How utterly fantastically fantabulous! It’s leap day (bounce in the air!) and it’s the first Midweek Miniatura of 2012!
Do you ever feel as if you’re living in the future? Me too, especially when the show is only three weeks away. For anyone who has been hiding under a rock, I should explain that Miniatura is the world’s favourite miniature art show held twice a year at the National Exhibition centre in Birmingham UK. It attracts exhibitors and visitors from all over the planet because the organisers have planned it for twenty eight years and got really good at it.
There is something for everyone from posh to pocket money. One of the features that distinguishes the spring show has always been the workshops and demonstrations. If your leap year wish would be to leap into something new and wonderful you could do exactly that at the Min.
There are eight hands-on, have-a-go demos at this show in its twenty ninth year, which is one more than the number of leap years there have been since the show began.
Penny Thompson on stand C6 will be demonstrating various papier mache figures during the day. Penny made her name with recycled cereal boxes and some very original art. She’s made everything from buildings to dioramas with this material, useful in many scales. Her workshops continue throughout both days. If you find yourself inexplicably drawn to last week’s paper and a liquidiser, Penny runs courses and usually has details at the show.
If you fancy going on a course to make the entire dolls’ house, stand K1 is the place to be. There you will find Lorna Payne, who usually runs Tickhill Dolls House Courses, doing three workshops over the weekend. It’s a good way to find out if going away for an interesting holiday and coming back with a miniature building, might be just the Tickhill for you.
There are two group demonstrations at the show. The British Polymer Clay Guild have a very hands-on and squidging table where you can make a clay miniature – buzz off round the show and then claim your masterpiece baked and ready to take home at the end of the day.
Stafford Doll’s House Club sponsored by Jennifer’s of Walsall is the table to rush off to if you’d like to have a go at mini flower making. Miniature gardening, flower arranging and every aspect of all things floral is as popular in miniature as it is in full size except that you never have to deal with old brown flower water and you have to make the flowers first before you can plant them or arrange them. You even have to make your own weeds!
However, if you did want to do old brown flower water in your mini vase you should make your way to Deluxe materials who will be demonstrating scenic water, snow and lovely rust. The results are realistic, the process is easy and the demo is fun. I once rusted everything in sight for a magazine article and couldn’t believe how very advanced modeller I felt. These are products that get your creative juices working overtime.
Sindy Stanley is back with her Sindikits pocket money doll kits. These are a good place to start the hobby especially if you are building a house with a junior miniaturist in mind. Sindy is on stand W30.
On K2 Norman D Whiting will show you how to paint your own miniature watercolour masterpiece. You could arrive as a visitor and go home as an artist!
On D1 bear artist Josephine Parnell will be pleased to seam you. The basic bear Norvelle is already cut out, stitched and stuffed. What you get a chance to do, on a drop by and find a space basis, is the good bit. You can learn how to joint the bear and make a face (on the bear, ideally). There is a £5 charge which covers all the bear parts, materials and instructions (from Josephine, who has probably turned more Miniatura visitors into bear artists than she’s had hot dinners.) Bear colours will vary but the start and finish, taking 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your experience or lack of it, will look something like this.
This could be the show where you go home not just with a trillion little paper packets but a whole brand new skill!
Next Midweek Min I’ll tell you about these
Yes Martin at Willow Models has gone into production on the 48th scale stairs! Hooray!
And I’ll tell you how you can win a box of the fantastic threads I’ve been sewing the small stuff with all winter!
More Midweek Min next week, meanwhile Leap!Leap!Leap! to the source of all knowledge www.Miniatura.co.uk.
I hope wherever you are in the world your extra day is extra special and filled with lovely little things but if it isn’t I know of a huge hall, home to a hobby show that is always extra special and filled with lovely little things.
I’ll see you there.
JaneLaverick.com – jump for joy it’s three weeks to the Min!