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    • purplejuliana

      Micro-Mark Discount code for IGMA   01/29/2017

      Great News for miniature artists!!!! In support of IGMA and the world of fine miniatures,  Micro-Mark the small tool specialists, have offered IGMA a 10% discount on all their purchases.  Buyer gets 10% off all purchases and in support of the Guild Micro-Mark will donate 5% of your purchased price to IGMA Be sure to enter Promo code IGMASAVE16 www.micromark.com Can be used on sale merchandise, but cannot be combined with another offer.  For example if an item is in the close-out section on the Micromark website, the discount will apply. If they discount some items in an email (a special promotion) the 10% will not be able to be combined with that offer.  Time to go shopping!!!      

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  1. Today
  2. This isn’t complete. I’m happy with progress, but going to continue work on the frame. I’ve struggled a bit with color. I got it partly right but the darker shades keep eluding me. But I thought I’d show that not everything goes to plan. I also frankly made the frame too wide compared to the original- so it overwhelms the painting, but this is part of the learning curve I guess. I will post further. I don’t think of it as being hypercritical but rather to be honest with myself, because I would suppose that everyone who makes miniatures is the same. You are always aiming for the perfection. Falling short is human, but we still aim for that ideal, which I’m well aware can’t fully be achieved.
  3. Last week
  4. 1:12 Scale Alsatian Dog

    Hi WeekendMiniaturist, Most of the non central body parts like ears, tail, legs and even the head are worked on a square piece of foam and then attached to the body. Just overlap the wool fiber into a triangular ear shape (bigger than you want the ear to end up), lay it on the foam and start stabbing with the felting needle. Anywhere you stab the wool hooks together and starts compressing into felt. This is the finished Alsatian dog.
  5. I like your more impressionistic frame better than the full size one. Suits the painting more.
  6. I’m including a picture of the actual frame on the original painting- which I saw in 2016.
  7. Wish list: which historic eras for pottery minis?

    This is wonderful... I had finalized my mini adventures for 2018, and am thrilled to have this encouragement to go to the Firearts community. I will definitely ask to learn to throw off the hump. I have a neighbor, that may also go with me, too, so it will be even more fun to go and play in the evenings. My very kind and dear mother in law (she is a really classy lady) one day sent home some mudmen that she collected. I was like 'wwwhhhhhaaaatttt' am I supposed to do with Chinese Mudmen? Does this go with my 'traditional home' decor? Oh good grief, but she sent them, so I kept them. One of the cardinal rules of my life is to take care of our Mom(s) and never do anything to mess with gifts from our Mom(s). I apply this cardinal rule, in hopes that I teach our sons those same commitments, and so far, so good! Then Alison's class was offered at the Guild Study Program, and I remembered those mudmen, so the goal is to make mini mudmen - do you think this is an option at my pottery class? I have always wanted my own Thorne Room... and Alison's class allowed me to connect those dots... The Staircase and the English Bedroom are quite complimentary. Wouldn't my mudmen be similar to your friend who is making miniature structures? They look like they are made from the same kind of material as pottery... initially I was going to try and make them from polymer... but if I am taking a class - it seems worth the attempt to try... ? http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/43708?search_no=7&index=64 If you look at the mantle, in the book, (and I saved it an printed it much larger in the office where I can print at 11x17) no fancy garnitures on this overmantle, and some very simple pieces on the mantle... those are the pieces I need to make. I will buy the pottery book, (I will check what I have in my library), first of course... and I have a library of books and magazines, so with minis came a collection of reference material. Thank you for this recommendation. I look forward to learning about Sang de bouef glazes. In the words of Peter Pan, in the Movie "Hook", to live is an adventure! Thank you!
  8. Yes. I’m afraid so too, but I wouldn’t have tried otherwise because it’s outside of my comfort zone. I just needed it so I had no other avenue.
  9. Hi Tamra, I love this interaction with IGMA pals...and Email is so easy for me! Let's see, I last taught at Castine in 2oo4 if I remember correctly, or was it before my bypass operation in '03? The years melt together so easily. I am VERY impressed by the classes offered by Firearts...the quality of the pieces shown looks quite sophisticated. The instructors must be good...and what a variety of courses, too. Functional and Raku sounds like the choice to make. The immediacy and drama of raku is such fun (esp. in a group to ooh and ahh together) and the function part sounds like a good foundation. I think you can absorb a lot of knowledge about glazes with the raku...esp if you have a head start with a couple of book and starting points. (Glaze = glass former like silica, plus a flux to bring down the melting point of the glass former, and alumina to stiffen the glaze and keep it on the pot, plus optional things like colorants and opacifiers, etc. ) Since I was a self taught potter, books were my teachers, and there are a lot more pottery books now than in 1968 when I threw my first pot. I'd try Glenn Nelson's Ceramics: A Potter's Handbook. It's on its 5th edition, but most of the earlier editions are fine as well. I LOVE buying the used books on Amazon Prime or Amazon. Such great bargains. I need them like a hole in the head, but thinking ahead to what I'll be planning for the IGMA show, I just ordered a book on ancient Anatolian art and a German edition of a book about a Berlln museum (A lot of ancient pottery and sculpture which might be fun to replicate in miniature). (I figure I can decipher the numerical dimensions in the German text, which is what I really want along with the images, and my 1/2 year of German in college will just have to suffice. ) I would go with Nelson for your basic book, although you can find plenty of pottery books in a good bookstore, AND since you really sound serious, a subscription to Ceramics Monthly. (CM's sister publication is Pottery Making Illustrated and always has good how to projects, but you get the feel of the craft and what people are going in ceramics with CM. Maybe get a copy of each and see what you think. More random fun thoughts...I am not really into the more decorative chinas like you'd have on your overmantel, since I've always liked the gutsy more primitive pottery eras...so I can't give much advice on that. Some of the monochromatic glazed Chinese pots like a mei ping vase would look fine on a Georgian mantel, but I don't think those things were in vogue then. I was always on the lookout for a simple prototype of a mantel garniture trio without a lot of complicated decoration but never found one I really liked. The authentic replicas I made were mostly for kitchen use, although I could always be turned on by the Tang Dynasty forms and the Chinese monochromatic glazes. I would almost DIE, however, for a successful mini sang de boeuf glaze high fired in a reduction fire. The glaze has to be thick to work, and then it's too thick for an elegant mini porcelain form. (Sang de boeuf glazes would be the equivalent of your dream staircase. ) I'd better stop now before you have eye strain. I look forward to further conversations! I'm sure I'll hear from you before you start that class. And when you do, remember to bug the instructor about learning how to throw off the hump. CNC
  10. It took a couple of attempts to find a photo of the original on the wall at Yale University's Art Gallery... I see similarities! The original has a really'fussy' frame, you have chose a very challenging first piece!
  11. Wish list: which historic eras for pottery minis?

    http://www.fireartsinc.com/workshops.html Carolyn, your pottery on the wheel looks like a lot of fun. Here is my link to our local firearts classes, and I'm contemplating classes beginning in March, so I think Functional & Raku Fired Ceramics is the class I should sign up for, as it indicates beginners are welcomed... Does the kind of clay matter for miniatures? I have a couple of books on pottery, but if you have a recommendation for beginners, as the must have reference, I don't mind doing a little study before showing up for class; unless the instructor prefers a 'green' student. Oh, I have some pieces of pottery to bring with me to class; to explain what I want to make! I collected Jason Feldman's miniature pottery as he was always at the alternate Chicago show that Thelma hosted, and I have a couple of pieces of Graber, and 1 piece of pottery from Jon Almeda.... Now thinking about it... I want to work on a possible Georgian / Edwardian structure, so what kind of pottery is appropriate in this time? Previously I wrote about my dream stair case build on the fmf... someday I will make a cantilever stair case; it is on my must do this list, and the idea is to build the stair case and then design the house around the stair case; so it is likely to be Georgian or Colonial structure. I can picture porcelain in this time period, but cannot picture pottery. I do have a real need for some miniature chinese mudmen; as I need to finish my Guild Study Overmantle from Alison Ashby's class, and I want to include this Overmantle project in my dream structure. I have been participating in the miniature community for more then 20 years, but I didn't attend Guild School for the first time, until 2006... I don't attend every year... it depends on if my husband wants to travel, as I would always travel with him first before I trot off to indulge my mini obsessions at Guild School. When did you teach in Castine? When we traveled to Taiwan, I visited a pottery museum / education center, and if I remember correctly, it was a wood fired kiln... It was very interesting, but I did not anticipate that I would ever become a potter, so I did not store that in my brain for specific recall. I did buy a tea set, so I may be able to piece it together. This was my only experience with pottery. Thank you for the conversation; and I did not intend to hijack your thread. Your kindness and enthusiasm is most appreciated! Tamra aka Weekend Miniaturist
  12. So I’ve worked more in the carving and I got to a point that maybe I could keep detailing and try to form more “leaf” shapes or more defined shapes, but I’m not sure to what level I could actually get. It looks good I guess. It certainly isn’t a replica of the real frame but it’s more of an “impression” ( ironic no?). So I I’ve stained it a sort of grayish color. I will reapply some more paint to get the color more accurate to the original. The grey isn’t quite what I expected but it will be ok in the background ( so in short it’s not done yet). I will make a final reveal probably in the next installment but here is the frame as it stands now
  13. Go for it! Join the class, learn to center on the wheel (first big hurdle) and THEN tell them you want to throw "off the hump". The instructor can certainly help you with that, and then you can develop your own techniques for working in miniature little by little. You can throw off the hump eventually on the mini as well as big wheel. (When the time comes, I will be glad to coach you by email with some of the techniques I developed over the years.) I belong to a coop studio here in New Bern, and I'm the only one working in miniature (except for another gal who creates wonderful whimsical hand built clay minis of historical houses in town). The coop members are ALWAYS fascinated by my tiny pots and the details on the clay houses...there is just something about minis that is super fascinating. You can use either the full sized wheel or the mini wheel. (I used a mini wheel when I taught at Castine but use the big wheel almost exclusively in the studio. I recently used two mini wheels for a demo at a pottery show, one for white clay, the other for red.) And when your pottery instructor demonstrates wheel techniques, think small: think about replacing the hand with the finger and the potter's rib with a wooden sculptural tool when you go about trying the minis. And if the instructor shakes her head at your interest in making minis, just show her some photos of what other miniaturist potters are doing! I heartily applaud your desire to make minis instead of collecting more full scale antiques. There comes a time when there just isn't any more space in a home for accumulating big things! (Many years ago I miniaturized an entire collection of decorated stoneware for an elderly man who had to move to a small apartment, and lots of decorated stoneware collectors over the years have requested minis of their favorite pieces...in case they ended up selling the originals.) I wish you well with your new interest and hope you will keep in touch. Miniaturist potters like me are aging, and we will need fresh blood to take our places one day. Besides, it's such a heckuva lot of fun!!!
  14. Wish list: which historic eras for pottery minis?

    I look forward to seeing some of your pottery. I did see a lovely basket of pottery you made for fund raising on your website. These small pottery items are a wonderful gift to your community. I purchased a mini pottery wheel from a miniaturist that I know. Earlier this year, I discovered we have a firearts community that I can join, or I can just take classes. As an experienced potter, do you like the idea of a miniaturist turning up at a life-size community and wanting to turn 1/12th scale mini pottery? I have so many full size collectibles, that we purchased antique and estate sales / auctions, that I have no real need for life size items, but I do adore miniatures... do you think there is any risk, except for falling in love with something new? My husband is the pottery collector, I have a few items that I have purchased in life size, but he is the person that loved McCoy and Roseville pottery, and molded pottery, from my perception just doesn't seem as much fun. I love working on a metal or wood lathe, I know I will enjoy working on a pottery wheel! Does anyone else in the FMF community have any experience showing up at local pottery communities and only wanting to make 1/12th miniatures? Any suggestions of how I present to the instructor that I want to make 1/12 scale pottery and how I overcome the roadblocks is appreciated.
  15. Always glad to have input on things like this! Actually, for years I have been making mini vases (non scale, more like 2" scale or bigger...good for giving to shut ins and people (non miniaturists) who like small but not "itty bitty" sizes. Sometimes these--and the 1" scale minis--are just meant to stand alone without flowers, etc., like the bottle forms which I love to make but which have too narrow an opening for flowers. But I know as a flower arranger myself how frustrating it is not to be able to make an arrangement when the opening is too narrow, so I also try to make some miniature (and mini) vases which have the bigger opening! Sometimes the shapes are not as elegant, and that may be why we mini potters tend to make vases purely for decoration that may not be very practical. I will keep your comment in mind next time I make some vases. Thanks for your thoughts. PS....Right now I'm starting to concentrate on making mini replicas of ancient or primitive pottery which I will be firing in my own clay kiln, using the old methods of firing. It's very exciting. I'll be starting with the simplest shapes...not Greek amphoras with fragile handles, but simple everyday wares of red clay which will be good for the first experiments in my mini kilns. (I've done a couple of sculptural kilns (Firebird 1 and 2) which I fired using charcoal. Inside one I put a dozen burnished clay eggs, and they all turned a lovely lustrous black because of the firiing process...just like the old Greek pots. The other one had 1" scale minis inside the firing chamber, and those turned out well, too. Excuse my wordy ranting on...just getting back into mini production after a long period of experimenting is such fun, and I tend to get carried away with my enthusiasm.
  16. Wish list: which historic eras for pottery minis?

    Carolyn, it is good to have you back to the mini world. I do have some pottery... and enjoy those pieces. I always look for that perfect shape; the perfect color. However, my ability to verbalize what is the perfect shape and perfect color is very subjective. I purchased a lot of roses at the KC Masterworks event from Carol Wagner, and was surprised when I got home, that I couldn't get a nice qty of her roses into the necks of the pots I purchased. Having finally tried to use my pottery recently to take a picture of the flowers, I was frustrated with the size of the necks... not critiscm of anyone's work, and the pieces are probably in scale, but those roses are on "very fine long stem" wires. I have never sold miniatures; but my gut tells me I should make items that I enjoy making, and I trust that the joy of the creation of the miniature items transfers to the end result, and then we just have to find that cosmic connection to the buyer.... this would be my plan, if I ever find myself on the other side of the table.
  17. 1:12 Scale Alsatian Dog

    Wow, how do you needlefelt ears? Pretty amazing dog. I am a fan of the bigger breeds; the little yippers scare me, as I'm always worried I will hurt one of the smaller breeds, even though I am very fond on teacup yorkies, they are about as mini, of a min real life dog that I have seen.
  18. That guy never tried to paint it - especially in miniature. So I think the insight prize goes to you.
  19. 1:12 Scale Alsatian Dog

    This is another piece for the Upton House doll's house. Needle felted wool over pipe cleaner armature.
  20. The hardest part of being a miniaturist is deciding which details to leave out and let the mind's eye fill in the blanks. The artist gets to decide on the details you omit, and as you indicated, Van Gogh didn't give the guy feet under the table!
  21. Earlier
  22. Thanks so much! You know, you are right I did learn a lot. You see things that I never would have noticed otherwise ( little details like how he did wine glasses and bottles). And there are lots of little things that I can never replicate like having the right colors and amounts of paint on a brush when he makes some little swirl that is a chair leg or something. I read a book once where a guy had broken it down to which direction his brush strokes went because he was right handed and that sort of thing. That guy must have had some insight that I’ll never have! You know I’ve painted this particular one 3 times! I still think Van Gogh forgot to paint the legs of the proprietor ( under the pool table), but maybe it was painters license!
  23. This is so amazing. I'll bet you learned a lot about van Gogh's style while painting this.
  24. I’ve finally gotten around to working on the frame some more. I’m not a wood carver but I’m doing my best..
  25. 1:12 Scale Pekingese Dog

    Congrats on your wee little pup...I know it will be a nice addition to a mini scene.
  26. 1:12 Scale Pekingese Dog

    More photos. It was really difficult to take photos of her. Oddly, she is a lot less "fuzzy" than the photos show. Kind of like an electron microscope makes a butterfly look very fuzzy.
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