You wouldn’t think there are any drawbacks attached to exhibiting at Miniatura, which selects all the artists that are there. Every stand holder has been invited; you can’t just pay money and turn up.
So, in a way, if you are there, you’ve made it. Hooray!
The problem is that, unless you have someone else behind the table with you, there you are. The whole point is to be there, so you definitely can’t just wander off.
In the days when I was reporting the show for magazines, I had to do exactly that. I had various helpers to man my table, which I set up and then deserted. The Saturday was the big reporting day, when I tried to get the best of the best to the photographer’s studio before someone bought it and on the Sunday I interviewed anyone whose work I’d taken for photography. I tried to see the whole show, in detail, which is one of the reasons I know how very good it is.
These days it’s just me behind my table. I do manage to scuttle round the other exhibitors, especially the new exhibitors, early in the morning on Saturday before the show opens. I saw three artists this time I thought you would like to meet.
Here is Kitten Von Mew.
Kitten looks utterly gorgeous and totally steampunk and so is her house, which she is busy filling with furniture. Sadly I can’t show you the filled house because then the show opened and I was back behind my own table. Kitten was demonstrating texturing techniques but was there, as well, just to show you her house.
This is one of the great features of Miniatura. If you are going to the show at a rather low point financially, there will still be plenty to see. This is a very good thing. The core of the hobby is you alone at the dining table late at night fiddling around with bits of something and a craft knife. If you manage to actually make something small and very good, no one in your family is likely to think you’re clever. Quite the reverse, sadly.
At Miniatura also this time, right opposite my table, was a wonderful castle. This was Kastle Kelm’s fantastic castle, absolutely not for sale, it’s theirs and it’s not leaving home. All weekend people took photos of it. Everyone except me.
But it was definitely there and made a lot of visitors consider a castle. That’s the thing about Miniatura, it’s well known for giving you big ideas. The show organiser, Andy, invites artisans purely as inspiring exhibitors. In the Spring there was a wonderful twelfth scale hotel, right opposite my stand, which I enjoyed all weekend. It’s not just inspiring, it is also quite comforting to be in a huge hall of people who think the same way you do. We all consider shrinking the world to manageable proportions to be a very good idea.
Not only can you not control the real world, you can’t control what happens to you in your own life, either. Stuff occurs. You can either get upset and go bananas and get arrested, or you can clear a corner of a table and get busy with a hobby that takes the edge off, is creative, artistic and has every chance of telling the future that you were here and jolly clever with it.
I am still busy with my stand redesign but will find time later in the week to show you someone else who was exhibiting at Miniatura, the show for Miniaturists by Miniaturists since 1983.
The Spring show is on the 16th and 17th March, 2024, if you would just like to go and have a look, the details are at www.miniatura.co.uk