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Within the Great Hall at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens are festive decorations, ranging from the enormous Christmas tree to a display of diminutive houses and rooms.
The miniature houses and rooms were created by Jim Pesce, a semi-retired interior designer who lived for many years in Kent before moving to Cuyahoga Falls in 2004.
Pesce's miniatures also can be seen at the Case-Barlow Farm in Hudson through Dec. 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. daily. Call 330-650-0591 or visit www.casebarlowfarm.com for details on the Case-Barlow exhibit.
"Because I was always doing interior designs, I did a lot of renderings," Pesce said. "I often did popup rooms out of paper. I love working with paper. My mother and aunts always had a Christmas village under their tree, and I wanted to do something like that. But I wanted to do something from the houses of people I know."
Pesce said he started crafting his miniature masterpieces about a decade ago, using his friends' homes as inspiration. The models are built to scale, usually at one inch per foot, which is comparable to a dollhouse. However, Pesce said he has gone as tiny as one-sixteenth of an inch per foot.
"That's the smallest I've ever done," he said. "I went from doing grand homes and average homes to 16th scale homes. I consider myself a paper architect. These can fit on someone's bookcase or mantle, where they can be displayed easily. I've done some miniature houses under a snow globe."
One of the more ambitious projects he made was for the Children's Concert Society, when the organization sold violins local artists had decorated to raise money. Pesce said he built models of Stan Hywet, E.J. Thomas Hall, Blossom Music Center and Severance Hall, and attached them to a violin.
"I would like to do another Stan Hywet," he said. "That was my largest model, about 12 inches long."
On a more personal level, Pesce said he once crafted a home for a friend, whose husband was a house painter.
"It was a very traditional house," he said. "But on one side, I added a ladder, some miniature paint buckets, and tarps on the bushes. It was a little detail I added to reflect the family."
For details, call Pesce at 330-928-3753.
Deck The Hall
This year's theme at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is "Heaven and Nature Sing." Twenty-one rooms are decorated with inspirations from nature or in heavenly fashion. Many music groups from the area are scheduled to perform throughout Deck The Hall, which runs through Dec. 30.
New this year is Dazzle, a computerized Christmas light show in the Great Garden. Dazzle plays three times each hour for 10 minutes, and includes a fully lit 25-foot Christmas tree. The 350,000 lights in Dazzle are LED lights, according to information provided by Stan Hywet, bringing to total number of lights on the estate to 750,000.
For details or to order tickets, call 330-315-3287 or visit www.stanhyet.org.