Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Please Don't Xerox The Minis

I am finding out rather quickly that it isn’t easy to come up with something to write about every day. I thought it was going to be so easy, but when forced to produce, the muses frequently desert me. So, this is the part where I ask what you’d like me to write about. If you have a question, are searching for a product or technique, need a supply source, or whatever, feel free to drop me a line. I’ll see if I can come up with the answer or point you to someone who can.

I think that sharing is one of the greatest things about this hobby. Those who are true miniaturists are so willing to share their tips and techniques with others. NAME has even made sharing a key element of their motto: “Only through sharing can we really enjoy our treasures”. Sharing is what sets this hobby, and the people in it, apart from so many other pursuits. Most miniaturists love to tell you how they solved a problem or created something unique out of scraps and pieces. And we all love to watch in awe as someone shows us their methods, most of us knowing that we probably won’t be able to recreate it in quite the same manner. And that is what makes the hobby so fun… even when we see how it is done, we still manage to create a totally unique piece from the original.

It never ceases to amaze me how a room full of miniaturists can sit down with the exact same project, and still create a dozen different pieces, none of which look like any other. That is yet another reason I have to chuckle to myself when the subject of copying comes up. Now let me say right off, that I do not condone any one making identical copies of another artist’s work, and it is blatantly wrong, but that being said, there are those artists who become so over protective, that they seem to think they invented the wheel! I mean let’s face it, a rose is a rose, is a rose. No one person created that rose, and any one of us can make one in miniature, and chances are 1000 to 1 that no two will ever look the same. Yet some people think that if they make a Tabby cat, or a chocolate cake, or a Rubber Tree plant, that suddenly they own the rights to that object, and no one should be able to make another one. Now as I said, if you make a unique piece, I would not approve of any one making an exact duplicate, using the same style, color, and contents. But for myself, I am happy to share the techniques of something I’ve made, and the odds are that the copy will never turn out the same as mine. Perhaps it might even be better. And perhaps that is what these controlling “artists” are afraid of; that someone may actually be better than them. But, as a prime example, there have never been any art forgers good enough to have gotten away with copying a Vermeer for very long without being detected. So it’s a pretty good chance you’re item will still stand on its own merit and quality, well above all the imitators. So lighten up a bit, share the knowledge and have fun with the hobby…

I ran into a friend a few weeks ago and we were both lamenting the fact that our club has been inactive for some time and we really don’t have anyone to “play with”. It seems at some point last year we decided to take a brief hiatus, as one member had work schedule issues, another had upcoming family plans and yet another had health concerns. We decided to take a brief break and vowed to get back together soon. It has been over 9 months and we have yet to resume our monthly meetings.

Along with the deadline issues I spoke of yesterday, I also need people to work on minis with, in order to get things done. It is more fun to work on a project when your goal is to take it to “show and tell” at your next club meeting. Without that motivation, for me making minis just isn’t as stimulating or as much fun. I often wonder if people who do not belong to clubs feel the same way. If you have never been part of a mini group, then perhaps you don’t know what you are missing. Or maybe you aren’t missing any thing. I don’t know. How do you feel? Do you find it more enjoyable and do you accomplish more working in a group, or are you just fine working on your own? As for me, I think I’ll go call a few mini friends and see if they want to get together…


  1. I've never had the opportunity to belong to a mini club and I enjoy working on my own but once I discovered the online miniature world my pleasure in the hobby increased. Now I am able to share photos of my work with people who truly understand my love of small things. My family has always been supportive and appreciative but they really don't quite "get it."

  2. I miss my club. It disbanded a number of years ago, and I miss the show-and-tell. It is more fun to create miniatures if the little things can be shown to someone who understands them.

    I do my best work when working alone, but I also do my best work when I know that someone else will see my creation in person. I take pictures to share with on-line friends, but it isn't the same as letting someone hold something in their hands to ooh and ahh over.

    I hope your club becomes active again.