Monday, July 14, 2008

The Plight of the Miniature Artist











As soon as one says "dollhouse" the first thought that comes to mind is toys, or a dollhouse for the little girl. Dollhouse Miniatures are not considered toys, nor are they appropriate for children; which you will note in some of the miniature shops. This is a hobby which many are involved in, and then again, something that many know nothing about. Although I have had a miniature shelf (originally a printer’s case for their letters) for many years, and was collecting miniature items; I came to learn about the world of miniatures through one of my oldest friends, who as an artist started out as a textile designer, then started making Persian designed carpets for dollhouses. The exact dimensions of each piece of work are so real like, that I became interested in this field, even doing shows with my friend in LasVegas and Atlantic City (yes, we did have time to gamble a little!). I then started working for quite a few years in a Dollhouse Miniature shop, where dollhouses and their accessories were geared for adults, and quite costly. Often I would find myself telling children, "please don't touch"! Of course we did have furniture for children, which were towards the back of the store, and would quickly guide the little children back there. The craftsmanship in making something 1/12" scale is quite a difficult and comprising task. When one views the items made, they are so real like, it is impossible to believe that they are only 1/12" in size.
Recently I discovered that there are quite a few shops on Etsy selling “miniature items. A few of the many shops listed are: www.Lilwitchy.etsy.com, www.bluekittyminatures.etsy.com, www.ladyartisandolls.etsy.com, www.bassombear,etsy.com. (the cutest little bearsin this shop!)www.goldenunicornminis.etsy.com, www.polkadottoadstool.etsy.com, www.bluecrawdad..etsy.com, one of my favorite shops, www.TheHauntedHollowTree.etsy.com, of which I own a few of her beautiful pictures. For those of you who have not experienced the world of miniatures, I do recommend that you take a moment to look at the real-like items in their shops. Within the Forums you will find one group of miniature artists' "MiniMakers". Another group,"DAM" , which stands for Dolls and Miniatures, are currently attempting to start their own Etsy team. Lisa of “LilWitchy” (the artist of the miniature “Quija Board” which is pictured) specializes in mostly 1:12 scale Miniatures for Witch's Haunted Dollhouses"; and “BlueKitty Miniatures” (who designed the beautiful wedding caked pictured), and "Ladyartisandolls", are a few of the members of who make up “DAM” . While like other teams here on Etsy who chat away about life, families and their craft, they are also trying to get people to understand exactly what miniatures are. As they describe themselves, they are miniature artists creating collectible objects in 1:8, or 1:12" scale for dollhouse/room box settings or even curio cabinets. Miniatures are an old and distinguished hobby, from private collections to museums including the Smithsonian, whose owners value the skill necessary to create tiny objects. They are not children's toys as much as tiny works of art.
Both groups, the "MiniMakers", and "DAM", have tried without little success to get Etsy to provide them with their own specific tag, which would make shopping for miniatures much easier for those looking for that "little" extra something. Taken from a thread posted on June 24, 2008 by “Ladyartisandolls”, "for at least two years, possibly longer, art doll artists, miniaturists, and non-toy dollmakers have been trying to get categories set up for their particular art here on Etsy. We’re consistently frustrated by the difficulty buyers and collectors encounter while trying to find our work. We regularly have customers tell us they would never find us on Etsy if we didn’t send them a direct link. Other doll artists and miniaturists who haven’t yet signed up on Etsy hesitate to do so because there is no clear category on Etsy for them to list their items." According to Lisa, of “LilWitchy”, there is a legislation in the UK which prohibits listing any dollhouse item as a toy. I invite you all to take a look at some of the shops, and view just a few of the very unique items I have listed; and I also ask that perhaps you can convo them in support of their mission in getting Etsy to provide them with their own specific tag, or sign their petition in support of the “MiniMakers.” Here’s a link to their petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/add-a-dolls-category-on-Etsy .
I hope you can all take a "mini" moment of your time to sign this petition to help these very creative miniature artists towards their goal of gaining their own tag on Etsy.

9 comments:

GOLDEN UNICORN MINIATURES said...

Thank you so much for this great article. Wow!
I also appreciate you mentioning my shop and including a pic of one of my hand-designed miniature florals.
And, thank you for including a link to the petition for a main category for we artists of Dolls and Miniatures (DAM).

Blue Kitty Miniatures said...

Thank you for mentioning my Etsy shop and using a photo of one of my 1/12th scale wedding cakes. I have been making a wide range of scale dollhouse miniatures for well over ten years now. I am in the UK but sell worldwide with many of the items I make joining collections in the USA and Canada. I am not licenced under EU law to make toys so have to start my Etsy listings with a disclaimer stating they are NOT toys as at present they are included by Etsy in the "Toy" category.

Lilwitchy said...

Pam, I can't thank you enough for the article supporting our plight of trying to get Etsy create a Dolls and Miniatures (DAM) category. Thank you also for including my etsy shop and posting a photo of my miniatures crystal Ball Ouija Board Set.
Hopefully your article will give us more needed attention to our petition.
Mini Hugs
Lisa

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

Incredible work by very talented artists... I love miniture art.

Camille Minichino said...

A DAM category ... sounds like a dream for a miniaturist, and for one who also writes mysteries about them.

Camille/Margaret Grace
author of "Mayhem in Miniature"
http://www.dollhousemysteries.com

Lady Artisan said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful article. We're still working diligently to get this category set up and will hopefully see some results soon.

AngelaMichelle said...

thanks for the article - it's wonderful to have the support!

Lilwitchy said...

Thanks again Pam for all your help in getting the word out. LOL I just saw the posting from Camille and really want to get a copy of the Muder Mystery involved with a Dollhouse.
Lisa (Lilwitchy)

littlebitwired said...

Wonderful article, thanks for supporting the DAM nation.