~~~ I went with some friends to the 41st Good Sam Show, a.k.a. Showcase of Miniatures, as I try to every year, mostly to marvel at the workmanship filling up 116 tables and several exhibit areas; human ingenuity applied to expanding and perfecting the concept of "dollhouse furniture". Some of the items, though finely and carefully made, are still obviously miniatures, others could be photographed close-up and appear to be full-size furniture, tools, art objects, or whatever. Much of it is beautiful, and much made of fine materials.
~~~ As usual, I bought only tools and materials, but I was particularly taken by some items that engaged my special interests. For instance:
~~~ Pat Sweet, of Bo Press Miniature Books, had, among her items of dollhouse scale library furniture, a strongbox of Lovecraftian tomes, with a false bottom concealing the Necronomicon. Among her other miniatures were scientific instruments and an exquisitely printed children's pop-up book about sea-faring mice.
~~~ Alan Hamer had many imaginative metal items, but my favorite was the brass bedstead called "too scary to sleep in", which had a dragon head bedknob that could be piped for actual smoke or flame, a moon with creepy outstretched arms, etc.
~~~ IDL Motors is an electronics company that was using linear motor technology to make things like eighth-inch-thick electric fans. They could make a pattern on a printed circuit board move a piece of magnetic material in a controlled manner. Then it occurred to them that if the pattern were a tiny track and the magnetic bits were train cars at 1/144 scale, they could have _working_ toy trains under dollhouse Christmas trees. They now have several Teeny Trains sets, and track sections for building your own. There are possibilities....
~~~ I bought a sort of tweezer-scissor tool from Pearce Miniatures, who use them to make things like tiny paper flowers. And a handy little Kant-Twist Clamp from Smaller Than Life, one of the furniture-makers. And some strips of precision-cut exotic woods for jewelry, from S. H. Goode & Sons Workshop (Stephen Goode precision machines miniature oval wooden picture frames on equipment of his own design, because he's like that. Most of the people selling at the Good Sam Show are like that; one of them did a table whose top is interlinked Escher lizards in various woods.)
~~~ Afterward, dinner at Olarn Thai Cuisine in Cupertino. Yum.
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