I have been planning my 2014 display for the last several weeks and I am about ready to get to work. I have been shopping for supplies, took a workshop on making molds to replicate small objects, have tinkered with some 3D models of birds that I need to print with my 3D printer, took a 3D printing workshop, and went to Chicago International, the famous miniature show. I will show my progress on the new miniature setting in the next few blogs but first I want to talk about Chicago.

I had always heard that this was the most prestigious show and therefore had the best artists and vendors showing. I certainly saw some wonderful things there but I feel that the Philadelphia Miniaturia show (coming up November 1-3, 2013) is equally impressive and just as big if not bigger. Maybe it is just regional pride but I also like the I.G.M.A. Guild show inNew Jersey in August and the First State Mini Club show in Delaware each year (next in March 2014).

At Chicago, I saw some wonderful artists I had not seen before (mostly from Europe and Asia) and some I had enjoyed at other shows. There were a lot of displays of artificial flower arrangements which were beautiful but we can’t use them in our settings so I resisted the temptation to buy them. I am also not as interested in 1/2″ scale and 1/4″ scale as many other miniature artists and collectors are, maybe because I find it hard to work so small. But they were very popular at the Chicago show.

Carrying only my cell phone camera because I was trying to travel light (so I could bring more things home!), I am not happy about the quality of the images (not the best way to photo miniatures). But the images are at least a reminder of the value of going to miniature shows, no matter how large or how small: you always see something inspiring.

Some of my favorites:

CAROL SHERRY MINIATURES

Carol Sherry was a delight to talk to and she convinced me to but one of the kits to make punch needle rugs. Can't wait to try it.
Carol Sherry was a delight to talk to and she convinced me to but one of the kits to make punch needle rugs. Can’t wait to try it.

CARABOSSE DOLLS

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These exquisite porcelain dolls from Spain were amazing in their detail and naturalness.

CarabosseDolls3 copy

MINIATUURBOEKBINDEN

Miniatuurboekbinden1 copy
Beautiful books by Dutch artist Tine Krijnen were among my favorites. I bought several kits, including one to make the magical books shown here. I also bought some eel skin “leather” which is supple and very thin, perfect for miniatures. I bought two kits to learn how to bind books properly and promised to do them in the correct order!
Miniatuurboekbinden3 copy
The pop-up books were also fascinating.

SHANNON MOORE

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I had seen Shannon Moore’s bookboxes before as well as the work of other artists who make miniature setting within books. As a book artist who has manipulated and constructed books for years, I find this an appealing approach and hope to try it soon.

PENNY THOMSON

Penny Thomson's fantasy building was wonderful and full of fun details.
Penny Thomson’s fantasy building was wonderful and full of fun details.

BRIAN AND KATHY TEPPER

The Steampunk artifacts of the Teppers are beautifully detailed and are right in keeping with Steampunk aesthetics. I had a nice conversation with them about their work.
The Steampunk artifacts of the Teppers are beautifully detailed and are right in keeping with Steampunk aesthetics. I had a nice conversation with them about their work. Steampunk is not the only style of work they do and all their creations have quality craftsmanship.