I haven’t been posting much lately—that’s because I’ve been so flat out with work that I’ve hardly had time to do anything else. But I have a couple of weeks now with just a few hours a day of office work, and even the occasional whole day off.
I’ve become entranced with Nanoblock micro-building blocks over the last year or so, and this is what I’ve made so far these holidays. They are three iconic landmarks from three different countries: the Statue of Liberty, The Louvre, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Each one is built with hundreds of tiny plastic blocks—650 of them, in the case of the Statue of Liberty.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved miniatures of anything: little china ornaments, dolls, dioramas, model train sets. Until recently though, I hadn’t actually made anything myself since a childhood obsession with Lego.
Next up: Big Ben, London Tower Bridge, and the Parthenon.
I’ve been flat-out busy this year with work, and in the last few months, I haven’t even been able to write any blog posts. Things are much easier now though, so I hope to write plenty of posts over the next two months.
During that very busy time, I discovered a new hobby: building miniature construction projects.
I like to go for a quick walk in the afternoon to clear my head, especially when I’m overrun with work. There is an old-fashioned toy shop at my local shops, about five minutes’ walk from where I live. In it I discovered these intriguing little packages, each containing 100-150 or more tiny blocks and promising after construction to result in the cutest figures, each one of which can fit comfortably into the palm of my hand.
Nanoblock is a Japanese ‘micro-sized building block’ that has a cult following around the world. Blocks may be as small as 4x4x5mm. You need a steady hand for this work!
Instruction pages look incomprehensible: but they’re logical and precise once you get the hang of them.
I started with the ‘greater flamingo’, because pink flamingos make me smile and remind me of Las Vegas.
But when I opened the packet, I was taken aback: the instruction sheet looked incomprehensible with its cryptic diagrams and only the occasional word. “I’ll never be able to figure this out,” I thought.
However, I stared and stared at the sheet, and suddenly, it started to make sense. I got it. The instructions are actually amazingly precise, once you’re on their wave length. And not only is there enough of each type of brick, they give you extras.
I’ve gone on to make a piano and a great white shark. I’m going to do more!
Because I work constantly with words, I need to get those words out of my head to give myself a break. Micro-block building is like therapy—a relaxation technique for the busy mind, and the same reason I took up art. I can set up everything I need for the miniature building project—blocks, base and instructions—on a sheet of A4 paper on my dining table.
And my next project? It’s going to be a koala or the Sydney Opera House, I think.