One of the great joys of Miniatura is spotting the new exhibitors. To get a table at the show they have been deemed good enough to exhibit and then put in competition with all the other artisans who would also love to be part of this best in show of all the shows.
I spoke to three of the new artists. To a miniaturist they were excited, concerned, full of questions and, as you will see from the photographs, incredibly able.
How utterly fantastic is this?
This is the work of Kastle Kelm, a husband and wife team who are showing the fruits of long time miniaturist and and clay sculptor Jenny’s working association with her husband Mike, an art director in the film industry. Mike has miniaturised the things he enjoyed doing in full size, but now without the budgetary constraints, and the joy is evident. I had planned to show you one picture from each exhibitor but I just have to break my own rule to show this from Kastle Kelm:
Oh wow, I’ll race you to their stand.
Sometimes new exhibitors come across as such personalities when I meet them at the show, that I just know you’re going to love them. I have only spoken to Linda Toerzey of Simply Silk Miniatures on the phone but I think it’s quite safe to predict there will be a crowd round her stand and they’ll all be laughing. Linda makes swags and tails curtains and silk corsets sets and dressed wedding tables and canopy beds. She describes her work as ‘very OTT with gold beads.’ Here’s a little sample but you can see more at www.simplysilkminiatures.com a site that’s as full of personality as Linda.
Tim Hartnall of Anglia Dolls Houses started exhibiting elsewhere about seven years ago, stopped but restarted after a phone call from a collector asking if Tim was still making houses. Tim’s love of architecture is apparent in this wonderful Georgian confection. He has seven basic houses to adapt to customer’s paint preferences and options. I can see these houses appealing to ‘one perfect house’ miniaturists, non decorators and those whose main focus is a fabulous finished setting for their collection. Tim is bringing a couple of examples to the show; if these are for you up to the point of commissioning one, you can visit Tim during the build at Ely, Cambridgeshire. Meanwhile you may wish to visit him right now at www.angliadollshouses.co.uk
Very classy. This would grace any real house and truly be an heirloom.
It would be remiss of me not to give you the lowdown on new exhibitor Sindy Stanley. We’ve been tracking Sindy since January in this column. When I rang today she was agonising over what to put in the Miniatura brochure. If you had read the exhibitor instructions you would know that exaggerated claims and flowery language are specifically prohibited, so the task is to sum up your life’s work in about three modest, self-effacing but totally accurate sentences that make you stand out from the other two and a half hundred world class exhibitors faced with exactly the same impossible task.
So the job for the new artists is to be world class good enough to get there, be modest whilst attracting notice about it in print and then just fill a gigantic six foot table with tiny perfect and detailed miniature art. After that all they have to do is get up at the crack of dawn, make a stunning display, talk intelligently to several thousand people they’ve never seen in their lives before, do it all again on Sunday after an hour’s less sleep (because the clocks go back Miniatura weekend) pack it all up and get back home again without having a nervous breakdown.
Happily they can all do it because they are all Miniatura exhibitors. I picked these three completely at random from the list with absolute confidence that they would all be worth a good look, as is every table at the show. What you get free with every Miniatura visit is exhausted eyeballs and a wonderful wave of happiness.
See if you can pick out the other newbies at www.miniatura.co.uk