IGMA Show ~ Teaneck, NJ ~ Feb. 08

Originally posted March 7, 2008

Ok, finally getting around to a mini blog, my trip to the IGMA show last month... been recovering from the awful flu bug I brought home with me.

My table, remembered to take a photo for a change! Diane Paone, who makes fabulous miniature masquerade masks, was right behind me, you can see the life-size feathered mask from her display sticking up behind my area. We already knew each other from online, was it was really cool to meet her in person.

So, the show... well, for the first time in however many years IGMA has been doing this show - they got 11" of snow in the area on the first day of it, Friday. Luckily I’d flown in the day before, because the airport was shut down, and the others in NYC were all having delays. Some dealers never made it, and plenty of customers didn’t. So Friday night and Saturday were pretty slow, although Sunday was sunny, if cold, and brought out some shoppers.

There was so much amazing work there to see! Artists from all over North America, South America, the UK, Holland, Germany, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and probably places I’ve forgotten. Got to meet the Acquistos - they just live a few blocks from me, but I had to go all the way across the country to meet them, go figure.

The woman to one side of me was Joan Wheatley, about as nice a person as you’ll ever meet. She makes these incredible little sculpted fantasy settings that look like little tree and bark homes, as well as collection boxes that she decorates with photos she takes around her neighborhood (like gardens and graffiti walls) and on her travels. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful her work is, so here’s her website: Joan Wheatley's Creations. And here’s Diane’s: Miniatures By Diane Paone.

Also met another New Mexican (for a state with no miniature shops and hardly any miniatures activity to speak of, we had 3 artists there), Joyce Bernard of Joyce Bernard Miniatures. She lives in Los Lunas, and makes leather luggage and other leather items, as well as really nice theme memory trunks. Check 'em out!

I met Teresa Layman, who does beautiful tiny needlework kits: Teresa Layman Designs. She also had her latest creation, the Gingerbread Cottage. This house is amazing! She built it from scratch, taking a year to do it. It’s a fantasy castle/cottage (yes, both), the home of the North Pole elves who make gingerbread houses. The detail on this thing is just incredible; even the brickwork on the chimney was laid in elaborate patterns, and she handmade every single roof tile (they look like chocolate Neco Wafers.) Every little detail had been though of, I was in awe. This is the sort of thing that makes me feel like a kid again, just caught up in the magic of miniatures.

She said she spent a year working on it, and due to the fact that at least 4 people were already begging to buy it (but she can’t decide between them,) she’s going to auction it instead. $32,000 minimum bid! So she’s taking it to some of the big shows - Chicago is next - to get it known before it goes up for sale.

So, I go back over to my table and rave about it to Viv, tell her to go look. So she goes over there... and comes back a few minutes later to say, "Did you notice that the bookshelf in the bedroom is full of your books?" OMG! I ran back over there again, and sure enough! I was so thrilled!

You can peek in the tower windows and see the stairs and lights along the way. The tower stairs can’t be seen from inside. The weather vane on the tower points South in every direction, and the stone and bricks of the chimney are all laid in beautiful, fanciful patterns.



The kitchen and workshop area downstairs. Somehow she even had the smell of baking gingerbread coming from the oven, I thought she was kidding when she told me to stick my head in there.





The elves’ upstairs bedroom, with gorgeous carved detailing everywhere. I know, you can't really see in these photos, but take my word for it.







Those are my books filling the shelf! :)

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Griffins, traditionally, are Guardians. Often carved at temple doors in ancient times, they were said to guard the way to Wisdom. I, on the other hand, seem to be the Guardian primarily of odd bits of string, pinecones, scraps of paper, mismatched socks, old calendars, homeless imps and gnomes, pencils with no erasers, jokes nobody gets, forgotten gods, keys with no locks, and other people’s lighters. If any of these things might be of use to you, let me know.
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