out her own match, taking control from the "firemen" awaiting to make an example of her. 
The scene is a one inch to one foot scaled miniature made of steel, copper mesh, paper books, a marble, vintage keys from Nuremberg and a child's silver spoon. 

Time Enough at Last - vignette from Twilight Zone episode of same name

This miniature vignette is based on Twilight Zone episode 8 of season 1 was released on November 20, 1959.  The same set, located at MGM in California, was used for the 1960 movie version of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. I recreated the ruins in steel. The original loosely resembles the New York Public Library evidenced by the overturned arch. The grand stair represents a stack of books realigned to clearly emphasize the page edges. The spines of the books, listed on the side of the vignette, are titles referenced in the episode, other Twilight Zone episodes, or favorites of Rod Serling. Stainless steel mesh is used to represent the fabric covering of hardback books. I combined the scene of the vault with the library steps. The vault represents four books without covers making up the thick walls. The exposed pages are made of vintage printer plates and wire. The vault door locks and gears are clock and watch parts. 

  • Time Enough at Last - Twilight Zone

    twilight zone, burgess meredith, library art, literary art, metal art, apocalyptic art
    Henry Bemis, a bank clerk, just wanted to read, his favorite pastime. Wanting to talk about what he was reading, Mr. Bemis’ boss, bank customers, and even his wife just didn’t understand. So he would lock himself in the bank vault during lunch time, with newspaper tucked under his arm. While in there, an explosion happens (barely noticeable, the newspaper headline had said “H-BOMB C…). Picking himself up after being knocked off his chair, he ventures out of the vault. Total destruction. The bank, his town…all rubble.
  • Time Enough at Last - Twilight Zone from above

    twilight zone, burgess meredith, library art, literary art, metal art, apocalyptic art
    A bird's eye view of the sculpture representing two scenes combined in this vignette miniature based on the Twilight Zone's episode called Time Enough at Last
  • Twilight Zone - Time Enough at Last book spine steps

    twilight zone, burgess meredith, library art, literary art, metal art, apocalyptic art, literature in art, art in literature
    A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving (the book he’s reading in the bank vault) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (the book he’s currently reading as a bank teller) The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury (a story of a book-less, television-centered world of the future) Storytellers Unplugged by Weston Ochse (Wikipedia references this author’s theory that we are delicately tied to technology which could easily fail but the irony in this episode is that it was the fragility of his glasses that led to his demise) To a Mouse by Robert Burns (Rod S
  • Time Enough at Last - clock and glasses

    watch part art, pocket watch, miniature books, twilight zone, burgess meredith, time enough at last, rod serling
    The clock in this vignette is made of a pocket watch and brass drawer handle. The miniature eyeglasses are a dollhouse accessory made in Italy.
  • Time Enough at Last vault door

    twilight zone, burgess meredith, library art, literary art, metal art, apocalyptic art, rod serling
    The vault walls represent four books without their covers. Mr. Bemis gets absorbed in his book, both literally and figuratively. It is fabricated from vintage printer plates, watch parts and gears, and wire
  • Time Enough at Last vault open

    twilight zone, burgess meredith, library art, literary art, metal art, apocalyptic art, rod serling
    Mr. Henry Bemis' book left behind
  • time enough reference photo - vault door.jpg

    Reference photo from Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" with Burgess Meredith
  • time enough reference photo - overall steps.png

    Reference photo from Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" with Burgess Meredith
  • time enough reference photo - clock.jpg

    Reference photo from Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" with Burgess Meredith
  • time enough reference photo - library column.jpg

    Reference photo from Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" with Burgess Meredith

Breakfast Club

A miniature vignette set within a full scale book. All handmade and all the old adages, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and then these kids in detention! The Princess, The Athlete, The Brain, The Criminal, and The Basket Case each become open books with each other even though they are worlds apart at the beginning of the classic (albeit a few too trite moments and a disturbing #metoo scene) 80's movie. 
The full scale book is made of vintage newspaper printer plates, metal straps, and heavily rusted steel plates evoking a leather bound book. The scene is set within a high school library and is part of my six miniature vignettes based on library scenes in film, literature and television series. 

  • Breakfast Club - library within a book

    Miniature chair, library art, Breakfast Club, John Bender, Claire Standish, Allison Reynolds, Brian Johnson, Andrew Clark, Richard Vernon, Carl Reed
    Each student in detention is represented by items left behind on the desks or the empty chairs. Claire, The Princess, with a bento box lunch; Andrew, The Athlete, with a letter jacket from Sherman High School; Brian, The Brain, with a stack of books spilling out of a backpack; Allison, The Basket Case, with her drawing of a covered bridge in winter; and John Bender, The Criminal, with his knife and pocket chain. The library sculpture (in the movie, called "Standing Figure: Knife Edge" by Henry Moore) is represented in miniature and made of steel fencing finials.
  • Breakfast Club birds eye view

    Breakfast Club, empty chair, miniature chair
    The empty chairs represent each of the five students (John Bender, The Criminal, took two).
  • Breakfast Club big chopsticks and little chopsticks

    Breakfast Club, bento box, letter jacket, Sherwood High School, Claire Standish, Andrew Clark
    To get an idea of the scale, the bento box is made from a bracelet link and the chopsticks are made from finishing nails.
  • Breakfast Club sushi bento box

    Breakfast Club, bento box, letter jacket, Sherwood High School, Claire Standish, Andrew Clark, varsity letter jacket
    A close up of Claire's sushi lunch complete with soy sauce bottle and of Andrew's Varsity Letter jacket in the background.

The Time Machine

The vignette is based on the movie interpretation of The Time Machine the novel by H.G. Wells from 1895. The scene of the Eloi in the original movie, filmed in 1960 at MGM in California even though it was set in London. The modern remake from 2002 has a scene when George is walking in front of the New York Public Library’s steps and the lions. The story has many levels (literally) – the haves/the have-nots – the above ground people are delicate and lounge around with not a care in the world (except at night) and eventually he learns about the below ground workers make the world operate. George invites friends and colleagues over for dinner but he isn’t there when they gather at his home. He is in the year 802,701 and meets the Eloi. He asked if they have books so he can learn about them. A small woman guides him into the large building that they all lounge around outside – it was a library. Hoping to learn about these people of the far future, he reaches for a book on the shelf. It disintegrates in his hands which reveals so much. After going back and forth into time, including a time 30 million years ahead, he returns to his dinner party to tell them about his adventures. They don’t really believe him. He wants to rebuild that future by overlapping the worlds. The housekeeper shows his friend the library – 3 books are missing. That is the end of the The Time Machine story. Not as eerie as Twilight Zone but…

  • The Time Machine

    The Time Machine, Morlocks, Eloi, HG Wells, NYPL, Patience and Fortitude
    A sculpture based on H.G. Wells' novel of the same name and two movie versions. One of the series of six miniature vignettes based on library scenes in film, literature and television series. The New York Library lion, Fortitude, rests atop miniature scenes representing the various levels down to the Morlocks who make the world run above.
  • The Time Machine spiraling down

    The Time Machine, Morlocks, Eloi, HG Wells, NYPL, Patience and Fortitude
    The sequence starts at the top with the New York Public Library lion, then the science lab (represented from the most recent unwatchable movie version) set in a science lab kit box; the next three "scenes" are set within library card catalog file drawers: the "current" intact library of The Time Traveller, the actual "time machine", the library far in the future turned to dust; and lastly, the gears and motors are representing the Morlock level at the base below
  • The Time Machine science lab

    The Time Machine, Morlocks, Eloi, HG Wells, literary art, library art, book art
    Set in a science lab box kit - the only scene somewhat based on the 2002 version of the film.
  • The Time Machine library present day

    The Time Machine, Morlocks, Eloi, HG Wells, literary art, library art, book art, miniature library, miniature books
    The miniature library intact except for the three books The Time Traveler returns to take back with him into the distant future. Which books?? The vignette is set within a library card catalog file drawer
  • The Time Machine

    The Time Machine, Morlocks, Eloi, HG Wells, literary art, library art, book art, miniature library, miniature books, clock part art, watch part art, camera part art
    This vintage library card catalog drawer houses the actual Time Machine. It is made of camera, typewriter, clock and watch parts; brass rods, wire and drawer pulls. The chair itself is made of steel.
  • The Time Machine - future library

    The Time Machine, libraries of the future, reading is important, book art, literary art, H.G. Wells
    This is the library of the distant future, unless we realize the importance of books, reading and LIBRARIES. They turn to dust if forgotten.

All The President's Men in the Library of Congress

The final of the series of six vignettes based on library scenes in film, literature and television. The opening scenes within the dome of the Library of Congress, starts zoomed in on Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman) pouring over checkout slips for every White House request since 1971. Piles of checkout requests, the size of card catalog slips, spill out on the desk in front of the two reporters from the Washington Post about to break Nixon's Watergate. the scene slowly pans out and up into the dome. The view of the concentric desks of the main reading room reminded me of the vast "roller coaster" of newspaper conveyor belts. 

Julia's Kitchen in a Box

Inspired by the iconic kitchen of Julia Child.  Steel furniture and appliances welded and shaped into miniature replicas of their full-scale counterparts. Includes vintage wooden box, copper plumbing parts and copper mesh, brass escutcheon pins, and handmade paper books. Glass and cast metal place settings from other artisans.
12" tall x 20" wide x 9.5" deep

  • Julia's Kitchen in a Box

    metal art, steel art, whimsical art, modern industrial, miniature, julia child, julia childs, dioramas, vignettes
    Julia's Kitchen in a Box 20" wide x 12" tall x 9.5" deep Miniature, to 1" scale, handmade kitchen replica of Julia Child's Cambridge, Massachusetts famous kitchen. The furniture and appliances are welded and shaped steel parts, not castings. Tablecloth is heat treated copper mesh to achieve a yellow color. Pots and pans are solid copper plumbing parts and vintage solid brass escutcheon pins. Knife block is solid wood. Knives are metal with a patina to look like wood.
  • Julia's kitchen looking left

    View of Julia's Kitchen in a Box from right hand door
  • Julia's Kitchen looking right

    Julia's Kitchen view from wall oven
  • Julia's Kitchen close up

    Julia's Kitchen - view from left hand door
  • Julia's Cambridge kitchen

    Julia's actual kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Julia's Cambridge kitchen looking towards pot rack

    Julia's actual kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, showing her famous copper pots on the peg board

BOOKcases

Bookcase within a book! Library sculpture could be stand alone or a bookend. A full scale rusted steel open “book” revealing a miniature bookcase. The book "pages" are made of vintage newspaper print plates. Handmade mini paper books with miniature accessories line the miniature shelves.
8.5" tall

  • BOOKend pair

    book art, miniature art, steel sculpture, literary art
    Pair of miniature bookcases within 8.5 inch tall "books". Made of mostly steel; rusted steel for the "leather" book cover, vintage newsprint plates for the "pages" and paper miniature books.
  • BOOKend with real books

    Real books for reference next to my miniature steel bookcase within a full scale "book".
  • BOOKend open

    Closer view of miniature bookcase within the open "book"

Brady Bunch Stair in a Box

A miniature vignette of the classic television show set within a vintage mid-century modern wooden desk drawer.  The iconic artwork and furniture, such as the flat file cabinet and the Mondrian-like back wall, re-imagined in steel and copper...in miniature. The warm grey steel of the instantly recognizable "Mike Brady stairs" complement the weathered and rusted steel which represent the stonework of the fireplace and built-in planter. Materials include cold rolled steel, rusted/heavily patina'd steel, wood, mid-century modern wood drawer, live air plants,  jewelry chain, wrist watch parts, found key, earring and a metal clothes pin. Glass bottle and pottery vase from other artisans.
19" wide x 19" tall x 7" deep

  • Brady Bunch Stair in a Box.jpg

    A miniature vignette of the classic television show set within a vintage mid-century modern wooden desk drawer. The warm gray of the furniture replicated in steel and those "Mike Brady stairs!!" complement the weathered cast iron of the fireplace and built-in planter. Live air plants. Glass bottle and pottery vase from other artisans.
  • brady close up toward credenza.jpg

    Close up of the diorama Brady Bunch Stair in a Box
  • Brady stair zoom.JPG

    Zoomed in angle to place you IN the Brady Bunch living room

Office Coffee Table

Miniature room made of welded steel with an office theme set on steel rails within a weathered steel table frame and under a thick glass top. All miniature books are handmade to create a custom color palette of autumn leaves. Other materials used include bicycle spokes, rusted/heavily patina'd farm tool fragment and jewelry findings.
19" wide x 40" long x 24" tall

Jill's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.