What a lovely show. The feeling in the hall was so happy. There is nothing quite like a hall full of likeminded people, getting together to celebrate a hobby and doing it in such a super show. Several people remarked on the quality of the exhibits to me. It’s one of the main reasons I exhibit at Miniatura and not anywhere else. I think if you are taking the time and trouble to get out to a show and paying good money to get in to it, then every single table should be something worth looking at. There are lesser shows that are larger because they are filled up with cheap imports or things that are not really miniature related but I wouldn’t exhibit there. If you only have a weekend or a day, then every moment of your time should be used for the reason you have come out. I also would not exhibit at a show that did not cater for everyone, meaning full wheel chair access and facilities; toilets and restaurants in the hall and a place to sit and think if you want to.
Miniatura has it all, it really does. And it has free parking, at the NEC this is quite a consideration, as I discovered visiting other shows in the summer. £16 out of my budget before I even got out of the car park was a bit of a shocker. The parking for Miniatura is free, you just ask on your way out of the hall and they will give you a paper hat, or a voucher, or stamp your boot or draw kisses on your face or whatever they are doing this time round for you to show at the car park booth on the way out and not be charged. Hooray!
However the benefit of Miniatura that I love the best, is meeting up with old friends, both exhibitors and collectors and making new friends, both exhibitors and collectors. It is such a pleasure to hear someone gasp with pleasure because they’ve just discovered I make porcelain dolls under three inches tall fully articulated and jointed. It makes me so happy to encourage people to pick the doll up and have a good look and see just how very small and lovely they are in the hand.
I also love to hear where my dolls are living and how well they are cared for. They make people smile. Collectors do smile, often I think without realising they are doing it, when they tell me all about their houses and what my dolls are up to. Everything about the show is positive and happy. It’s just lovely.
When I came home, after a couple of days off I began to have a big clear out of the sun room, ahead of the builders knocking a wall down. In the sun room live the wheeled bags I take to the show. And a ton of junk. And for lo! behind it all I found a huge plastic bag that I had forgotten all about with paper pictures in it.
I began painting oil paintings in miniature, probably ten years ago. Then I painted oil portraits of visitors. I took a photo at the show and by the next show had the portrait ready. They were not much money and I got quite good at it but they were not a success because people forgot they had asked and didn’t come back, sometimes they did several years later, when I had stopped doing it. So then, when I got good at making silicone moulds I began making bass relief pictures in paper clay. I had only just started, quite successfully as I recall, partly because the method of production enabled me to make several of the same at once, rather than having to start from scratch with each one, though they were painted individually. This in turn meant they could all be very reasonably priced for a hand made item and, as they were made of paper they were very light for hanging on dodgy walls.
I was just getting under way with these, when my father died and I became carer for my mother. So shows were fitted in with everything else and the big bag with the pictures in never saw the light of day again.
But it has now. What treasure trove! There is an entire stand full of pictures and I have a head full of ideas for others.
I always feel inspired by Miniatura but I think this is the first time I have been inspired by the clearing up afterwards. Pictures next post if I have finished the new ones by then.