2023 Chicago International Miniatures Show

Task Lamp and Saw from Ulus Miniatures

This year (2023) when I went out to Chicago from California for the Chicago International Miniatures Show, I had a slightly different perspective. Typically, I would go out on the Sunday before the show and stay all week to take longer classes, including many of the structures in this website. This year, and because I already have many unfinished projects, I decided to go out on the Tuesday before the show and take a couple shorter classes centered around accessories rather than large structures. One of my greatest joys it to take classes from other skilled and celebrated artists, there is always more to learn. Besides the expense and trouble of getting a large piece back home, I am simply just running out of room to display my works. I live in a two-bedroom condo, and the second bedroom is my office/workroom. 1000 square feet can only house so much!

So this trip I took Queen Anne’s Diamond and Pearl Necklace workshop with Sun Lemmens of Nalladis and a Christmas Wreath workshop with Betinha Murta. Both instructors are experts in their fields and shared many tips and techniques for completing the projects.

Completed Necklace!
Wreath Complete

The Queen Anne’s Necklace turned out stunning. I have never worked in such tiny detail, for 1/12th scale, this was definitely the smallest, most accurately detailed accessory I have ever encountered. Sun’s designs are just exquisite. She laser-scored the brass sheet with the design of the necklace, then we used pins and toothpicks to punch the necklace out from the brass. She is a jeweler by trade, and creates her own blend of brass, based on her experience of what works best. The progression of the class was perfect as well, and we all left with completed pieces.

First, we started with the box. We glued and painted the sides to the top and bottom of the box, then added a velvet interior. Once that was dry, we punched out the necklace and crest, and glued the necklace into the box. Once in the box, we glued tiny pearls and rhinestones onto the necklace frame, painted the cross to look enameled, and used tiny drops of white dimensional paint to look like the long pearls. After that we painted the long pearls with a pearlescent white paint so they would glow like a pearl. Once that was done, we added a hinge to the box, painted the whole thing, then added the crest to the top under thick epoxy for a shiny exterior.

Box base and top
Necklace ready for stones
Getting there...

My next class was a Christmas Wreath. Though we did not make cold porcelain in the class, we were provided with ingredients and instructions on how to make it. Our gingerbread houses were already cut out, we assembled them and added paint and glitter to the exterior. Then we decorated our wreaths. We had different beads and balls to glue on, canes and candies. Then we made a few lollypops on sticks, sliced polymer canes and added them to the house and wreaths. The gingerbread house gets glued into the center of the wreath, and done!

Wreath Start
Gluing Beads
Gingerbread House completed

Task Lamp and Saw from Ulus MiniaturesWhen the show rolled around on Friday, I went straight to Ulus Miniatures table to pick up a lamp I ordered. I wanted the task lamp that José María Bolio makes, it would fit perfectly into the Dad’s Workshop I am working on, my dad had the same exact style lamp in his garage. I ran to his table in 2022 right after the opening of the preview day, and he had already sold the 3 he brought to the show. So this year, I contacted him during the winter and asked if he could make one specifically for me in a green or blue color, like the one my dad had. He agreed. So this year I finally got the lamp. I also purchased a jigsaw from him that looks just like one my dad had. His work is perfection in scale, and I am elated I can include his items in my Dad’s Workshop.

I then headed over to Sun Lemmens’ table to see what treasures she was selling, and she had a huge crowd surrounding her table. Her items are so perfectly detailed and scaled, and her prices are very reasonable. She is a true ray of sunshine, spreading light to everyone she meets. From her I purchased a Necklace and Earring set, a Russian Egg with a Coach in inside, and the Lover’s Knot Tiara. The necklace set and egg will likely go in my la Petite Chambre, and the tiara is TBD.

Russian Egg with Coach
Necklace and Earring set
Lover's Knot tiara from Sun Lemmens

Scott's Lighting Chandelier

Next, I came upon a true find. One of Scott’s Lighting exquisite chandeliers that a dealer was selling as part of an estate, and the price was half of what his chandeliers typically sell for. I have purchased several pieces directly from him, and am always amazed at his technical skills and stunning detail. I believe this piece will go in my Habitat Botanical Garden, also TBD.

Lastly, I purchased some glassware from The Little Dollhouse Company. I use them in many pieces, this time I purchased some more wine glasses for my Enoteca Toscana and some shot glasses for my Barbary Coast Saloon and Hotel.

Take a look through the gallery below, all the pics from my classes and purchase are displayed.

All the photos from the Chicago International Miniatures Show:

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