You’ll never guess what I did on Saturday?
I visited Miniatura!
It really does you good sometimes to stand back and have a good look at what you are doing. I have been so deeply immersed in the show for over a quarter of a century I have absolutely no idea what the show is like, so I went and had a look.
What makes it stand out from any other show of any other type is that the majority of the show is hand made by artisans of incredible skill. The standard is staggering. There were a couple of new exhibitors who would have been headline news anywhere else, at Miniatura they just fitted in nicely. Absolutely nobody was busy telling anyone how good they are. Modesty is endemic. There was not a single table that was boring. Every exhibit was worthy of rapt attention for a very long time. Even the people with support stands retailing fabrics for miniature use, for example, were astonishing by virtue of the effort put in to cramming a stand with huge quantities of really good stuff.
How nice the people are. The visitors are polite, the organisers are constantly circulating to help with anything, the exhibitors are utterly lovely, it just has to be the nicest day out you can possibly have.
But gosh it was tiring. I walked for a couple of hours at a time and was so tired when I got home I didn’t know where to put myself. It was probably a bit early for me to have such a tiring day but it was worth it. And I had taken plenty of money because I had the time to take my time and do shopping. Now I have a fantastic collection of little paper bags and I keep having a little look.
Oh wow what a show.
I have been to shows of other hobbies. I have been to paper crafting shows, sewing shows, cake shows, art shows and craft fairs. Comparing them with Miniatura, there is no comparison. In other shows the handmade articles tend to be very amateurish and a bit village hall. The majority of sizeable shows are filled with factory made goods. Sometimes the articles have artisan input which is then mass produced.
At Miniatura the kits for you to make things are themselves handmade. On at least every other stand you can buy items where there’s one like it in the world and when you’ve bought it you own it and no one else can. It’s a collector’s paradise, it really is. If you made a collection from Miniatura or filled a house it would easily be the only one like it ever.
There is only one Miniatura, it is completely and utterly brilliant and next time I hope to be there behind a table, where I think I belong.