Part of the mission of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans is to encourage work of the highest quality. The Independent Study Program is one of the ways they devised to accomplish that. Available to Fellow members of the Guild, the Independent Study Program offers financial assistance, in the form of a grant, to enable further research into an area the Fellow member may not have been able to explore otherwise. The research may be connected with a specific object, technique, material or historical setting and designed to increase skills, or provide further inspiration for the member’s work.
Over the past 12 years, grants have been awarded to 12 Fellow members for proposals ranging from the study of Italian Majolica pottery and Norwegian double weave coverlets, to the use of metal clay, and the study of egg tempera techniques.
Following the completion of their study, the recipient returns the favor to the Guild in some way; by offering a class or a presentation at a Guild function or by donating a piece to one of the Guild’s auctions. Proposals are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year. Visit the Education page on the IGMA website for more information.
With so many organizations soliciting for your attention and your funds every day, what is it about the International Guild of Miniature Artisans that may help us to stand out when we make an appeal? We certainly are not saving lives in the strictest sense of the word-but having something that you love and enjoy sharing with others certainly helps to make life worth living.
The Guild raises its operating funds in several ways-your dues, first and foremost, but also through auctions that we hold at our annual show and sale, and occasionally at other functions throughout the year. This year we will be holding the second, in what we hope will become an annual tradition, at Tom Bishop’s Chicago International Show in April. The money we raise from our auctions goes directly into IGMA’s many educational and outreach programs, helping to keep the cost to program participants as low as possible. That is how Guild programs can remain so affordable and our dues at the same level they have been for many years.
The auction offers miniaturists many ways to support IGMA, one of which does not even involve your wallet! You can, if you wish, support IGMA with the donation of a miniature, it might be something that you made, or that you have acquired at some point, perhaps something you bought, but which never found its way into that special project.
If it is within your budget, come to the auction Friday, April 17 and bid on one or more of the many special pieces that will be on the auction block. One of a kind pieces will be found and the occasional bargain, too. Even if you’re not bidding, it is a truly fun event, there is no one like our auctioneer Duffy Wineman to keep everyone on the edge of their seat with excitement and laughter.
Please visit the IGMA web site for more information.
Plainly speaking, passementerie is an all inclusive term for the many and varied wonderful trims you see in the craft and fabric stores; ribbons, cording, fringe and even tassels are all included in the term. In even the largest cities and stores with extensive notions departments, it can be very hard to locate trims that are in the appropriate scale for miniature work. Imagine my pleasure then, when I found Bonni Backe offering a class at Guild School on making appropriate scaled trims.
We began with a small version of an inkle loom and working with thread to achieve the finest scale possible, we learned to weave very narrow tapes; plain tapes in a single color and tapes of multiple colors, tapes with fancy corded trim, and tapes with fringe. We learned how to twist cords, with and without the assistance of gadgets; cords in one or many colors; and we learned how to make tassels, a subject which could fill a whole course on its own…tassels on wooden head forms, tassels made entirely of thread, tassels with skirts, talk about going to bed with visions of sugarplums dancing through your head!
It was one of those classes that left you charged with excitement knowing you could use the knowledge and head off in many, many directions to create the necessary trims to perfectly finish any miniature project.
Anyone who is lucky enough to be contemplating attending the Kensington Dollshouse Festival in London this May has the opportunity to sign up for this marvelous class. Bonni has agreed to teach it again at the IGMA
classes being held in conjunction with the Kensington Dollshouse Festival this year. Visit the website for all the exciting details!