Designers We Love: Rosa de Jong

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES via

Dutch designer, art director and animator Rosa de Jong has created a range of mini architectural artworks inside test tubes and small jars.

Made painstakingly by hand using branches, moss and paper, these miniature artworks feature a range of buildings and structures in different architectural styles perched atop little mounds of earth.

The project, entitled Micro Matter, is ongoing. We caught up with this talented designer to find out more about her creations.

What inspired you to start the Micro Matter project?

I became aware of the fact that if I look at art, I really like it if you can go into the art. It can still be abstract, but I really love it if there is space inside. This makes looking at it a little bit like meditation – instead of thinking, you get to be inside for a moment. So with this realisation, I started making a miniature city with a metro going through it. Summer was slow on design work and I needed to make something to keep myself happy. Then I got mixed up with the mechanism; I wanted to slow down the train, started mixing gears, got confused and abandoned the project. After the summer I bought the tubes, but because I buy so much stuff just because I like it and I think someday I will do something with it, I forced myself to make something with it right away. Then Micro Matter happened!

Which creation from this project has been most challenging to create?

Definitely anything with power lines! Everything else is steady, but the power lines are pretty fragile, which makes it hard to work on the piece because you have to be really careful. Despite what you may think, I am not very patient. I have also been struggling with skyscrapers, to get them small enough to fit. Because the skyscrapers are so much bigger in real life, it’s hard to get the detail right.  I am working on a series of them right now. At first I didn’t sketch anything, but I have drawn some skyscrapers and it seems to be working!

Is there a building/scene that you are looking forward to tackling in the near future?

Yes, it really feels like there is no end to this project. I’m working on skyscrapers right now, but I want to make something with smoke (cotton wool), a tent on a rock, bigger tubes, smaller tubes… maybe even a rocket. And light, that would be really cool.

Are your Micro Matter works available to purchase?

Yes they are! But I have been getting so much attention that I’m not sure how to keep up. I do make a lot of them though, so they keep on coming. I won’t be opening an online shop though, for the same reason. It would be too much work putting every new one up there, so I will be posting information on Instagram if I have a new one for sale and see how that goes.

Finished the trailer – finally. Front & back! #miniatureart #cardboard #trailer #handmade

A photo posted by rosa de jong (@byrosa) on

Browse the gallery above to view examples of Rosa’s intricate creations. For more information, visit You can also follow Rosa’s progress on Instagram.