Cello ace chooses life in miniature
Published 26/10/2011 | 08:46
Craftsman David Edwards used to spend his days playing the cello professionally - but now he makes miniature instruments rather than music.
The 75-year-old once played for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra but gave up his musical career to focus on making dollhouse miniatures.
He has built up a repertoire of more than 100 items, from tiny household objects such as rolling pins and egg timers to minute recorders and toothbrushes. His range includes a violin based on a Stradivarius which is 1/12th of the original size.
Crafted from materials such as seasoned pearwood and ebony, with real sheep gut strings, it takes several months to make.
Mr Edwards, who lives in Edinburgh, has no regrets about his career switch.
He said: "I make all my own decisions. It's hard work being self-employed because people tend to work much longer hours. But I enjoy my own freedom and deciding what I want to do. I've never been happier."
Mr Edwards started making miniatures when his two daughters were small and, having made them a dollhouse, he could not find any quality furniture to put in it.
His wife persuaded him to start selling to shops and his work took off as there was a gap in the market for the kind of objects he makes, which include shortbread moulds and cotton reels.
His 1/12th scale pieces, made with painstaking attention to detail, caught the eye of Robert Clark, then chief executive of the Design Council, who organised an exhibition of the work and suggested he start making miniatures full time.
The grandfather-of-four switched careers in 1983 and now has customers all over the globe. Despite being in his mid 70s, he has no plans to retire, but does not take any new orders and now sells only from his stock.