Offbeat

By Alex Beard

A budding artist has spent 100 hours per month building miniature pubs and shops from across the country.

Bunty Marshall, 34, has an incredible eye for detail, crafting lifelike replicas of pubs, cafes, churches and landmarks which hold a special meaning for each of her clients.

The café manager from Leeds can spend up to 30-40 hours on one piece of artwork, usually working on around three a month – showing the level of detail required.

Carefully sculpting the majority of each piece by hand Bunty also designs parts – including windows – to be generated in a 3D printer and has faithfully recreated around 10 locations so far, with 20 new projects underway.

Most feature unique additions, usually highlighted by her clients – whether it’s the addition of a piece of custom music playing through a music box or a reproduction of a location close to their heart.

@buntymaymakes / CATERS NEWS 

She said: “After I posted them I had loads of people getting in touch, asking me if I could make places that were special to people – ‘could you do our wedding venue, our old house, the coffee shop we met at.’

“I think a lot of it has to do with people’s nostalgia for buildings during lockdown as well. I think that’s what has fuelled the fire because people missed these places and there’s so much emotional attachment to them.

“Every piece I have done has amazing memories attached to it.”

This is especially true for Bunty herself, having met her partner, Henry Myers, 35 at the iconic Leeds venue – The Brudenell Social Club.

The miniature she created for this proved so popular that she was able to raise £3,000 for the Trussel Charity raffling it off and it remains one of her proudest works so far.

However, one of her most intricate pieces is a remarkable take on another Leeds venue – The Fenton – which also opens up to reveal a beautiful recreation of the interior of the bar, that she was able to visit and picture.

The incredible miniatures and book nooks she makes are fashioned out of materials including cardboard, wooden veneer and foam board.

While most of the work is by hand she at times uses a 3D printer to create certain elements, such as windows frames, which Bunty designs herself.

Incredibly Bunty makes these remarkable pieces with a few solid days of work.

She said: “People think each piece takes me months, but then I would have to charge thousands and thousands. I would say a full piece takes me three or four solid workdays, so about 40 hours per piece.”

Among her other charming creations are takes on the streets of Soho, the Phene pub in Chelsea, Edinburgh Castle and the cobbled street scenes of York’s Shambles – Along with an adorable tiny take of her own workshop.

One of her pieces even includes an additional touching element – personalised music boxes, which Bunty programmed with paper strips so her client’s own music could ring out of a recreation of the Carillon Tower in Loughborough.

She said: “The Carillon is an important building to their mother and was a birthday present. They actually lived next to it, backing onto the memorial.

“The client was a pianist so they wanted a piece of his music programmed into the paper strips that run through it which I hand punched. So it’s not digital, it’s one I make myself using sheet music.”

A lovely depiction of a harbourside view in St Ives even holds the tale of a couple who decided to stay at the beautiful seaside town during lockdown.

Bunty said: “They spent the time there in this beautiful place overlooking the harbour, befriended a seagull and had all these memories of St Ives – tiny things like the Biffa Bins, certain shops and pubs which could be added.”

It’s an incredible turn of events for Bunty, who for some time did not think it would be possible to sell and work on her art full time but now has only limited slots for new orders until the end of the year.

While it will be a bittersweet moment for her to step down from her current job as a manager at a local cafe in September, Bunty has been blown away by the demand for her work.

She said: “It’s all happened so quickly and taken me by surprise, it’s actually quite overwhelming. I spent my entire life making stuff but not ever really imagining I could do it full time.”

@buntymaymakes / CATERS NEWS 

@buntymaymakes / CATERS NEWS