Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tom Bishop Miniatures Show

My inbox has been positively inundated with inquiries regarding the Chicago Miniatures Show, where yours truly recently spent a rollicking, eye-opening weekend.  Not at all quite sure what to expect from the gala affair, this first-time, mini-show virgin heeded the sage advice of my more veteran colleagues and walked into the event with an open mind (and a wallet stuffed with cash)!  

Many of the crowned-heads of the Miniatures World were in attendance, showing off their latest and greatest. The three Marriott Hotel ballrooms pulsed with the excited energy of both the highly-exalted exhibitors, and also the clamoring throngs of spectators.  Of all, no one could possibly have been more enthused than your intrepid reporter!

As I strolled the aisles, taking in the sheer enormity of all the fascinating, miniature object d'art, my head was absolutely spinning in circles, a la Linda Blair in The Exorcist. 

But I digress.

At one point in the show, my eye was drawn to the exquisite creations of one vendor, only to be over-glamored by the artisan next door.  I was virtually pulled in two divergent directions!  My whip-lash reaction was noticed and commended on by the artist, who laughed at me and said she had never before seen a customer perform a double-take over her wares!

My excursion took a brilliant, new twist when I spied the staircase of fellow-blogger, Sophia, from Small Talk  Sophia has been blogging about her fab, new, curved staircase for her French house and it was being shown off in the entrance hall of the show itself.  "Hey, I know that staircase!'  I gushed as I immediately hatched a plan to find its owner.  Sophia had her own booth, Small Treasures Miniatures, filled with an amazing array of GLT (gorgeous, little things). Upon introducing myself, Sophia took the time to introduce me around to several of her fave co-exhibitors!  I felt like I had made it 'in!'  Thanks, Sophia!

I also ran into the incomparable Erik Goddard, who lives in my hometown of Minneapolis. Erik and I were introduced a few weeks ago by the owner of the local dollhouse store, Little Enchantments, and we had a great chat in front of his table of spectacular room boxes and models of divers architectural styles.  Erik's work inspired me to look beyond my 18th and early 19th-century penchant, but more about that, anon...

The highlight of my trip was spending a delightful Sunday morning with Scott Burgess of Whitledge-Burgess. Of course I have admired their work a la distance for ages, so it was a dream come true to at last meet up close and personal one half of this talented duo. (Maybe next year, Ray)?  I have to admit I was a little intimidated approaching miniature royalty, but Scott was so affable, we were chatting like old friends within seconds. 

I met so many incredibly talented artists at this event and left giddy as a schoolgirl with all sorts of new inspiration and ideas!  Oh, of course that's not the only thing I left with...

Here's my new chandelier from Lumenations.  I turned it off so you can see it without the glare of the lights. I also ordered matching sconces, made with the same Swarovski crystals.  They should be here in a week or two.

I also picked up this table and buffet/sideboard from Masters Miniatures.The rug is a new Ebay find. The colors, I think, are perfect!

These are the Hepplewhite chairs I am ordering from Masters.  They are going make arm-less side chairs for me too and are going to upholster them in my silk. They were so friendly and helpful.  OMG ALERT!  I just received an email that my back-ordered Pretty Pleater is now on the way!

I bought this blown glass decanter and glasses from Gerd Felka.  I thought the gentlemen of Merriman Park would much rather have a refreshing cocktail than a cuppa tea!   I was coerced to buy a new statue to fit the corner niche you see in the background, though I felt deep-down it wouldn't fit.  And guess what?  I was correct.  (Sometimes you just have to let your better half have their way, once in a while, just so they can realize that you're always right)! LOL!

While in Chicago I also subscribed to a few miniature magazines that were exhibiting. How thrilling to finally get to see the splashy lay-out of the Library of fellow-blogger Giac from Late Victorian English Manor Dollhouse, all included in the latest edition of Miniaturas!  This publication is noteworthy for its glorious, full-page spreads of gorgeous miniatures with very few advertisements. Simply stunning!  And great job, Giac!

All and all, the trip was a brilliant success on so many levels.  I left the show with a sack of gorgeous swag, completely inspired by the sheer volume of talent I encountered, and with a new-found resolve to step-up my game.

--And this former, mini-show virgin can't wait til next year!  


Erik Goddard said...[Reply]

Great seeing you John. Already looking forward to next year!

Pedrete said...[Reply]

Mi querido John!! Que bien has explicado la emoción que se siente la primera vez que se visita una feria de miniaturas!! Nadie lo podría haber hecho mejor que tú!! Por cierto, tus compras son magníficas!! Me alegro que lo hayas pasado bien y tengas ganas de volver el año siguiente. Me encantaría coincidir contigo en alguna feria, sería maravilloso!!

¡¡Un abrazo, muy, muy grande!!

My dear John! That has well explained the emotion that you feel the first time you visit a miniatures fair! Nobody could have done better than you! By the way, your purchases are magnificent! I'm glad you passed it well and have wanted to return the following year. I'd agree with you in a fair, it would be wonderful!

A hug, very, very big!!!

Iris March said...[Reply]

Oh, how I envy you to be able to get to that show!

I love the chandelier for the dining room (given up on the ceiling fan? I forget what it is called)--have to check out the chandelier maker--probably lots of gorgeous stuff. I also like the table and chairs.

Glad you had a wonderful time. Did you come back with any money left?


Anonymous said...[Reply]

Dear John,
after checking several times a day, there it is, your latest post, yeahhh!
and as always, an inspiring one!
btw, hope you had a soft landing!

got all exited again reading about your show visit, in the way you write it is absolutely contagious..

beeeeaaauuutiful chandelier and the rug is absolutely made to match the wall paper, you've got a keen eye for decor, my friend.
i like the chairs too,can't wait to see the end result.

i own a decanter set made by Gerd Felka too, no need to tell you i think it is a great choice.
-not sure if this isn't bragging from my part too, though :)-

and to finish it of, i think it is so YOU to applaud others in your blog; and that shows a great personality.

thanks for sharing your adventure!

John said...[Reply]

Hi Erik! It was great to see you, too and to get to see your awesome work in person! Hope to bump into you again --perhaps at Karen's shop?

Hi Pedrete! Thanks for the compliments and glad you approve of my purchases, my friend...a big hug back to you!

Hi Iris! Let's both try and meet in Chicago, next year! Wouldn't that be fun? Yeah, I guess I did give up on the 'shoo-fly.'( And no, I didn't bring back much cash --oh, well)!

Hi Gee! Thanks, my dear,(I was just admiring your library, again)...Isn't Gerd Felka the bomb? I can't wait to add more of his wares to my collection of GLT!

Troy said...[Reply]

Sounds like a wonderful time. I am a little jealous - maybe a lot jealous! The chandelier is beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing it and the sconces in place. The rug does look great in there.
Keep up the good work.

Scott B said...[Reply]

Hi John.

It was great to meet you and spend some time together. I'm glad you enjoyed the show . . . it looks as though you went home with some great new pieces!!! Next year we'll be sure to have Ray in attendance!!!


Catherine said...[Reply]

I am so glad to hear you had a good time! I knew you would. I also know how overwhelming this huge show can be.
You bought some really lovely pieces!!! Are those things that were on your must find list?
I learned something this time. I will never fly in on a Saturday morning and out on a Sunday afternoon again. For one thing so many things are sold out on Friday with in an hour of the doors opening. Next year I am going to fly in on Thursday.
Catherine XXX

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Scott! Thanks for making me feel so welcome, it was so cool to meet you! Maybe next time we can all meet up?

Hi, Catherine! I heard conflicting reviews about the 'new' preview policy --but I'm with you, next year! Maybe we can meet up for coffee, or something?

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Troy! Thanks, and don't be jealous of my boogie! I saw some log-cabin-y things at the show and thought immediately of you. Maybe we could meet there next year?

Irene said...[Reply]

So glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to the fair (and you don't take money to mini fairs just to bring it back!!).

You picked up some lovely pieces and I agree that Masters Miniatures are fab - I have some bits from them too. They're a lovely couple to deal with.

The boys certainly look very pleased with their Gerd Felke decanter.

Josje said...[Reply]

Hi John! Haha, I love your enthusiasm! A wonderful report of the show! Love that first photo, such a gorgeous scene. I would love to visit Chicago, but as it is for many of us on this side on the pond, the expensive trip is preventing me from going there (+ so far it has always been on my son's or my birthday). Reading about it from fellow bloggers is the next best thing, so thank you for your report!
I love your purchases, the chandelier in particular. Your two gentlemen look very happy with their new decanter ;-)

Giac said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Firts of all,thank you so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kindness and support. It means a great deal to me and I've vey much enjoyed getting to know you, your blog and your fantastic work!
As for the Chicago show, I AM jealous of your boogie and I won't say that I am not! I'm so happy you had a good time and you brought home some fantastic treasures. Merriman Park must be very happy!
Keep up the great work John, your miniatures have always been so beautiful, so detailed and so well done I just can't wait to see what's in store for us next!
Big Giac hug my dear friend,

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

What a Wonderful Time you had! I could almost see myself following in your shadow.... pulled every which way by the next.... and the next.... That would be me! Forgetting to even stop and BUY something ... if I could even make up my mind!!
Thanks for all the wonderful links in this post!
And of course, you found some treasures! I LOVE those chairs! And the Chandelier is PERFECT! I can't wait to see it all put together... 'cause I'm Sure you haven't shown us everything! ;)

Andy said...[Reply]

Hi John!

I knew you'd have a blast at the dolls house show!! I am so pleased you were able to go! Sounds like you met a lot of people there; miniature fans do seem to be quite a friendly bunch!

Beautiful chandelier, we just don't seem to have those over here, even the big shows in London/Birmingham seem lacking in chandeliers except for mass produced ones. Anyway, I shall lock away the little green eyed monster again!!

The rug looks perfect, the colours look just right in the photo. Great table and sideboard too. I have a few chairs from Master's Miniatures myself, not the Hepplewhite ones though, which are charming!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience of the show with us, wish it wasn't so far away, as I would have loved to have gone!!

I look forward to your next post!!

Andy xx

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Thank you for your kind words, John! :D !

MiniLover said...[Reply]

Hi John-

It was so much fun to meet you at the show and to spend a little time with you! You have perfectly captured the emotions of a first-timer: there is so much so oogle that it can feel overwhelming. I needed all three days just to get around to see everyone (when I could get away from my table, that is). Thank you for your kind words about my little goodies--I think I am going to concentrate on accessories since that's what I seem to do best. Can't wait till next year. xo, Sophia

John said...[Reply]

Hi Sophia! Thanks again for spending time with me at the show. You have curated an impressive collective of the 'best of the best!'I can't wait til next year, too...but I hear there's another show in June???

Hi Andy! LOVED your last post!! I'm wondering...I order lots of stuff over the internet..many things from you guys have a huge import tax or something? I would be happy to send you anything you see online...just let me know, OK?

Hi Betsy! Girl --just wait!

Hi, Giac! Don't be jealous of my boogie, honey badger! Oh, am I mixing metaphors? My bad. You know I feel the same about you, so it's ALL GOOD!

Hi Josje! Yeah, I know the cost of traveling can be prohibitive...I would LOVE to see some of your shows on the Continent but am swayed from attending for the same reason. Still, we're putting together an itinerary for our next excursion to Europe and hopefully it will include a 'mini' aspect!

Hi Irene! You are so right --The Masters are SO sweet! Not to mention helpful... I would totally recommend them to anyone!

Sionchi said...[Reply]

¡ Preciosas miniaturas compradas en la feria ! La lámpara es espectacular. Cuando veo tu mansión me quedo extasiada de lo preciosa que es y de las cosas tan bonitas que estás poniendo. Besos

John said...[Reply]

Hola, Sionchi! Estoy tan contento te gusta la araña ... no puedo esperar hasta que los apliques de la pared que emparejan llegar! Tienen una gran semana. Un abrazo y un beso, John

Simon said...[Reply]

Hey Buddy
Im pleased you had such a great time and I LOVE the furniture you bought. I had my eye on the same dining table myself - you have great taste ;-)
Masters are so helpful, it was well worth your time asking them about the chairs, it will make such a difference to the finished room. I adore the wallpaper you have chosen too.
And as for the chandelier, well!! It looks stunning!!!!!

Patty said...[Reply]

John, Thank you for the very best description of the Chicago show that I have read!!! Loved it! I haven't made it to the Chicago show yet but will someday!!! It must be surreal to be around the best of the best in the miniature world. Your purchases are stunning! Love the table and sideboard. The chairs will look stunning when they arrive!!!

John said...[Reply]

Hi Patty,

Thanks for the sweet compliments. I am SO glad I went this think I had planned on going last year, but pulled the plug, for some reason!

Hi, Si!

We've used the same wallpapers, fireplace mantles, -lot's of stuff, even before we 'met' so it's not like we're 'copying' each other or anything! Our tastes do seem well-matched, don't they?

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...[Reply]

Gorgeous acquisitions, John! It sounds like a really great experience!

Simon said...[Reply]

yes, "Tres spooky" as they say on the continent.
Don't tell anyone but I'm already considering making a single room box to have that I could keep on a bookcase - just to keep my hand in, so to speak! I give up on myself I really do LOL

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hi John,

I know I'm a tad slow off the mark but I'm glad I got here in the end!!!

Wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful time at the fair, I'm very envious as would have loved to have made it to our Miniature fair that has just past. Your chandelier is divine and the wall sconces will be perfect. Your room is looking just beautiful and all your purchases look wonderful in there, I love the candelabra to the right too.

Don't you HATE it when you don't listen to your gut!!! Your chaps look like they are enjoying their cocktails,I just love the decanter and glasses.

Fi xx

John said...[Reply]

Hey, sweetness! How are you, darling? I was enjoying cocktails over the weekend, too --instead of diligently working on the house-- bad boy! Oh well, whatevs, right?

Hope to make it to your country, someday --I've heard raves...and you have a big dollhouse show? I am SO THERE!