Maine has a number of hobbyists and artisans who specialize in making furniture, food, hardware, trim, pottery and accessories for outfitting your little homes. Here we feature a few that we have had a chance to review.
New to Maine, but not new to miniatures,
is a recognized name in
American miniatures. Bill is an IGMA artisan who makes incredible furniture and music
boxes, and Barbara is a needlework artist. Together they offer antique and collectible
miniatures and custom and restoration services.
You may have seen them at bigger eastern shows. They have operated a shop and gallery in the Tyson's Corner area of Virginia, but they have sold up and relocated to Rockland, Maine where they plan to pursue their craft full time.
Leigh Herrick-Hallowell has been an artist for most of her life. Leigh grew up in Southborough, Massachusetts and attended the Worcester Art Museum School and Clark University but now resides in Searsport, Maine. She has always been fascinated by little things and always dreamed of owning and furnishing her own dollhouse. On a whim, she stopped at Jamie's Miniatures Shop in Belfast; and at that point, her fate was sealed. She is now a die-hard miniaturist and hasn't looked back since. In addition to fostering Leigh's blossoming interest in miniatures, and because of her enthusiasm, Jamie invited Leigh to join the miniature group for which Jamie currently serves as president. Since that time Leigh has also joined NAME and IGMA, and has qualified to participate in the IGMA Guild Show in Teaneck, New Jersey next September. While she enjoys creating all kinds of miniatures, her main focus is doing miniature paintings. Her work can currently be found at Jamie's shop.
How do you make a tiny, delicate bed post for a mini four-poster? If you´re Robert Bower of Rocky Shore Miniatures, you start with a clear pine 2x4, a clear vision, and a boatload of talent. Robert makes some beautiful furnishings, from beds with real springs, to hand-painted chests, to 1/144th scale ships, to lobster traps.
Robert mentioned that he is most proud of his Murphy Beds. They are "fun and challenging to make", he said. Rocky Shore has an online store only at this point. The site is full of great pictures of his work, so it is worth a visit. Be sure to bookmark the site so that you can get back to it when you hear someone ask, "Do you know where I could find a mini lobster trap and buoy for my sea-side cottage?"
The folks at Clare-Bell are amazingly talented Maine artisans. Well-known internationally in the miniatures realm, owning a few of their colonial pieces is high on my list of musts.
Click on the image above to visit photo gallery of furnishings that your host has built, rescued, repaired, or refinished. The old Maine Yankee has been working on another project, too. This one is for you. He's cataloging the wonderful House of Miniatures kits, working on a complete, illustrated list of all of their Colonial and Early American furniture and accessories. You might also find him working on the Miniatures Wiki or the associated forum.
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