A Sustainable Wonderland For the Mini-You

Twig Terrariums is forcing us to consider our lives in miniature.

Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, two old friends, create itty bitty, mini moments in time. Mini moss terrariums, to be specific, and “other small worlds” stuffed into antique, vintage and apothecary jars, occasionally science glass and kitchenware, and other odd glass objects they come across.

Their Brooklyn-based company, Twig Terrariums, specializes in miniaturizing scenes, be it a walk through a pastoral highland or punk rockers tagging a Lower East Side tenement.

They “go mossing” and “terraring” on the weekend (Twig-speak for moss and glass hunting), and can create just about any city or landscape request thrown at them. A grandmother recently came the pair and asked them to immortalize her granddaughter in a terrarium doing her two favorite things: playing the violin and hula-hooping, at the same time.

Most of their other clientele are urbanites with nary a piece of grass to their name, craving, as Michelle puts it, “their own little green world.”

“Our terrarium’s give urban dwellers some much needed nature,” she adds, “and space without having to drive.”

Michelle and Katy work with a dozen varieties of moss, plants and succulents, all easy to maintain greenery. Under a powerful magnifying glass, they style each inch-tall figurine to look like their life-sized subjects in various states of rustication, hiking, mountain climbing, hula-hooping – even mugging.

“They want to see themselves in their little worlds,” Katy explains. If only to retrace what went wrong in Central Park that one fine morning.”

Twig Terrariums pride themselves on being a green company, using vintage glass and upcycling whenever possible or working with a local glassblower for custom projects. Katy and Michelle have a book coming out in 2012, which will contain a glossary of all the terms a DIY terrarist should know, a how-to, and photos.

“When we first started making terrariums, they took over our homes,” Michelle warns of the addictive hobby turned career. “Basically, we want everyone to bring our worlds into theirs.”

And why not? They’re lovelier than a snapshot and sustainable enough for the brownest thumbs among us.

Prices start around $25 and can go up into the hundreds.

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.