Guild School Lotto

Guild School 2015 theme, The Ripple Effect.

Guild School 2015 theme, The Ripple Effect.

The 2015 Guild School catalogs are in our eager little hands and around the world, decisions are being debated before pen is put to paper and those final choices are written on the forms. For those that have pre-registered, those choices have to be submitted to Barbara Davis, Guild School Director, by November 10 to be eligible for the annual lottery. This year the lottery takes place in mid-November and class assignments will be in our hands mid-January.

Jon Almeda will be teaching the construction of a 1/12 scale teapot to anyone who has previously taken one of his classes and would like to further develop their skills.

Jon Almeda will be teaching the construction of a 1/12 scale teapot to anyone who has previously taken one of his classes and would like to further develop their skills.

Now, there is nothing truly mysterious about the lottery, but for some reason,  Carol Hardy has to bring her own chair to the event! Enormous charts get posted on the wall, and each name that is drawn gets entered on the charts with their first choices of classes and so it goes until the classes start to fill up. When your name gets drawn, if your first choice class has already reached its limit, they move onto your second choice and then to third choices, if necessary. It is rarely necessary, but if by some strange quirk of fate, all of your choices have filled before your name was drawn, you get a PHONE CALL. You don’t really want to be on the receiving end of one of those calls, but, remember back to the first paragraph, how hard it was to decide which options to make first, second and third? Most likely you had fourth and fifth choices that didn’t make it onto the list…who knew? Bottom line is that there are so many great options, you will be happy wherever you land.

And hey, keep coming and after 20 years, you get a certificate entitling you to an automatic ‘in’ to your first choice class. One time use, only! That’s one of the great things about the lottery….everyone goes through it, and way more often than not, you do end up in your first choice class.

See all the class photos (in color!) on the IGMA website (click on Guild School) and don’t forget to visit the Guild School Facebook page for updates throughout the year. Only 240 days until Guild School 2015 begins. Keep your fingers crossed!

 

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Old Friends

A rather neat miniature chest with a unique opening mechanism by James Hastrich.

A rather neat miniature chest with a unique opening mechanism by James Hastrich.

Even though I’ve been making and selling miniatures for 10 or more years, and collecting for a bit longer, I still feel I am relatively new to the world of miniatures. Yet, even in that decade and a half, I see that the dealers on the show circuit are in constant flux. Many incredibly talented people, who’s work I adore, have stopped attending shows. Last week, I happened to be in the neighborhood of one such couple and was fortunate enough to be able to arrange a studio visit.

LInda LaRoche and James Hastrich in Linda's studio in their house in Kennebunk, Maine.

LInda LaRoche and James Hastrich in Linda’s studio in their house in Kennebunk, Maine.

Linda LaRoche and James Hastrich, IGMA Fellow and Artisan members, respectively, are two of the top talents in miniatures. Over the years they found that doing shows became counter productive to the creative processes they so enjoyed. They decided to stop trying to figure out what would sell at a show and focus instead on projects that interested them, and luckily enough, it has worked out to their satisfaction. Occasionally the project will originate from a collector’s request, at other times, from something they have seen and decided they’d like to replicate in miniature. These days they don’t necessarily work in standard dollhouse scale, having discovered that many collectors appreciate the pieces for their amazing construction and history and are not intent on fitting them into a larger scene.

A series of band boxes in graduated sizes by James Hastrich.

A series of band boxes in graduated sizes by James Hastrich.

James specializes in early American pieces with painted finishes, while Linda prefers the carving process, showing us a recently completed commission of a pair of Federal period chairs with intricately carved details. James is currently working on a Shaker tailor’s cupboard with unusual folding doors. As with many of the pieces he replicates, he sought and received special permission from the museum which owns the original to photograph and take accurate measurements from it. Even his working drafts qualify as art, and the museum has requested a set of the drawings in return for granting him access.

Work in progress, James' detailed drawing of the Shaker cupboard.

Work in progress, James’ detailed drawing of the Shaker cupboard.

It was such a pleasant and inspiring visit, I couldn’t resist wrapping it up without leaving a request of my own. Maybe a holiday gift to myself?

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The Party’s Over…and its Just Beginning

Sue Krzysko doing a little shopping at the Guild Show.

Sue Krzysko doing a little shopping at the Guild Show.

The end of something is almost always the beginning of something else, and the end of the Guild Show 2014 last weekend meant the start of the Guild Show 2015, but maybe more importantly, it meant a bit of a vacation and time to be creative in different ways. And after such an intense period of concentration, the creativity burst out in several different directions. Its all good and will all infuse and reinvigorate the soul for the next experience.

New IGMA Fellow member Teresa Layman and her daughter at the 35th Anniversary Celebration.

New IGMA Fellow member Teresa Layman and her daughter at the 35th Anniversary Celebration.

The 35th Anniversary Guild Show was a tremendous amount of fun. There are so many miniature shows one can attend these days, that you might wonder what is so special about the Guild Show. For that very reason, the International Guild of Miniature Artisans has moved in a unique direction to make their show a weekend long experience. It helps that it is held just the other side of the river from New York City and attendees can pop into town to take advantage of the many cultural attractions; on their own or on one of the show committee’s organized trips-to take in a Broadway show, or to shop the many and varied stores in the garment district for trims and materials that you may not be able to find at your local craft shops back home.

Enjoying the free make and take on Sunday at the Guild Show.

Enjoying the free make and take on Sunday at the Guild Show.

The Guild is also well known for their educational offerings and the show is another venue for learning. Classes are, and were, offered in lengths ranging from a few hours, to a full day and sometimes longer. Free learning opportunities were available as well, the Desserts and Demonstrations Friday evening before the show was a chance to sit down with artists and learn a little about how they make their pieces. On Sunday, there was free crafting enjoyed by all-from those of elementary school age, to-ahem, the well past elementary school age attendees.

All told, many excellent reasons to attend the Guild Show, and as a bonus, for Guild members, its free! And now, to begin work on the Guild Show 2015.

 

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