Last week’s Midweek Miniatura contained news of the Robersons, returning to exhibit in Scotland after a long break, they’ll be driving there but not necessarily in this car, which they make. If you’d like to see what else they make
I’m pleased to be able to tell you that they now have a website at www.robersonminiatures.co.uk
Dick and Jane Billingsley, who trade as Hearth and Home, will be exhibiting at Scottish Miniatura for the first time. They’ll be showing their new range of beautifully detailed bathroom suites, deluxe Agas and Art Deco fireplaces. Dick and Jane have been handcrafting miniatures since 1995, specialising in the items their trading name would suggest, though they also make interior accessories from the 18th century to the 1950s. They make extremely upper class miniatures, as you can see from this picture of a very upmarket bathroom
and this utterly glorious Batteau bath, which makes me think Watteau could have painted it with a beeutiful batheur in the watter, in fact I’m reaching for a handy nymph as we speak. Gosh it’s a posh wash.
Owners of miniature stately homes who wish to wash may also wish to wend their way graciously to the Hearth and Home stand. Non miniaturists may need to make note that a dolls’ house is the place where anyone can live in the style to which they would like to become accustomed. This, of course, is why Queen Mary’s dolls’ house is not a castle. She already lived in one of those, what she wanted was something in a smaller scale with far fewer servants and a much more manageable garden (in a drawer).
Miniatures are all about desires versus reality. I do hope your desires include some collectable dolls. Ideally 2 inches and porcelain. In which case, you’re in luck! Apart from the boxes and the stand my dolls of many lands are finished and here they are, including those you’ve seen.
This, you may recall, is how they looked a couple of months ago and this is how they look now:
the Inuit and the Indians
the St Trinian’s skiers (there’s me at the front getting it wrong again) and the hula dancers and the new ones you haven’t seen yet who are
the Chinese girls in their wonderful woven silk dresses
the beautiful brides (I always wanted a bride doll) and finally the squaws and their papice (I really must investigate the plural) each roaming their very own wide grassy dollstand. Each papoose lifts out and their mothers are dressed in suede with beading.
If these prove popular at Scottish Min I’ll produce more for the autumn; if you have any suggestions, or, like me, collected such dolls as a child and had some missing from your collection, or have a 12th scale toyshop and need some particular dolls, or even are from one of the 188 countries of the world that I haven’t represented and you feel left out, drop me a line. I’ve really enjoyed doing these, they’re small, hilarious and very reasonable, just like their maker.
That’s all the Scottish Miniatura news for this year but I’m thrilled to tell you I’ve saved the best till last.
Arguably the most exciting piece of news isn’t about the show at all, it’s about Andy Hopwood who runs it. Many exhibitors but few visitors are aware that Andy and his wife Sharon, despite doing such a good job with the show are time poor because of having two children with particular difficulties in the areas of extreme food intolerance and special needs education. Unfazed by problems others would consider overwhelming, Sharon has made birthday cakes out of ice cream wafers and cocoa powder and become an expert on Conductive Education and Andy has invented a card game, Niche, which to date has raised £700 for the Foundation for Conductive Education.
At the weekend Andy took Niche and Mijnlieff, (pronounced ‘mine leaf’) his new game that he describes as being somewhere between Noughts and Crosses and chess to the UK games Expo. Yes, the show organiser became a show exhibitor for a weekend. The Expo is the biggest show of its kind in the UK and covers all games including wargaming, board games and card games. Guess what? He won! Mijnlieff won the Best Abstract Game Award at UK Games Expo 2010. How unbelievably cool is that? Andy had only gone to get a bit of show experience but found the whole weekend was like a dream come true.
If you are going to Scottish Miniatura and have £5-75 not earmarked for minis, you might like to know that Andy carries a few packs of Niche around with him. At least £1 from every pack sold goes to the Foundation for Conductive Education and once Andy has recouped the costs of developing and producing the game, more will go to the charity. The faster he sells them, the more the charity will receive. If you are not going to Miniatura in Scotland you might like to visit Andy’s own site www.hopwoodgames.co.uk, where you can read all about it and, by clicking on ‘games’ see Andy and Sharon playing Mijnlieff and purchase Niche online.
Miniatura is the high quality day out for everyone; visitors, exhibitors (because we love to see you as much as you love to see us, you know), adults and children alike. In fact everyone’s a winner – even the modest organiser who only mentioned that he was exhibiting in passing and had to have the news that he’d won dragged out of him by some journalist.
There are days when I enjoy what I do and days when I really love it. See you at the show, where I’ll have the ‘I read JaneLaverick.com’ badges again, free to you, just ask, and thank you for reading – see you there!