I’m having a few days off from miniatures and the next Miniatura, which will be the 100th.

At the end of the five years of caring for my mother, after I had had the cancer surgery, I promised myself that, with time for me, I would be endlessly creative.  Mostly I have done so but I have found that a creative brain works best with a bit of variation.  As you may have deduced, I write, I also paint, sculpt, do porcelain, garden and make cards.  I used to cook but, after all the bother that five years in and out of hospital with blockage of the bowel caused by the adhesions the surgery occasioned, I’ve gone off cooking.  There’s not much point when you can’t eat it.

Making cards is a great hobby.  You only have to give them away, there are a lot of kits and bits easily available currently and if they are unsuccessful, they are only recyclable bits of cardboard.  I find if I fill up the boxes, I will use them all up by the end of a Miniatura, because people go on having birthdays whether there’s a show imminently, or not.

While I am having time off miniatures, making cards, I think about the show display.  I usually have a corner site and plan how to fill it long in advance.  At the last show I took photographs of my stand to plan the next show to see just how much stuff I can cram on the table.  I then printed the photos off and deleted them from my camera.  Then it occurred to me (belatedly) that if you never got to the show, you might want to see the photos.  Also, if you are a miniaturist and contemplating exhibiting your miniatures, you might want a look too.  So I photographed my deleted but printed photographs.

Therefore these will not be the best photos ever but they do give you a clue.


This is the short end of the corner.  On the left is Slight Versailles, in the middle the collectable dolls we had as children, on the right the bas relief paper pictures.  All of these items were requests, originally.  The paper pictures were for miniaturists making cereal box houses, where a wooden framed picture can make your wall go all bendy (the papier mâché pictures weigh next to nothing.)  The dolls we had as children were for people like me, whose mothers gave away their childhood friends, or who lost dolls, or, awfully, who even gave away their dolls themselves before realising what they had done.

Round the corner


are all the porcelain ornaments.  These have waxed and waned over the years but are mainly 24th scale, again as a result of requests from 24th scalers who couldn’t find anything to fit.  Some larger people have ended up here too, there be dragons and cottages with removable lids and so on.  If you can zoom in on the price list on the back you can see that anyone who asked for anything also requested a price they could afford.

Round the front


are all the dolls.  They start at 12th scale glass-eyed on the left, work their way through 24th scale articulated in the middle and proceed to 48th scale jointed or bendy on the right.  Lying flat at the extreme right are the two boxes of  48th scale original artist (me), china painted porcelain dolls at just £10 for jointed or £12 for bendy.

As you can see I have never been in the ‘display two things artistically and charge a lot’ camp, mainly because I was an impoverished collector with more ambition than cash, before I was a maker.

It’s all crammed on and at the next show I also want to cram on the fairies in domes and some houses, which I why I took the photos.

Some exhibitors do go up stratospherically, some have glass cases, but I am always conscious of wheelchair hobbyists and the need to keep the dolls where they can get their hands on them.  Children do too and I don’t mind, usually well-supervised children are very polite, plenty of pointing goes on first, which is the right way to do it.  A lady once said to me when I told her it was OK to pick the dolls up and play with them ‘You just want me to fall in love with the doll and buy it!’ Yes, I do.  You bet I do, that’s why I’m there.

And, of course my dolls being mine from the first thought in my head to their appearance on the table are mine alone.  They do not look like anyone else’s dolls and never have.  All they were ever modelled on was my brain waves, which is why you need to take a good look.  People are used to the appearance of porcelain dolls made from commercially available moulds. many doll makers got started that way and then continued.  If you start with a ready-made mould you can skip many steps and use dressing patterns from books too.  Mine do not look like any of those, so you really do need to get them in your hand and have a look and let the doll with its little glass eyes look at you and see if you fall in love or not.  This, of course is part of the absolute joy of the show; when I visited I was always ecstatic to be invited to pick things up and play with them.  I was never of the very precious ‘this is art’ school of thought.  It is art and some of it is better than full-size art available anywhere, and there is more original art at Miniatura than anywhere else I know of, and much of it is the original ideas of the artists, and you should always ask before you pick things up, but mostly, you can.  When could you ever go to a full-sized gallery and grab one of the pictures and have a good look? 

How to get more of my brain waves on the table?  I have several requests, a new diorama box, some horses and a worried father, with swept-back hair, of teenage girls (he’s probably been running his fingers through it, or pulling it out) to get on the table next time.  One of the reasons for wanting to get so much stuff on the table at the 100th show is that there is the possibility of winning your choice of anything at all on the table.

Oh yes!  Details next time.


There’s a lot of information at  To be on the mailing list go to ‘next show’ ‘getting to the show’ scroll down and add your name to the emailing list.

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