Marvellous Miniatures at Miniatura
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Ann Evans went along to the amazing Miniatura show and discovered some marvellous miniatures.
Miniatura held its 73rd show recently, where artisans in the craft of making exquisitely scaled doll’s house miniatures exhibited their work to more than 2,200 visitors. The twice-yearly show held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre has been running since 1983, founded by Muriel and Bob Hopwood, and now run by son Andy, although Muriel and Bob are still very much a key part of the event.
Held every Spring and Autumn, this time of year brings lots of Halloween and Christmas themed miniatures to enhance any dolls house – or that sit happily on any shelf or desk as perfect little ornaments.
As well as the skill of the craftsmen and women who make these delightful furnishings, it’s also their imagination that is astounding in creating unique, beautiful and often fantastic items, perfectly scaled to 1/12th, 1/24th, 1/48th, 1/144th and even smaller. Fully furnished dolls houses that fit perfectly into a dolls house will have you rubbing your eyes in amazement.
Everyone has their favourite stands, and visitors queued for the doors to be opened, then hurried eagerly into the hall to find their own particular favourite. There’s such a wealth of brilliant craftsmanship, there really is everything needed to furnish a dolls house: Food that could be mistaken for the real thing; porcelain dinner services, silver cutlery, blown glass vases, lamps and chandeliers fitted with tiny light bulbs that actually work; cut flowers and potted plants; oak furniture that is built using the same methods as real full sized furniture; luxurious soft furnishings; made to measure curtains; hand-woven rugs; every kind of household accessory imaginable in fact.
As for the doll’s houses themselves, there was a great choice in 1/12th scale and smaller; both ready built and those that come in kit form. If space was an issue, visitors found that a 1/24th or 1/48th scale house fitted perfectly on a sideboard or shelf; and there were plenty of wonderful items to furnish it in style.
If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at making miniatures, the show always runs a variety of friendly workshops. At the autumn show you could try something new and learn a new skill at workshops run by The Miniature Needlework Society, Queen Elizabeth Dolls Houses and The Rugby Miniaturists plus there were demonstrations by Bromley Crafts, Criss Cross Miniatures, Natalie Mori, Petite Properties, Mini McGregor and Small World Products. All of them offering helpful, hands-on advice to get you going on something new.
Organisers, Andy, Muriel and Bob would like to thank everyone for their support, and really hope that the exhibitors sold well, took lots of commissions, and the visitors enjoyed browsing and buying from the immense range of wonderful miniatures on offer. And don’t forget, even though the show is over until Spring 2020, the work and amazing miniatures produced by all of the skilled artisans who exhibited, remains linked through the Miniatura website, their social media and newsletters and of course through the memories made over the weekend.
The next Miniatura Show takes place on the 21st & 22nd March 2020 at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. Visit the Miniatura website and sign up for the Newsletter, for all the latest news and competitions. www.miniatura.co.uk