Today I went to the Dolls House and Miniature Show in Hobart. The show is put on every other year, usually around the end of June or beginning of July, by The Miniature Enthusiasts of Tasmania Inc. The past couple of shows have been held in the Long Gallery of the Salamanca Arts Centre. It’s a good venue as it is right in the heart of the city with easy access to public transport and parking and plenty of cafes around the Salamanca area. The entry fee was a very reasonable $5. The club always supports a children’s charity and this year they chose Tascare’s ‘Freedom Wheels for Children’.
Each year the show has a theme and this year it was “A Matter of Scale”. The highlight of the show was a fictitious English village called Littlebourne which was created by members. I spent a lot of time admiring the village and all its detail. I loved the little back garden with washing on the line, the farm and the different styles of houses. Littlebourne was created in what miniaturists call “quarter scale”. In quarter scale a quarter of an inch equals one foot, an inch equals forty-eight inches (1:48). Railway modellers will be familiar with this as it is used in “O Gauge” train sets. You can read more about quarter scale here.
The other popular scales for miniature houses are 1:12 and 1:24 scales and the tiny 1:144. I’m a fumble fingers and can’t imagine working in such a tiny scale. I saw a lady knitting a jumper for a teddy bear with needles that looked the size of a pair of match sticks.
There were not so many dolls houses this year as the miniaturists had mostly concentrated on other ways to display tiny goods, some of them were quite ingenious. Here are a few that I saw.
One display I liked was a series of framed dioramas each depicting an Australian song. Unfortunately these did not photograph well, even without using a flash I found I was getting too many reflections but I have included a couple so that you can see what I’m talking about. Some of the songs featured were “Pub With No Beer”, “Redback on the Toilet Seat”, “Up There Cazaly” (about Australian Rules football for those who don’t know), “Our Don Bradman” (about cricket), “The Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, “Click Go The Shears” and several others.
Another clever display was called “Ex Libris” and has a very interesting feature in the basement!
One of the things that I learned at the show was that the miniaturists set out to make their models with things that you might find lying around the house. In “Launceston’s Little Loos” the challenge is to make the miniature without buying anything. “Powder Room” is another example of this as the only thing that was bought was the cat!
Of course there were traders there too with everything from lace nightgowns in 1:24 scale to lighting, food and furniture. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at the fair and will look forward to the next one in 2016.
I have been planning for some time to do a page about my love of small things. I’ve always loved dolls houses but I also like things like scale model villages and of course model railways. I will try to put this page up in the near future and will include a bit more of the information I gathered today.