All of JoAnn Hopkins’ miniature projects are mostly labors of love, but her most recent miniature was a bit more special than the rest.
The Carmel resident made a miniature replica of the bar at Woody’s Library Restaurant. Hopkins’ best friend, Cat Haskett, is a longtime bartender at Woody’s, so Hopkins has been a regular customer for years.
“It’s like my ‘Cheers’ place, almost everyone knows everyone who sits here,” said Hopkins, referring to the ’80s TV sitcom about a bar and its regulars.
Hopkins has been working on the miniature replica of the bar since February 2017.
“I was intimidated by making the fake water for the fish tank,” she said.
Then life got busy and it sat untouched for 2 1/2 years, she said.
“Then COVID-19 hit in March and I had (time) to finish it,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins made a surprise presentation of the replica to restaurant owner Kevin “Woody” Rider, who also is a Carmel City Council member, July 24 in the restaurant’s bar. Hopkins said everyone in the bar knew she was working on it except Rider.
“It’s amazing. I’m overwhelmed,” said Rider, who added he didn’t have a clue she was creating it. “Woody’s has been my family for the last 23 years.”
The piece is approximately the 20th miniature Hopkins has made.
“Normally, I never see anyone get them because I make them for someone who hires me,” she said. “I get $1,000 for the executive gifts, but that doesn’t even cover your labor or your costs. But for me, it’s got to be good.”
Hopkins said she gives replica owners details of how it was made and photos of the work in progress along with completed project photos. The Woody’s replica took approximately 450 hours of work and cost $2,000 to make with supplies.
Hopkins plans to submit images of the replica to the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. The replica will be permanently displayed at Woody’s.
“This is the best one I’ve ever done,” Hopkins said.