Defining « artisan » and « museum » quality?
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Pat Goldblat

Hello to all,

I am a newcomer (from Switzerland) to the wonderful world of miniatures, and currently « self-teaching » myself as I save up for Guild School in a few years! My main interests are structures and furniture.

As I read through a number of publications, I stumble upon such terms as « artisan quality » and « museum quality ». How are these defined? Is there some kind of scale? Are there specifications or standards - particularly in the areas of structures and furniture, but all other subjects as well ?

The reason I’m asking is that I would like to focus on acquiring quality skills! Any suggestion is welcome!

Many thanks in advance for your kind replies,

Pat

PS: anybody else here from Switzerland?

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WeekendMiniaturist

Welcome Pat, 

These are excellent questions...The International Guild of Miniature Artisans does have membership levels of Artisan and Fellow, where members can submit their work for evaluation.  Here is a link about this process.

http://www.igma.org/members/artisan.html

in my experience,  Artisan and museum quality definitions are similar; they have so much detail and scaled perfectly that when photographed, you would not know they are miniature. 

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Pat Goldblat

Thank you so much for your reply, the guidelines are very interesting  Indeed, as well as your comment on photographs. Happy work to all!

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greenie

----The reason I’m asking is that I would like to focus on acquiring quality skills! Any suggestion is welcome! ----

 

Only one way of acquiring skills with anything you do, is, -- practice, ------------ practice ------------------ and practice some more.

Read lot's of books and have an open mind, be like a sponge - absorb as much information as you possibly can.

Forget about aspiring to lofty heights that you may, or may not ever acheive, just do your own thing and enjoy what you do.

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Pat Goldblat

Thank you, Greenie, for your sound advice! Fortunately I am a stubborn « do-er » and an avid reader! I have both John Davenpot and Harry Smith’s books on furniture, and I would love to find something as detailed on the subject of structures. Does anyone have any ideas? I am very interested in Peter Kendall’s work. And in Elga Koster’s approaches to milling (pin milling is huge!). Any books out there  on milling ? Thanks to all!

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WeekendMiniaturist

In the lifesize world,  and with a few years experience with desktop metal working lathe, I think finding use of a mill in the life size world, would be found in books for machining metals, even though most miniaturists who are creating in wood would use a mill for wood.   I always think of Our advance miniaturists that work in metals too.  In the life size world of woodworking, traditionally, you would use a pin router as a mill for duplicating parts.  The pin is on the table and the router is above.  

A mill from my non-technical view is a like a router that is mounted above the work.   Generally mills are used in metal working world and are very precise.  

A router can be used above the table or below the table.  Routers are traditionally used in woodworking.  I apologize if this is not necessary, as I don't know about your experiences.  Have you made any of the furniture in the two books you mentioned?  I have both books, and a chapter a month would be an incredible dream if I was able to go on a year long sabbatical from employment.

Tom Walden published some articles in American Miniaturist Magazine and does a class at Chicago and other shows, a couple of his classes focus on using a drill press as a pin router.  I had posted a question recently about the Cameron Drill press.    Pete & Pam Boorum teach classes at Shows in the US, and they use desktop equipment in their classes too.  The Boorums offer fixtures and jigs and equipment and their knowledge is incredible, too.  I enjoyed my box class that I took with the Boorums.  I even finished those boxes!

I am also interested in Peter Kendall's method of structure building; and want to take a class someday.  I am glad that you are considering classes at Guild School, it is a wonderful experience.  I think it is an incredible value, as I get to use the tools that master miniaturists use and prefer and it has opened up many opportunities for me to find what kind of equipment that I want to purchase. 

Artist is using full size equipment for his miniature structure builds, and we have a couple of other posts in the forum regarding structure builds.  In terms of structures, one of my thoughts was to build with traditional framing methods, and one thought was to build with 3/8" plywood.  There are many plans (blue prints, booklets and books) specifically for miniature structures, and the Scale Cabinetmaker is an excellent resource for roombox construction too.  I remember a series by Peter Westcott and my friend Roni had reminded me of Helen Dorsett's scratch build in The Scale Cabinetmaker too.  

http://www.fineminiaturesforum.com/topic/1059-dream-structure-build/

Is there a miniature community in Switzerland?  Elga's miniature club in South Africa is amazing...

 

 

 

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Pat Goldblat

Huge thanks for all these great references... should keep me busy for a while! Concerning the mill, I got myself a Proxxon mf 70, after reading Elga Kostner’s post here http://www.fineminiaturesforum.com/topic/755-milling-wood-for-furniture-tutorial/ - a revelation! I’ve been « fooling around » with it since, and am immensely enjoying the process! 

You are right about the Scale Cabinetmaker - another fantastic source which I often neglect. I am diving in the Helen Dorsett article you mention.

I really like your idea of « a chapter per month »... and I know what you mean about a sabbatical! I’ll try for a chapter every two months! Plus I have  tendency to disperse, especially during the summer season! 

What got me into this is the Lea Frisoni book, and here are a couple of pictures of what i’ve managed to do so far... not quite museum quality yet, to say the least!!!! I quite like the double walls technique she uses, much like buiding a lifesize house...

I’ll be looking up your other references as well... funny how a message on a board can open up so many new horizons! 

To my knowledge, not much going on in Switzerland, maybe more in the german-speaking part? Something else I need to look into...!

Thanks again for all the information!

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Wow!  How long have you been working on your project?  I have Lea's book too.    

You will have a lot of fun with your mill, and I am still trying to figure mine out.  I literally picked up a piece of 6061 aluminium for my first scratch tool to make on my mill this morning from a local Steel company.    I will post about it, if I can figure it out.

 

 

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ElgaKoster

Welcome to the forum Pat. There is quite a lot happening in the miniature world in countries like Germany, The Netherlands and the UK. I am not sure of the exact date, there is a fair in The Netherlands towards the end of September. Trees Beertema hosts a few workshops in The Netherlands each year.

http://nl.unicorna.com/2018-workshops/

There is also a summer school in Denmark once a year.

http://www.miniatureitune.dk/velkommen1

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Pat Goldblat

Hello, Elga! Thank you for the info, and the very interesting links, I’ll certainly look into these... Both Denmark and Netherlands are tempting... And thank you for your really inspiring posts too! So much to learn there too!

Hello WeekendMiniaturist (or Tamra, if I understood correctly?)! I started last November, the pictures are from end of May... since then I sidetracked myself into other things... I’ll be working on it again as of next week! Looking forward to reading about your mill and 6061!

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greenie
On 8/13/2018 at 10:32 AM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

 I literally picked up a piece of 6061 aluminium for my first scratch tool to make on my mill this morning from a local Steel company.    I will post about it, if I can figure it out.

 

Quote

Watch out for the aluminium sticking to the milling cutter, it can stick real easy if you are using too little, or, too much revs and specially if your heavy handed on cranking the work-piece into the cutter.  Use a spray bottle with Kerosene in it, as a misting spray,  just give a small squirt every now and then, aiming directly at the cutter, the kerosene does NOT let the aluminium  stick to the cutter AT ALL. You DO NOT have to flood the workpiece with Kerosene, only need to hit the cutter with the spray, that way there's no big mess to clean up, just a wipe over of the workpiece when you pull it out of the vice.  Sometimes if you get the revs right and can use an even easy pressure on the cutter, then you might not need the spray, each bit of aluminium works a little differently, it's one of the "suck it and see" thingies. I used to be a machinst for the last 15 yrs before I retired, found out the hard way, that you have to be a bit carefull when working with aluminum,  because of the way it can 'clog' up the cutter. Better to be forewarned on what to look out for  ------

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Pat, you are a natural!  You could find other people in your community on an electronic bulletin board or classified ad in a newspaper who love miniatures too... and a group is born!  Yes, name is correct.

Greenie, Many thanks for the recommendation(s) and I'll attempt to move this to a new post this evening, so I don't hijack Pat's post here.

 

 

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Wm. R. Robertson

This is a very complex subject, the idea of judging the quality of work. Another source of guide lines is a set of standards in the model ship world, I think they were put out years ago by the Msytic Seaport Museum. They gave specific differences to classify models.

A simple way to judge is look at photos, does it look like a model or the real thing? Now this is tricky because a lot has to do with the photographer.

As for books... a few others are Lloyd McCaffery’s book on model ships and Gerald Windgrove’s books Complete Car Modeler #1 and #2. 

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Pat Goldblat

Many thanks, Bill, for your input - and the great book references. I’m intrigued by both - I have a soft spot for model ships! 

Once again, thanks to all for the info... should keep me busy all winter!!!

 

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greenie

I will second what Bill has stated about Gerald Wingrove, I bought "The Complete Car Modeller" over 30 yrs ago and still refer to it whenever I hit a brick wall, to me it is ---   the ---- Modelling BIBLE, a MUST have book.

 

All of Gerald Wingrove's books are an eye opener, once you have acquired one, then it wont be long and you'll soon be buying the rest of his books.

 

Here's a list of over 160 books, all by Gerald Wingrove, from the cheapest to the dearest, for you to choose from.

 

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?bsi=0&kn=Gerald+Wingrove&sortby=17&prevpage=2

 

Oh, the book 'The Complete Car Modeller' originally came out as a Hard Back book, then it was re-issued as a two book set, The Complete Car Modeller # 1 and The Complete Car modeller # 2, the later two books 1 & 2 are only soft covers, they do have a few more items in them, compared to the original hard backed edition.

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WeekendMiniaturist

I purchased a used version of first edition,  (owned originally by the Kent Library)... and have the Unimat projects book... but I didn't pay Abe Books prices for it!  That is outrageous price.  Greenie, thanks for advising the differences between the first and second printing of the Complete Car Modeller.  (I am still reviewing the options for the wheels book recommended.)

 

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Pat Goldblat

And this one has just found a new home!!! Thanks Greenie!

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greenie

Wow, what a difference in price for one book by Gerald Wingrove, got me buggered, somebody must be real greedy, eh.

 

E-Bay, still expensive, but at least affordable -----

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Emco-Unimat-3-Mini-Lathe-Projects-Book-Gerald-Wingrove-Ref-150070-New/142891370446?hash=item2144fd47ce:g:ZWAAAOSwEu1Z1HD8

 

Abebooks, just a bloody outrageous price -----

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=22819943574&searchurl=kn%3Dunimat%26sortby%3D17&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp3-_-title11


 

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