One of the pleasures of visiting any live show is the demonstrations. Miniatura has always been blessed in this department, this Spring there are demonstrations to watch, experts to talk to and some items to actually have a go at making at during the show. If you have been introduced to tiny art through JaneLaverick.com and have never been to a miniatures show be prepared for a wave of ‘I can do that!’ to sweep you off your feet. Miniatura features things you think you could do, things you hope you could do with help and things that are so amazing you wonder how human hands could be capable of making them. Here is a small sample of the people who will be showing you ‘how to’ right through the weekend.
Long time exhibitor Jill Bennett will be a new demonstrator in the spring. She will be showing visitors how to make her resin dolls from kits. You can choose a resin head to put on an assembled body, watch Jill’s demonstrations of face painting and of using wrapping techniques to customise the body and then take the bits away to have a go at home. See Jill’s realistic resin dolls at www.jillbennettdolls.co.uk
The Polymer Clay Guild will be running workshops throughout the weekend, the only cost being a voluntary contribution to Cancer Research. Polymer clay is a modelling material which can be ‘fired’ in a domestic oven, subsequently lasting in the baked form for many years. The Guild offers a variety of classes, each about half an hour, ranging from one for children to make a dolls’ house jelly to other classes of assorted difficulty, all suitable for inexperienced modellers of all ages. Models are fired at the show so participants take their finished work of art home with them. It could be the start of a career! Experienced miniaturists experiencing difficulties with works in polymer progress can take problems along for free advice from Guild members.
Josephine Parnell will be work shopping her sewn miniature figures, of bears and rag dolls; an idea of what’s on offer is at:
Josephine always takes a full range of ready-made collectables and a good variety of kits. You don’t have to be an experienced miniaturist to make a tiny ted; if you can sew, with Josephine’s help and guidance a simple bear could be the first mini art you produce.
Waddhams, who are Wolverhampton and district doll’s house club are putting on a display of member’s work featuring miniature scenes in unusual containers.
Inside the Bible, there’s a church! And how about this:
Very talented members, and more at the show. The club is also running a workshop to make Easter themed miniatures, including an Easter basket, which participants can take home with them. The workshop is sponsored by Jennifers of Walsall, a long running and justly famous dolls’ house shop which will be there at the show, Jennifer and helpers having rebuilt the entire shop in the hall for the weekend. Waddhams members will be on hand to discuss their display and run the workshops which are open to all, including children (with their parent’s permission) for only a charity donation. The club welcomes new members, please enquire if you are suitably located.
If you are going newly to the show because of JaneLaverick.com, please be assured that not only those demonstrating will be happy to talk to you. We’re a friendly bunch and if you’re new to the hobby the way to find out is to ask questions! The only qualifications you need are to be a person who likes little things.
Finally this week it would be cruel not to tell you what this is.
It’s a cockroach trap!
The full sized item was baited with a layer of molasses in the base. The roaches climbed easily up the grooved sides and slid quickly into the syrup but once they had had their fill were unable to climb out of the glazed interior and up over the shiny lip. The pantry maid would take the entire container outside in the morning and, removing the bung, empty the drowned roaches out of the hole.
I think this item says quite a lot about miniatures in general. It’s a lot to do with cutting down to size things that are awful in reality and having a good laugh at them. It’s also about craftsmen of such skill that they are able to reproduce real things in tiny scales but by the same methods and in the same materials. It’s a lot to do with social history and the extreme relief of living in the present. Above all it’s about collecting because if you want one, now you know what it is, you’ll want it even more when you have the actual tiny artefact in your hand and can make it vanish by closing your fingers. (Terry Curran is the maker, he has them in 12th scale and 24th.)
More information as always at www.miniatura.co.uk
More midweek Miniatura next week, during the week, probably in the middle of it (Wednesday would be my guess).