Guild Study Program

January 17–20, 2020   |   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 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 Tour Download Brochure (PDF)

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
  • Graduation lunch


$525 for Guild members, $575 for nonmembers


Other than the Friday dinner and the Monday graduation lunch, 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, 2019, include a $100 deposit with the balance due November 1, 2019. If registering after November 1, 2019, 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 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 November 1, 2019. After November 1, a refund will be given only if another student can fill your place.

Guest (no classes):

$195 includes unlimited museum pass to the Colonial Williamsburg museums, Friday dinner, and the graduation lunch.


$35 (See description here).


Colonial Williamsburg’s Conference Services has arranged a special discounted rate of $109 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 $139 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. Be sure to include Thursday night if you are taking the tour.

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


Friday, January 17, 2020
9:30 AM Tour
3;30 - 5:00 PM Official Welcome and Start of Program—Williamsburg Lodge
6:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the Rountrees' home
Saturday, January 18, 2020
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Classes - 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 19, 2020
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Classes - 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 20, 2020
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Classes - Williamsburg Lodge
10:00 AM–10:30 AM Coffee Break
12:00 Noon Graduation Luncheon - Williamsburg Lodge



Folk Painting: Girl in a Rocking Chair c. 1845

Phyllis Hawkes, IGMA Fellow

Paint this charming portrait of a young girl seated in a painted, child-sized rocking chair. The original was painted by Sturtevant J. Hamblin in Boston in approximately 1845. This is a fairly new accession of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum, so the chances are good that it has not been painted in miniature before. We will be the first!

We will work in artist's acrylics to ensure that we will finish by the end of class. You will learn traditional painting and glazing techniques, brush handling, color mixing, shading and blending with special study and demonstrations on children's faces. A little lace is saucily displayed on her pantaloon, so you will learn some lace techniques as well. Our painting will be approximately 2" wide x 2 1/2" inches high on a gessoed board. This will allow space for you to add a frame later. We will approach the work in a step-by-step fashion, beginning with transferring the image and initial color blocking to adding levels of detail each day. You will be amazed at the results this technique produces, especially keeping in mind that this is folk painting and total perfection is not required.

Students will receive an illustrated instruction booklet plus two Silver Ultra Mini brushes to use and to keep. All other materials will be provided by the instructor, but if you have some brushes that you love for painting minis, please don't hesitate to bring them. The frame shown in the picture is not included. Also recommended are magnifiers (such as MagEyes), a task light with extension cord, and a smock or apron if you tend to be messy.

Skill level: All levels welcome, experience with brush handling is helpful
Materials Fee: $70


Writing Table c. 1770-1790

Bob Hurd, IGMA Artisan

The Writing Table is part of a group of furniture produced in North Carolina's Roanoke River basin from the 1760s through the turn of the nineteenth century. The table has a rectangular top with a curve at each front corner, straight legs that are fluted on exterior view surfaces and chamfered on the inside corners, scrolled knee brackets at the tops of the legs, one large drawer with a brass drawer pull, and two small drawers with brass knobs.

The base of the table includes the legs, knee brackets, face frame, side panels, back panel, and interior drawer framing. The drawers will be made to fit the openings in the face frame. The top will be cut to size and shaped. Traditional construction techniques, including rabbets and mortise-and-tenon, will be used to construct the piece.

Power tools and hand tools will be used to construct the piece. Power tools 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: $50


English Stool in Walnut c. 1740

lulia Chin Lee, IGMA Artisan

This elegant stool, in Queen Anne style, is made of walnut, the wood almost exclusively used during this period. Introduced during Queen Anne's reign, the cabriole leg — with its undulating lines — is used here with a great simplicity, showing the beauty of the wood.

The stool is built with straight seat rails, having a rounded top edge and ogee shaped ends to support knee brackets. The graceful cabriole legs terminate in round Dutch pad feet on high plinths. This upholstered slip seat is done in leather. You could also properly use a bold needlepoint patterned cover.

The main focus of this class will be making the cabriole legs, a very popular and highly appreciated feature in furniture.

Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Materials Fee: $65


French Morocco Leather Portfolio c. 1760-1790

Deb Mackie, IGMA Artisan

This French Morocco leather portfolio dates from 1760-1790. Crafted of red leather with a green leather lining, the sides expand in accordion pleats with silk-covered flaps inside to separate papers. Decorated with gold stamping and silver mounts on bottom corners and clasp, this elegant portfolio is a distinctive piece that may have been carried by a well-to-do business person or lawyer.

Morocco leather is a soft, pliable form of leather widely used for gloves and the uppers of ladies' shoes, but is traditionally associated with luxury bookbindings, wallets, and fine luggage. The finest grades of Morocco leather are goatskin, sheepskin, and split calfskin. French Morocco is a variety made from sheepskin.

Students will begin with natural, unfinished sheepskin to create this piece. Several leather working techniques such as dye, gold embossing, faux stitching, skiving ( thinning the leather), and glue assembly will be taught. The piece will be finished with etched reproduction hardware custom-made for this class by Dr. G's Brasshole. No previous leather experience is necessary, but sharp eyesight and patience with tiny components is an advantage.

Skill level: All levels welcome
Materials Fee: $45

Governor's Palace and Robert Carter House Tour

Friday, January 17, 2020 at 9:30AM

The Governor's Palace Tour is available for pre-registered participants only.

Williamsburg was the captial of Virginia from 1699 to 1780; during that time, the Governor's Palace was the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia, and was later home to two of Virginia's post-colonial governors-Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The Governor's Palace is not normally open this time of year, so our tour will be a unique opportunity to see the home and be the first group to see the newest restorations. We will also visit the limited-access Robert Carter House, a behind-the-scenes tour focused on the preservation and history of the house and solving the mysteries of the house in order to restore it.

The tour is limited to 25 participants. Registration is required specifically for the tour, and a drawing will be held if the tour is over-subscribed. Thursday-night hotel stay is highly recommended.


Register and Pay Online

Step 1: Download the registration form and email it to or send to Bev Gelfand, IGMA GSP Coordinator, 569 Buttonwood Drive, Jackson, NJ 08527.

Step 2: Pay your deposit of $100 using PayPal or a Credit Card (through PayPal) by click on the yellow "Pay Now" button below. You will receive an email confirmation of payment.

Note: If you are using your business name in the PayPal check out, please also include your first and last name so we know who you are. You can do this in the PayPal checkout. Where it says "Add special instructions to IGMA", click on "add" and enter this information.

Step 3: After August 1, 2019 we will add PayPal options to pay for the remainder due. Full payment is due by November 1, 2019.

Register and Pay By Mail

You can also download the registration form, fill it out and mail it with a check made out to IGMA to:
Bev Gelfand, IGMA GSP Coordinator, 569 Buttonwood Drive, Jackson, NJ 08527

The illustrations of class projects are from the prints provided by, and are the property of, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and may not be reproduced without permisson from the Foundation.