Guild Study Program

January 13–16, 2017   |   Colonial Williamsburg, VA

The International Guild of Miniature Artisans conducts Study Programs at leading museums for its members. Working with the museum's curatorial staff and Guild instructors, Guild members study specific masterworks and related exhibits. Instructors research their project and design a challenging class within an 18 hour framework. Students learn to create miniature replicas of a full-sized object from the Museum's collections. It might be an historic piece of furniture, painting, household object, or an architectural detail such as a fireplace or paneled wall. Added attractions include special guided tours, which enrich the students knowledge and appreciation of beautifully crafted objects. Beginning and experienced miniaturists alike will learn and benefit from the program

About Schedule Classes Seminar Tour Register

About the Program

Tuition fee includes:

  • Small classes
  • Discounts on lodging at the Colonial Williamsburg Lodge (you must make your own reservations and pay your own hotel bill)
  • Special arrangements for observation of your project original in the museum collections when possible.
  • Friday night dinner at the Rountree’s welcoming home
  • Museum pass for admission to the Colonial Williamsburg museums, valid for the duration of the Guild Study Program
  • Please note the special tour on the schedule for Friday morning of the exhibit "Architectural Clues to 18th-Century Williamsburg" in the DeWitt Wallace Museum with Associate Curator Dani Jaworski.
  • Graduation luncheon


$495 for Guild members, $545 for nonmembers


Other than the Friday dinner at the Rountree’s and the Monday graduation luncheon, meals are not included in the cost of the study program.


Classes will be taught at the Williamsburg Lodge.


If you are registering before November 1, 2016, include a $100 deposit with the balance due November 1, 2016. If registering after November 1, 2016, include full payment. Instructors will contact their students with further information regarding their classes and instructions on payment of materials fees.

Students who are registered and paid in full by November 1st will be assigned to their first-choice class if at all possible. If any classes are oversubscribed, a drawing will be conducted to determine class assignments. If the first-choice class is filled, the student will be assigned to his/her second, or if that is filled, then third, or fourth choice as listed on the registration form. Any student who lists only a first choice and does not get into the class will have his/her registration fee returned. In the event of all classes being filled, your registration fee will be returned.


In the event you must cancel, a refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be made for cancellations prior to November 1, 2016. After November 1st, a refund will be given only if another student can fill your place.

Guest (no classes):

$185 includes unlimited museum pass to the Colonial Williamsburg museums, Friday dinner and the graduation luncheon.

Private Buildings Tour:

$35 (See description here).


Colonial Williamsburg’s Conference Services has arranged a special discounted rate of $98 per night plus tax for Guild Study Program attendees and guests at the Williamsburg Lodge. This rate is for a deluxe room (two double beds) in the Williamsburg Lodge and is the same whether double or single occupancy. There are a limited number of suites available at $128 per night plus tax. There is no limit on the number of nights that can be reserved, so come early and/or stay late to see more of the local attractions.

For Room Reservations Call 1-800-261-9530: Ask for Group Reservations Department, and mention the International Guild of Miniature Artisans to get the special rate. Please specify if you desire a smoking or non-smoking room or if you have other special needs.

Note: The Lodge will be full for the weekend of our program. Please make your reservations early.

Direct enquiries to:

Patricia Richards, CW GSP
405 East 14 Street, Apt. 11H
New York, NY 10009
Telephone: 212-254-9205


Friday, January 13, 2017
9:30 AM Guided Tour of the new exhibit "Architectural Clues to 18th Century Williamsburg" with Associate Curator Dani Jaworski at the DeWitt Wallace Museum
1:30 PM–3:00 PM Private Buildings Tour
5:00 PM Official Welcome and Start of Program in the Williamsburg Lodge
6:30 PM Dinner at the Rountree's
Saturday, January 14, 2017
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Classes in the Williamsburg Lodge
10:00 AM–10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 Noon–1:30 PM Lunch on your own
3:00 PM–3:30 PM Afternoon Break
Evening Dinner on Your Own
Sunday, January 15, 2017
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Classes in the Williamsburg Lodge
10:00 AM–10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 Noon–1:30 PM Lunch on your own
3:00 PM–3:30 PM Afternoon Break
Evening Dinner on Your Own
Monday, January 16, 2017
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Classes in the Williamsburg Lodge
10:00 AM–10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 Noon Graduation Luncheon in the Williamsburg Lodge
After lunch –5:00 PM Seminar with Sue Rountree—Painting a Floor Cloth



New England Child’s Chair

Pam and Pete Boorum, IGMA Artisans

This New England child’s chair has turning details which are unusual and quite elaborate for a piece of furniture that would need to withstand the tender mercies of young children. The pattern suggests that it was likely made by an experienced chair maker, possibly similar to an adult pattern.

We’ll plan to make two of the chairs in this class. The project will involve turning the legs and drilling the mortises for the stretchers and simple round arms. The three slats are shaped with the jeweler’s saw and steam bent. While making your chairs you will learn to use the duplicator lathe for the turnings, and the drill press for cutting the mortises. You will also weave the seats. The chairs will be finished with a water stain and shellac.

Skill level is beginning to intermediate, but even an experienced woodworker will enjoy and learn from this project.

Materials fee: $50


Iron for the Colonial Hearth

Alan Hamer, IGMA Fellow


The Heart of the colonial home was the hearth. In this class we will first learn to make the simple tools needed to manage the fire and ash, then move on to learn to make andirons and fire cranes. As time allows, we can learn about rotisseries, curfews and the many other cooking and fire management devices. Students may be surprised to find that tying the bristles to the fireplace broom could be the most difficult task of our projects.

Cleverly disguised as ‘Iron for the Colonial Hearth’, this class will really be about learning the basics of all miniature metalwork. We will concentrate on iron and steel (to me, the most forgiving of all metals) but will also learn a bit about copper, brass and tin used in miniature. We will learn about planning, tools, forging, forming, the effects of heat to control hardness, cutting and safely joining by silver brazing with an inexpensive micro torch.

Presented for beginners, you will be sent a list of simple hand tools to bring. There will be no power tools used in this class.

My classes tend to be informal and interactive. My intent is for you to return home with the skills and confidence to comfortably use metal in your miniature projects.

Materials fee: $25


Candlewick Embroidery Coverlet

Pat Hartman, IGMA Fellow

Textiles were infinitely more valuable in the 18th and early 19th centuries due to the huge investment of time it took to make them. Thus a woman’s skill with a needle was a necessity and a source of pride for the care required to make and keep household textiles in good shape.

This style of coverlet was a popular undertaking in the first half of the 19th century. Because the soft cotton roving that was used looked very similar to the material used for candle wicks, the term candlewicking came to be assigned to the technique. The soft cotton thread, in a variety of knots and tufts, create a dimensionality on the surface of the cloth, which shows to great advantage under certain lighting conditions.

Students will transfer the design onto the ground fabric and learn how to work both the candlewick stitch and the French knot stitch to bring the design to life. Finishing is unlikely during class time, but students will leave with instructions enabling them to complete the project at home.Students should bring small sharp scissors, a travel light and, if needed, magnification. All other materials will be supplied by the instructor.

Students in this class may take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a bedframe for $60. It is a reproduction of an antique bed from Newport, Rhode Island, made by Bob Hurd, on which to display their finished coverlet.

Materials fee: $20

Spice Box 1790–1805

Wm. R. Robertson, IGMA Artisan


These wonderful little cabinets with lots of tiny drawers placed securely behind a locked door, get their name from the original use of holding valuable spices. While most known examples can be traced to Chester County, Pennsylvania, the subject for this class has a southern provenance from Piedmont Virginia, probably Loudon County. This makes it of interest to Colonial Williamsburg.

Our miniature will be only 1 ½" tall, with 15 drawers, and will be made of fine old cherry wood. This class will concentrate on hand woodworking skills and drawer fitting. A number of pieces will be precut allowing students to get right to the fun parts of the project. Students will hand cut dovetails for the sides and top, which will be visible on the finished piece. Then they will make the drawer dividers, dust boards and detail the edges with a scratch beader. The upper molding will be mitered, and bracket feet will be cut out and added. The tiny graduated drawers will be made from special channel-shaped molding. The paneled door will be constructed and hung on brass hinges. Ring pulls with turned back plates will be fitted to each drawer.

The plan is to complete the woodwork and hardware mounting and to do finishing only if time and weather permit. That can often be better done at home without the last-minute rush in class.

Materials fee: $120

Monday Afternoon Seminar

Painting a Floor Cloth

Sue Rountree, IGMA Fellow

Available only to students already registered for a regular class

This seminar will concentrate on a floor cloth pattern which can be altered and/or expanded, and uses a variety of painting techniques including marbleizing and sponging. The pattern is based on the floor cloth in the Everard House Dining Room in the historic area.

You will learn to transfer the design onto a fine-grained cotton canvas which has been primed and prepared for you, enabling you to start your project more quickly.

In addition to background material on the early use of floor cloths, you will receive images of historic patterns should you want to do more floor cloths at a later date.

Materials Fee: $20

Private Buildings Tour

Friday, January 13, 2017 at 1:30 PM


The Private Buildings Tour is available for pre-registered participants only. This year Assistant Curator of Interiors and Household Accessories, Amanda Keller, will take us on a private tour of a few of the restored buildings on the Colonial Williamsburg grounds. Most of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic properties will be closed for seasonal refurbishment during our visit, so this will be your only chance to see inside these unique buildings and with such a knowledgeable guide. The tour is an exciting beginning to the weekend of study at Colonial Williamsburg. It is limited to 20 participants and will conclude at 3:00 PM. Registration is required specifically for the tour, and a drawing will be held if the tour is over-subscribed.