MINIATURES FOR ALL
By Ann Evans.
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
You don’t have to own a dolls house to enjoy miniatures. Whatever your job or hobby, you can be sure some talented miniaturist will be creating a scaled down version of what interest you. Ann Evans takes another peek at the world of miniatures.
With another successful Miniatura Show behind them, it’s all systems go now for the Miniatura team and the amazing talented miniaturists who attend their shows to prepare for a very special event in the spring – Miniatura’s 70th Show.
There will be more feature stands for the public to see plus all the usual commercial stands. Top miniaturists from all around the UK and abroad will be exhibiting their incredible miniatures – including furniture, food, ornaments, glass, porcelain, art, needlework, dolls and dolls houses in 1/12th, 1/24th and relative scales, which will astound you.
Organisers Andy, Bob and Muriel Hopwood are hoping for the return of semi-retired artisans to come along for their 70th anniversary event. And leading up to the Spring Show, there will be all the usual competitions and monthly prizes. It’s worth noting that anyone who signs up for their monthly Miniatura newsletter is automatically eligible to be entered into the monthly prize draws with great miniature-related prizes to be won.
At the forthcoming Spring show there will again be friendly workshops led by experts in their field. At the autumn show the Miniature Needlework Society showed people how to create a Florentine Carpet; WADDHAM’s showed how to make dustbins, bread baskets and baby dresses; The British Polymer Clay Guild, The Rugby Miniaturists, Queen Elizabeth Dolls Houses and David Bishop from Little House Plus also ran workshops while Club stands put on displays of members’ work for visitors to admire.
The great thing is that you don’t have to own a dolls house to enjoy these incredible miniatures. Many people buy specific miniatures to put on their shelves or desks at home, or to give as gifts. No matter what your profession or hobby is, whether it’s cooking, gardening, painting or reading, there are gorgeous miniatures just perfect for you.
For example. photographer Rob’s eye was caught recently by some Red Devil’s – as they are his favourite football team’s mascot; while I just loved a pile of wobbly books; both items made by Kastlekelm Miniatures. DIY husbands and dads might like a mechanic doll made by Julie Campbell or a workman’s toolbox by Severn Models to stand on their workbench. And who wouldn’t love some flowers, such as those made by Jan Southerton? You can discover more incredible miniatures of all types on the Miniatura website.
Miniatura all started with Muriel Hopwood making ceramic jewellery which she sold at craft shows in the mid 1970s. After meeting someone who made miniature plants, she started making miniature pots and bowls. Before long Muriel and her husband Bob, along with sons Dave and Andy were attending events all around the country, often getting up at 3am in the morning to get there. They decided to organise their own fair, and this took place in September 1983 at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground. When they outgrew that venue they went to the Motor Cycle Museum, then finally in 1992 at the Birmingham NEC, where they have been ever since.
Andy Hopwood said: “We can still remember those shows from 35 years ago at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground – which has since been re-built; and suddenly it’s nearly 2018 and we are getting ready for the 70th event. We still make changes and improvements to the show, I think it’s essential to keep growing and adapting to what visitors and exhibitors want and need.
“In recent years we have added an extra seating area and carpet to make it a more comfortable experience, and this time we’ll be focusing on the workshops a little bit more. We are also hearing news from the exhibitors about special miniatures they plan to launch at the show, that’s always as exciting for us as it is for the thousands of visitors.”
Make a note in your diary that the 70th Miniatura Show is on 24th and 25th March 2018. Sign up for their newsletter to be kept up to date with everything that’s happening, and to be in with a chance to win great prizes. Visit: www.miniatura.co.uk