Guild Study Program

January 26 - 29, 2024   |   Colonial Williamsburg, VA

“That The Future May Learn From The Past”

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 Tour Registration

Download Brochure (PDF)

About the Program

Tuition fee includes:

  • 18 hours of classroom instruction
  • Small classes
  • Special arrangements for observation of your project original in the museum collections when possible.
  • Friday night dinner hosted by Joe and Sue Rountree at the Kingsmill Landing Clubhouse.
  • Museum pass for admission to the Colonial Williamsburg museums, valid for the duration of the Guild Study Program
  • Graduation lunch


$650 for Guild members, $700 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.

Guest (no classes):

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

Behind the Scenes Tour:

$35 (See description here).


Colonial Williamsburg’s Conference Services has arranged a special discounted rate of $132 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 $162 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 or book online.

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


Friday, January 26, 2024
9:30 AM Behind the Scenes Tour (Additional Charge of $35). You must be pre-registered
2:00 PM Tour with Jan Gilliam of the new exhibit Elegance, Taste, and Style:
The Mary D. Doering Fashion Collection
, followed by project viewing and program opening
6:30 PM Dinner with Joe and Sue Rountree at the Kingsmill Landing Clubhouse
Saturday, January 27, 2024
8:30 AM - 5:00 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 28, 2024
8:30 AM - 5:00 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 29, 2024
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



Virginia Low Cupboard c. 1680 - 1710

Craig Labenz, IGMA Artisan

This lovely low cupboard is an early example of Southern furniture-making from the Williamsburg Museum collection and may have cultural roots in either France or England. French Huguenots began immigrating to Virginia at the turn of the eighteenth century including Surry County on the lower James River — near the place where this cupboard was found. In this case, it might be an interpretation of the French buffet bas, or low cupboard. But it's also possible it has English roots because it resembles a London-inspired chest of drawers now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The piece probably functioned like a "court cupboard" — used for both display and for secure storage of valuable tablewares.

Using table saws and mills, students will learn a variety of furniture-building techniques to replicate this cupboard including case construction, drawer and paneled door construction, mortise and tenon joinery, making molding using a mill, and hand-pulling tiny wooden dowels to use for joinery pegs. Students will also learn techniques for aging and applying hinges and drawer hardware.

The original piece is heavily worn with lots of patina. We'll explore some aging techniques during the building process, but the final finishing will need to be done at home to allow proper drying time.

Skill level: Intermediate

Materials Fee: $100


Walnut Sideboard Table

Iulia Chin Lee, IGMA Artisan

This elegant Queen Ann style sideboard table is made of black walnut, a native American wood. This wood was used almost exclusively during this period. The cabriole legs used here are a feature introduced during this time.

The sideboard table is the ancestor of the modern sideboard and was used in dining rooms as a serving table. Frequently the sideboard tables had tops of marble, which would not be damaged by hot dishes. In our class, we will be using figured white maple for the table top.

The main focus of this class will be making the cabriole legs. Cabriole legs are very popular and highly appreciated in furniture. The making of legs involves cutting the cyma curves, making knee blocks and Dutch-club feet. Most of the work will be achieved with hand tools, aided with some power tools.

All skill levels are welcome.

Materials fee: $65


Tulips, Exotic and ‘Ordinary’ in Colonial America

Sherredawn Miller, IGMA Artisan

For this class, students will receive a porcelain Flower Brick specially created by renowned porcelain artist Jack Cashmere for this class. They will learn to make a variety of tulips from the famous Semper Augustus to single and doubles of more common period tulips that they can then display in their flower brick. Some of these will include the Tulip Tarda 1590, Tulip 'Keizerskroon' 1750, the Semper Augusta 1637, Tulip Albus 1601, and the Tulip 'Habit de Noce' 1790.

Techniques covered will include shaping, shading, hand cutting, and coloring. All of which can be used to create more modern tulip varieties as well. Students will use paper, punches, chalks, acrylic and watercolor paints, wire, and other materials to create realistic flowers in a variety of stages from fresh cut to dying.

Inspiration will be taken from the assortment of flower bricks that the museum holds in their collection, photos and other evidence of the various plantings within the carefully curated gardens and the flowers depicted in the paintings, tapestries, and records of the museum.

Students should bring any lighting (Battery operated preferably) or magnification that they may need. A pair of small sharp scissors and good pointed tweezers in straight or curved varieties. All other supplies needed will be provided by the instructor.

All skill levels are welcome.

Materials fee: $200 (The materials fee reflects the cost of the specially crafted flower brick by Jack Cashmere as well as the supplies necessary for making the flowers.)


Late 18th Century Waistcoat

Pat Richards, IGMA Fellow

Waistcoats, or vests, have been worn throughout history by men regardless of economic status. Along the lower end of the pay scale they were ideal for an added layer of warmth without the constraint of sleeves. The wealthy were less concerned with practicality, but found them suitable as an additional layer on which to display their wealth and status. To all, they were designed to conceal the shirt which was essentially considered underwear up to the early 20th century.

Ours will be a no sew garment cut from patterned or plain fabric as you desire, lined and embellished with buttons and pocket flaps. Should we complete them with time remaining, you may begin construction of a pair of stays, again, no sewing involved.

All skill levels are welcome.

Materials fee: $25

Behind The Scenes of the Conservation Labs

Friday, January 26, 2024 at 9:30AM

Our group will be split into three smaller groups to tour several of the conservation labs in rotation. We will not be seeing the furniture lab, unfortunately, but will be seeing the objects (toys) lab, the paper lab and one additional.

Jan and the staff at Colonial Williamsburg go out of their way to provide us with special views behind the public curtain at the various historic buildings, laboratories and museums in Williamsburg and in return, the funds we collect for these special tours is returned to them, in its entirety, as our contribution and thanks for these efforts.

Tour Cost: $35 

Direct Enquiries to:

Sophia Harris
Guild Administrator
International Guild of Miniature Artisans, Ltd.
PO Box 3643
Hollywood, FL 33083
Phone: (831)724-7974


You can either register online or by mail.

A deposit of $100 is required to secure a space in the Guild Study Program at Colonial Williamsburg. Full payment is due by November 1, 2023.

The online payment portal is set up to process the entire registration fee. If you wish to make a deposit only, please print out and mail in a paper registration. If paying online, you may add a guest and/or the Behind the Scenes Tour during the registration process, as well as indicate class preferences.



To 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, P.O. Box 3643, Hollywood, FL 33083.

Download Registration Form (PDF)

If you are registering before November 1, 2023, include a $100 deposit with the balance due November 1, 2023. If registering after November 1, 2023, 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, 2023. After November 1, a refund will be given only if another student can fill your place.