Guild Study Program

January 27-30, 2023   |   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


$600 for Guild members, $650 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 $125 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 $155 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 27, 2023
9:30 AM Behind the Scenes Tour (Additional Charge of $35). You must be pre-registered
3:00 PM Tour with Amanda Keller of the new exhibit Making Music in Early America, followed by project viewing and program opening
6:30 PM Dinner with Joe and Sue Rountree at the Kingsmill Landing Clubhouse
Saturday, January 28, 2023
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 29, 2023
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 30, 2023
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



Colonial Pastry Board

Jeanie Anderson, IGMA Artisan

This class is FULL.

Refrigeration was hard to come by for perishables in the 18th and 19th centuries, so some Virginia colonists used and ingenious method of preservation called a “coffyn crust” to keep their food fresh and consumable for a longer period. These thick, somewhat unpalatable creations made of a paste of flour, water and sometimes fat were usually cooked for hours and were often reused. Resembling a Tudor pie, they could be as elaborate as the baker wished, and would contain savory or sweet fillings.

We will create our own miniature “coffyns” (which originally simply meant “box” or “basket”) using a mold and our own imaginations. They will be placed on a kitchen workboard surrounded by other, more edible desserts and pastries such as sugared fritters, dried fruits and nuts and marzipan confections, including an adorable hedgehog with almond slivers for spines!

The backdrop will feature a sugar cone, a bowl of marzipan in the making, and a beautiful ceramic flour jar made by IGMA Artisan Jane Graber.

The techniques covered will be shaping, texturing and coloring polymer clay, which can be applied to any miniature food project.

All skill levels are welcome.

Materials Fee: $56


Faux Painting: Various Samples and a Blanket Chest

Phyllis Hawkes, IGMA Fellow

This class is FULL.

For the first part of the class we will study several examples of faux painted furniture and boxes in the Williamsburg collection and strive to emulate the techniques using paint brushes and a few other creative tools. Once we have a good understanding of how these techniques were accomplished, we will embark on decorating this small blanket chest.

Our miniature chest will be constructed by the Boorums and follows the design of an 1820-30 Pennsylvania chest in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg.

Faux-grained decoration took many forms and colors. While some ornamental painters attempted to replicate the appearance of a specific wood in paint, others used techniques to create more ornamental patterns. The reddish-orange front and sides of this chest hardly suggest the grain of a particular wood. Rather, they present colorful patterned surfaces framed by the once vibrant green moldings which have darkened with age to almost black.

If you feel comfortable with several techniques, you might wish to create panels on the front, sides, or top to display these techniques. We will work in craft acrylic. Each student will receive 2 miniature paint brushes to keep and a step-by-step booklet with photos taken as I painted the samples and prototype plus written directions. Magnification, good task light with extension cord, and a smock or apron are recommended.

All skill levels are welcome.

Materials fee: $87


Blanket Chest

Bob Hurd, IGMA Artisan

This class is FULL.

This Blanket Chest is a representation of similarly made chests produced in the Piedmont region of North Carolina from the late 18th century until about 1830. It is a six-board chest with attached frame, shaped front and side skirts, cabriole front legs and tapered, angular rear legs. The side panels are half-blind dovetailed to the front panel and backboard. The lid is hinged to the backboard. There is molding on the front and sides of the top and base frame. The molding and hinges will be pre-made for the class. Traditional construction techniques including mortise-and-tenon joinery will be used. Two methods for making the half-blind dovetails will be used. The finish on the prototype is stain and lacquer. Application of the students’ choice of finish may not be possible in the allotted class time.

Power tools and hand tools will be used to construct the piece. Power tools will include the table saw and drill press.

Skill level: Intermediate

Materials fee: $50


Virginia Low Cupboard c. 1680-1710

Craig Labenz, IGMA Artisan

This class is FULL.

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 and apply them during the building process, but the final finishing may need to be done at home to allow proper drying time.

Skill level: Intermediate

Materials fee: $50

Behind The Scenes Tour

Friday, January 27, 2023 at 9:30AM

With Amanda Keller, Manager of Historic Interiors, we will get a unique glimpse into life in Colonial Williamsburg as it might have occurred in one or two (depending on time) historic buildings and an archeological site on the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg.

This tour is available to pre-registered participants only and is limited to 25 participants. Registration is required specifically for the tour and a drawing will be held if the tour is over-subscribed.

Jan Gilliam and other members of the curatorial staff at Colonial Williamsburg go out of their way to provide us with special views behind the public curtain at the various historic buildings 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:

Pete and Pam Boorum, CW GSP
79 Sebbins Pond Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
Telephone: 603-669-4185


Registration is now closed.


In the event you must cancel, a refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be made for cancellations prior to November 1, 2022. After November 1, a refund will be given only if another student can fill your place.