Guild Study Program at Old Salem / MESDA

November 10-13, 2023   |   Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The International Guild of Miniature Artisans, Ltd., conducts Study Programs at leading museums for its members. Working with the museums’ curatorial staffs and Guild instructors, Guild members study specific masterworks and related exhibits. Instructors research their projects and design challenging classes within an eighteen-hour framework. Students learn to create miniature replicas of full-sized objects from the museums’ collections. They might be an historic piece of furniture, a painting, a household object, or an architectural detail such as a fireplace or paneled wall. Other attractions include special guided tours that enrich the students’ knowledge and appreciation of beautifully crafted objects. Beginners and experienced miniaturists alike will learn and benefit from the program.

The Guild invites you to be a part of these unique learning experiences!

About Schedule Classes Tours Registration

Download Brochure (PDF)


About the Program

Tuition fee includes:

  • 18 hours of classroom instruction
  • Small classes
  • Special arrangements in the museum collections for observation of project inspiration pieces when possible
  • Friday night welcome dinner at Foothills Brewing Brewpub
  • 2-day museum pass for admission to Old Salem/MESDA historic area and museums
  • Graduation lunch


$600 for Guild members, $650 for nonmembers


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


Classes will be taught at the Hawthorne Inn, Winston-Salem, NC.

Guest (no classes):

$125 includes 2-day ticket to the Old Salem/MESDA historic area and museums, Friday dinner and the graduation luncheon.


The Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center is the location for hotel rooms and classrooms. They have arranged a special discounted rate of $89 per night plus tax for Guild Study Program attendees and guests. The rate includes a complimentary continental breakfast.

For room reservations call the front desk at 336.777.3000, preferably during business hours of 9am to 5pm, state date of arrival and departure, and mention the International Guild of Miniature Artisans or IGMA to get the special rate.


Friday, November 10, 2023
10:00 AM-2:00 PM Self-guided tours of historic area houses and trades and museum galleries
2:00 PM-4:00 PM Tours of private MESDA rooms hosted by Jane Sutton, Manager of Museum Interpretation, including viewing of project inspiration pieces
6:00 PM Dinner at Foothills Brewing Brewpub
Saturday, November 11, 2023
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Classes in the Hawthorne Inn
10:00 – 10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
3:00 – 3:30 PM Afternoon Break
Evening Dinner on Your Own
Sunday, November 12, 2023
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Classes in the Hawthorne Inn
10:00 – 10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
3:00 – 3:30 PM Afternoon Break
Evening Dinner on Your Own
Monday, November 13, 2023
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Classes in the Hawthorne Inn
10:00 – 10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 Noon Graduation Luncheon in the Hawthorne Inn



Sugar Chest, Unknown Maker, Tennessee

Pete and Pam Boorum, IGMA Artisans

In bygone days, sugar was a valuable commodity. It was imported from the Caribbean and made its way to the consumer by riverboat or long overland journey. A household would often purchase an annual supply at one time. And, once purchased, it was kept under lock and key, because everyone in the household would likely have a sweet tooth.

Our sugar chest was from an “unknown maker” in Tennessee. We will replicate it, making extensive use of quarter-sawn cherry lumber and the table saw. The upper and lower units could be separated, with a removable insert in the upper unit, and interior dividers in the drawer of the lower unit. Finger joints will be employed, legs will be tapered, the top will have finger joints, and the custom-made moldings on the lid and waist will be mitered. You will learn to install hinges and the necessary key plates. Please join us!

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Materials Fee: $40.00


Drop Leaf Table, John Shearer, West Virginia

Bob Hurd, IGMA Artisan

Drop leaf tables were found mostly in England where they date to the late sixteenth century. The table has a fixed section in the center and a hinged section (leaf) that can be folded down (dropped) and supported by a leg or bracket when folded up. This type of table has many uses and the usual reason to have a drop leaf table is to save space.

The inspiration for this class project is a table made by John Shearer in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in 1798. The table has a serpentine front apron, four spade-foot legs and a single leaf that can be folded up to increase the overall size of the top. A wooden bracket will be used to support the drop leaf. The size of the table will be about 2-3/8” high x 3-3/4” wide x 2-3/4” deep (open) and 1-1/2” (closed).

Power tools and hand tools will be used to construct the piece. Power tools will include the table saw and drill press. The instructor will provide a list of tools for the students to bring.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Materials Fee: $40.00


Leather Bound Natural History Books, Mark Catesby, London

Deb Mackie, IGMA Artisan

Naturalist Mark Catesby’s “Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands” first volume appeared in 1731; the second volume in 1743. Catesby traveled extensively in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Caribbean collecting specimens for his work. Catesby’s Natural History is a pioneering work in scientific illustration, and until the time of Audubon a hundred years later, was the best illustrative treatment of the flora and fauna of North America.

In this class, we will create a bound, miniature two-volume set based on the volumes in the MESDA collection. The leather cover will be embossed and foiled with similar designs. If time allows, we will create a leather-covered slipcase to compliment the books. Students will learn to bind a book block, then dye, foil, stamp and skive (thin) leather for the cover.

Skill Level: Intermediate. Leather experience is not necessary, but students should be familiar with using sharp tools, and precision-cutting and fitting tiny pieces. Manual dexterity is required.

Materials Fee: $65.00


Moravian Slipware, Workshop of Aust, North Carolina

Mary Grady O’Brien, IGMA Fellow

“The Moravian potters were masterful in their application of slip… Most of the slip-decorated dishes associated with Aust and his successors have naturalistic plants in their centers, making them analogous to flower paintings in clay. Possible sources for the motifs used by Moravian potters range from Islamic pottery, and its European derivatives, to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century botanical woodcuts and prints.” (Taken from MESDA’s Art in Clay Gallery Guide)

This focus of this class will be to replicate classic Moravian patterns on red and black porcelain clay plates ready to receive decoration. There will be ample opportunity to explore a number of patterns working with mixed media, ending the weekend with several charming examples of rural folk art. Your creation will be a lovely addition to a wall shelf or country hutch. All supplies will be provided.

Skill Level: All skill levels welcome.

Materials Fee: $65.00


Friday, November 10, 2023

Tuition for students and fees for guests include 2-day tickets to Old Salem/MESDA in Winston-Salem, NC. On Friday specifically, the Old Salem historic area and the MESDA galleries are open for self-guided tours from 10 AM to 4 PM. The guided tour of the MESDA private rooms, during which objects that have inspired the GSP projects will be viewed, will occur from 2 PM to 4PM. Because of the intimate nature of the rooms and tours, participants for the guided tour will be placed into small groups of no more than 8.


Direct Program Enquiries to:

Joanna Ruth Marsland
Telephone: 919.632.4709

Direct Registration Enquiries to:

Sophia Harris, Guild Administrator
Phone: 800-711-4462


A deposit of $100 is required to secure a space on the Guild Study Program at Old Salem/MESDA. Full payment is due by September 1, 2023.

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 September 1 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 September 1, 2023. After September 1, 2023 a refund will be given only if another student can fill your place.

You can pay your deposit and register online or by mail.



To pay your $100 deposit and register through our secure online payment system, click on the red button below.

Register Online


By Mail

To register by mail, click on the button below to download the registration form. Fill out the form and include payment information or check and mail to: Sophia Harris, Guild Administrator, International Guild of Miniature Artisans, Ltd., PO Box 3643, Hollywood, FL 33083.

Download Registration Form (PDF)