Miniature Bookshelf with Mexican Virgins

picture of the top shelf of a miniature handmade bookshelf with several Mexican Virgins and other traditional items

These past few days I’ve been working on a commission for Lyn, my online comadre. 

It will be a gift for her mother on Mother’s day and I sure hope she likes it!  She likes purple and is a devoted Catholic of Mexican ascendancy.

This miniature bookshelf is made with my very own personal concoction of cold porcelain and papier mâché.
It has a Rosary made with seed-beads that you can see on this picture ->

Adding legs to the shelf was the very first step, they're molded with cold porcelain 

I love how my dough turned out this time! I tend to experiment with ingredients and the way to prepare it almost every time I make it. I’m certainly trying this way again!  

I molded the legs out of clay and then covered them with tiny bits of hand-shredded paper,

after the legs were molded I covered them with shredded paper and engrudo

 I glued them on with “engrudo”, which would be the equivalent of barbotine, if this was real ceramic’s clay, as in mud, I guess.

I’m really glad I remembered to take pictures while I was making it.

Surprisingly they seem to be less than I thought I had.

then I added more shelves and the sides of the bookshelf made with sturdy cardboard

Here the bookshelf is almost completely assembled.

I was testing the space on the shelves to see how many items I should make to fill them, that raw color looks beautiful under the light
I had made a few figures with my dough and was trying to figure out how many I might need for all 3 shelves, and how I would paint them. 

I really love how translucent and 
flexible my dough came out this time, I could roll it paper thin and then ball it up again without it showing!

<-Look at how it captured the light on that Virgin’s cape!

I loved the way the evening sun reflected of the golden colors of this little Virgin

Here I had most base colors layed out, except for the purple background on the second shelf, that’s a piece of China or tissue paper I placed there to give me an idea of how it would look that way. 

I know the Virgin’s picture to the right isn’t sharp, but I loved how the evening sun hit it! 

I also crocheted a tiny doily with some -regular- cotton thread to place on a shelf.

I don’t know the name of this blue virgin, I have seen her image at many different places down here, including my elementary school, which was catholic.

And I also knew I should add some violets since a lot of people favor them in México, and them being purple, I suspect my friend’s mom may have at least one! :D

 And all of a sudden it was done!

 I placed a match to add some perspective.

The tray it’s on is painted like some local clay ceramic pottery I’ve seen in my State (Morelos) quite often. I was surprised to see how realistic those pieces feel! I also added a flower vase on the bottom shelf to match it.

I made some tiny books and a purple flower paper cut-out in a frame, some “veladoras” which are short and fat candles that are lit for the Virgins and Saints. And there’s a tall and thin candle as well on the top shelf, for the blue Virgin.

And for the lower shelf I made some dolls that remind me of Virgins, but aren’t. 
The ones on the middle shelf are, my mom had one similar to the one wearing a crown and the one with a blue veil splashed with stars is a must.

There’s a tiny round plate with a heart, because it’s for mother’s day :)

Miniature Bookshelf with Mexican Virgins | 2011 | Blog, book case miniature, cold porcelain craft, mexican customs, miniature bookshelf, miniature paper mache bookshelf, miniature rosary, miniature traditional mexican pottery made of cold porcelain


  1. Alice
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Bellísimo, maravilloso, precioso!!! oh! como admiro todo el trabajo que haces, los distintos materiales igualmente fascinantes. Si además eres mamá y cantas!!!! Creo que tus días tienen más horas que los míos… Un abrazo!

  2. rasamalai
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    ¡Hola Alice, qué gusto leerte de nuevo! Te agradezco muchísimo tus comentarios y entusiasmo. La verdad creo que los días deberían tener entre 8 y 16 horas más :D

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