As the official day for giving thanks rolls around, I’m feeling more apprehensive than thankful this year. Here in the U.S. we’ve just come through a very long and contentious election and I am alarmed to see hate mongers taking advantage of the deep divisions it revealed to spread their insidious poison. No matter the color of our skin or the way we live or worship, there is far more that unites us than separates us and I hope in the end, that will win out.
So, what is there to be thankful for? I’m thankful I live in a country where we have elections. I’m thankful for each new day that gives me a chance to try and be a better person, better parent, better friend. I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about where I’ll sleep tonight or what I’ll have to eat tomorrow or next week. I’m thankful I discovered miniatures 25 years ago and I’m thankful for the friends and challenges I’ve found there.
What are you thankful for this year?
I love antique dollhouses; they seem to carry with them the spirit of those who have loved and cared for them over generations. When I bought a copy of the book ‘The Vivien Greene Dolls’ House Collection, I found myself returning to the photos of one in particular; she’d named it the Mahogany House and it dates from the mid 1700’s. This house, and at least one other from Mrs. Greene’s collection now form part of an exhibit at the Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts. The exhibit is called The Art and Mystery of the Dollhouse and runs through January 15, 2017.
The exhibit includes a number of room boxes, as well as several dollhouses, one dating from about 1695. The earliest European dollhouses were elaborate replicas of idealized or actual homes, and were furnished with exceptionally well-made and very expensive furnishings. In some cases they may have been instructional, examples for young women in how to run a household, but more likely, they were displays of the owner’s economic status.
One of the special events the museum has scheduled to coordinate with this exhibit will feature some well known Guild members. Stop by the Concord Museum on November 19th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to meet and observe artists, including IGMA Artisan and Fellow members Pete and Pam Boorum, Elizabeth Gazmuri, Bonnie Backe and Teresa Layman, who will demonstrate their work in 1/12 scale.
How do you find out what’s going on in your world? The time has long since passed when you waited for a notice to show up in your mailbox, or in the newspaper, almost everything is available on line now, including newspapers! The Guild, staying abreast of this shift, has begun sending out regular newsletters to keep members apprised of the events on the IGMA calendar, and you can always find the whole story on Guild events at their website.
The Guild has not given up any of its print programs, but they have begun, this year, to ask the membership if they wish to switch over to digital instead of receiving the print mailings. The switch is an economical, and a green (environmentally conscious) alternative and it is hoped that many will take advantage of.
Digitally, the Guild has many avenues of outreach to its membership, and to the world at large. Most people are probably aware of the Guild’s Facebook presence. The first IGMA Facebook page, where miniaturists from around the world have been sharing their work and events for many years now, was recently retitled IGMA: Miniature Community, to make room, and to differentiate it from the official page titled simply, International Guild of Miniature Artisans. On this official page you will find information on current Guild events, along with features on Guild members and other items of interest to miniaturists.
There are three Guild affiliated Instagram accounts where you may go to enjoy photos of miniatures and the programs built around making, sharing and selling them. Go to Instagram and search for guildshow, guild_of_miniature_artisans and igmaguildschool. Instagram is a great place for photos and videos that will link to websites and tutorials where you can find much more inspiration.
Have a question? The IGMA Fine Miniatures Forum, reached via the link at the top of the IGMA website, is the place for answers. You may find an answer already posted, or submit yours on the appropriate page and the site’s many visitors will turn their attentions to helping you out. It’s also another great place to see inspirational work, find sources for materials, and share tips and tricks.