A well attended January meeting saw us all straining our eyes to see Maureen Aspinall's astonishing collection of miniature works of art, all created by her.
Maureen belongs to a miniatures group in Huddersfield, and their challenges were the starting point for many of her pieces. One such piece was the hat shop pictured above (I have included a pound coin to show the scale). Everything in the shop was created by Maureen, who has a background in tailoring.
Miniature work is usually done in 1/12 scale (such as the hat shop) but sometimes in 1/24 or 1/48.
One of her prizewinning pieces was the creation of some dolls house dolls' dolls(!) and pictured here are some dolls from another shop piece made by Maureen which contains many other similar items.
She told us that although some things were glued using Marvin Medium (made by Berol) for example the furniture, which she makes out of mount board, all of the fabric pieces were stitched. Below is a room made by Maureen in 1/24 scale. The mount board is stained and it does look like real wood.
She uses an ordinary sewing needle and recommends threads from Empress Mills where they have a good selection of specialist threads. (We are having a visit from Christine Driver at Empress Mills later in the year.)
She explained that when dressing miniature dolls, such as the one shown in a workroom setting above, it was important that fabrics drape correctly, and so for this reason she tends to use natural fabrics, usually cotton or silk.
Pictured here is a doll wearing an outfit that Maureen created for the Regional Competition last year. A recreation of an authentic Victorian pattern from 1877, it is possible that the original dress was decorated with real flowers. Maureen then went on to create a garden for her to stroll through.
Following Maureen's talk, we had a chance to have a look at her pieces close up and see the detail that makes her work look so authentic.