Hello, I'm Josef Buchel.
Creating intricate and small worlds was not my original calling. For over three decades, I was a grade school teacher, first in my home state of Montana, and then for 14 years in Oregon, where I call my home now.
About six years ago, I retired from teaching, and found that it was time for me to attempt new challenges. I was always fascinated by miniatures, and wanted to create in that field. Being a teacher is usually a great many long, but ultimately rewarding hours, but does not leave much time for other creative endeavors.
Shortly after I was at my first show, I won an award. Awards aren't what we do this for, at least I certainly don't, but let me tell you, it was wonderful to be recognized by my peers, people I was, and am often, completely in awe of.
I create most of what you see here on my site and in trade shows, right down to making objects from clay and using the tiniest of brushes to paint them. Sometimes, I will purchase unfinished items, and then refinish them, much like what you would do in your home with furniture.
A true labor of love, it has given me the opportunity to stretch myself and be active in my retirement years in a way I never would imagined.
What is changing about my work right now.
Many of you may know me from trade shows; I would often vend with my wonderful sister Sue. (In fact, she also started making miniatures of a very different type after I started doing them.) However, at my last show in 2019, I announced I would be going to far fewer of these than before, where I would sometimes do upwards of 7 in a year in the Pacific Northwest region.
My sister used to live in Idaho, and has since moved to Arizona, where she would vacation. I am so very happy for her and her family, but she was one of the reasons you would see me out. There is nothing like having someone who loves what you do with you, especially when you're close.
She was with me at the Portland Miniatures show in October 2019, and for those of you who saw my new line of Halloween themed pieces, you understand that she has influenced me and my style as well. I also debuted at this show a series of miniatures in glass lanterns. Both of these styles are uncommon, and illustrates just how far I have come over these last six years.
So, I decided to re-launch the Crown Miniatures website which you see here, after about a year of it being inactive. It is also more mobile friendly, which is a big plus in today's seemingly everything portable device market. It is here where you will be able to find the items you love first. I will still be vending at trade shows, but now only approximately three a year.
Please ask me about custom work.
Yes, I will still be doing, and utterly love, custom projects to make your miniature world special. (By the way, the webmaster bought one of my pieces I was going to sell on this site before we even listed it, which was a custom order that had to unfortunately cancel.)
Depending on size, not all custom orders will be shipped; however, there will be a "Pick Up" option where you can pay for a custom order (or anything else on this site) and pick it up at one of my trade shows and save yourself a little in postage.
Thank you all for your continued support, and I look forward to engaging with you here and in person.