Some artists are in the interesting position of not sleeping, eating or leaving the work bench. They are, of course, those who will be exhibiting at Scottish Miniatura, now only a week and a half away.
Features of this show much enjoyed by visitors are the workshops. There are three this year: making plants, making a filled strawberry planter and sculpting a doll. You can pre book these workshops but a few spaces are left so that visitors who don’t have internet access and only find out about them at the door also have a chance to participate. Further details will be available at the door and are already on the website. You pay the tutor on the day and the sessions begin at 11.30. 12.30 and 2.30 approximately, so you could, in theory, spend the whole day doing workshops, if you wanted to do so. To pre book please phone the very lovely, talented and quite tall Andy Hopwood* on 0121 783 9922 and tell him in which workshop you would like to star.
Of the exhibitors currently chained to the bench, a number have actually managed to have finished, photographed items to show you. Some people are so organised, among them Bea of Petite Properties, who will be taking this terrific twenty fourth scale building, the Old Life Boat House.
Would you convert it into a millionaire’s des res, split it into student flats for the rent, have it as a Dickensian gambling den or put a boat in it?
Scottish Miniatura does have some rare Scottish exhibitors, such as Hirons dolls and also some English exhibitors rarely seen in Scotland. Among the latter are the Robersons, who have not done a show in Scotland since Miniatura was in Glasgow. Colin and Yvonne are justifiably famous for their wheeled and metalwork items. I think they make the best prams in the business.
This is a twin Silver Stream, the full size version of which was in production in the 1950s and 60s. For non miniaturists who view this site I perhaps should remind you that this is not a full size item, although it is a real pram, it would fit on the palm of your hand. If nostalgia is your favourite thing prepare to time travel quite slowly:
about a mile in five hours, I should think, including trips to the kitchen to ask for a biscuit. This glorious car is an improvement on previous versions; it now has front wheel steering (and of course the kind where you get dragged in for bed time.) Do you remember lying in bed in the summer as a child hearing grown ups outside mowing the lawn because it was still light?
The Robersons don’t have a web site, they are an excellent example of why you should try to get to a Miniatura if you can. Fifty years from now when your collection hits the Antiques Road Show, you’ll be able to say you were there and bought art from the artists in the golden age of miniatures when people still made things by hand and were prepared to spend a lifetime acquiring the necessary skills.
*This is what happens if you permit a reporter free range adjectives, perhaps I should add ‘intrepid’!