Lois Mihok • Galena, IL • Resin Sculpture

Lois Mihok was trained as a teacher, but changed careers to become an industrial model maker and worked as an in-house sculptor at Haeger Potteries and Stiffel Lamps.

Carving is second nature to her; she began carving horses from bars of soap when she was seven.

As a self-employed artisan, her clients include manufacturers and museums. She has made models of Marshall Field’s clock, John Deere tractors, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and hundreds of historic buildings across America.


Mihok moved to Galena in 1996 and, inspired by the 19th-century architecture, began planning The Galena Collection.

Each building of The Galena Collection is proportioned to scale and conforms to the HO train scale.

Galena Old Market House


Galena County Jail

Using on-site sketches and photographs she prepares metric scale drawings. She then begins carving an original plaster model, which can take more than 40 hours.

To create a flexible mold, silicone rubber is poured over the plaster model.

Reproductions of the original are made by casting with polyurethane resin. After the casting has cured it is scrubbed by hand with a high-phosphate detergent and again with isopropyl alcohol.


After priming a building, she airbrushes at least two coats of paint for the building’s main colors. Then she hand-paints the details.

Her trees are made by twisting three-strand copper wire into a tree shape and repeatedly dipping it into neoprene. Neoprene, a touch and flexible latex product, is also used to case the church crosses.

Five new buildings are added to the series each year. Mihok is limiting each miniature building to 250 replicas. Each is issued with a numbered and signed certificate and is accompanied by a brief description of the building’s history and architecture.


Galena Train Depot

Outside the Lines Art Gallery • Connie Twining & Stormy Mochal, Owners
1101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563)-583-9343 • 101 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
• (815)-776-9166


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