Small Scale Artisans
Check out their work! These artisans (all of whom work in 1:144) not only display their creative talents, but are very sharing of their
ideas. You will find some great tutorials and instructions on their webpages!
Anna-Carin Betzén - Anna-Carin lives in Sweden. In her spare time she enjoys building miniatures, especially 1:48 but also 1:144. She has wonderfully meticulous and creative tutorials on building furniture and also has designed charts for needlepoint rugs in small scale. You may never need to pay for a kit again.
Frances Armstrong - Frances was one of the premier 1:144 scale miniaturists and pioneered many techniques. Her website is a wealth of information and how-tos. She passed away on January 16, 2008, but her website is maintained for informational purposes by her family. Frances, we miss you!
Laura Miller - Laura is involved in just about every aspect of every small scale! She is a co-owner of the yahoo group MicroMinis, which was begun by Anita McNary Lahue and is still going strong today. like Frances, Anita helped put 1:144 on the map for those who like to build their own from scratch or kits.
Microjivvy- Lots of tutorials and links for 1:144 scale. Much more useful than this paltry list!
Nertha Gaal- Nertha works in micro-scale (as 1:144 is often called) and has lots of lovely projects and tutorials on her website. Developed together with her mentor, Anita, Nertha has a book on tips and techniques for micro work.
Purveyors of 1:144 (and sometimes larger) Scale Furniture Kits
Some people's websites out there do a fantastic job of listing all the many sources of wonderful kits to make houses and structures
in 1:144. The cadre of folks making furniture kits in 1:144 and 1:120 is much smaller (so to speak), and so that's what I'm focusing
on here. Some might say I'm just lazy, but you didn't hear that from me.
4D Model Making Materials- A source in the UK for all kinds of model making supplies and kits in scales from 1/2000 to 1/10. Check out their 1/150 scale items for chairs and other accessories that will work in 1/144.
A Sheila's Shed - 'A Sheila’s Shed', located in Gilgandra in the Central West of NSW, Australia, is the brainchild of Virginia Paton. Virginia's first love is the scroll saw (and she has a great book on tips and techniques), but now she has an ever-expanding set of laser cut kits for furniture and houses that fit together beautifully. SDK Miniatures now carries her line!
The Golden Loon - Laser kits in 1:144 scale on up, designed by Nancy Froseth. Both furniture and roomboxes, with lots of delicate lines and carvings. Look for them at a show or write them for more info, because the website only displays a small portion of what they have for sale! Their tiles (1:12 scale, primarily), aren't too shabby either. The new website is still evolving, so be sure to check back.
SDK Miniatures - Susan Karatjas of SDK Miniatures offers kits in 1:144, 1:120, and larger scales. Some items are also available assembled. Susan is meticulous about scale, which makes her kits a joy! She also sells kits for flowers.
L & P Designs - Imaginative furniture, miniature shops, and roombox kits in 1:144, 1:48, and some larger, with a focus on southwestern designs.
Templewood Miniatures -- Kathryn and Alan Gray have a growing array of laser cut kits in different scales. Some, like the village school and St. Peter's church, come with all the furniture. Definitely check out the duck cottage, which comes as small as 1:576--a dollhouse for your 1:48th scale dollhouse!
Tom's Model Works -- Lots of brass etch kits for ship and plane builders. Check out the 1/144 Titanic line for some deck chairs and benches that may work in your 1/144 scene.
If you like small scale, you may also be interested in the folks designing all kinds of innovative babyhouses (cabinets that house rooms) and associated kits--including Sue Thwaite (Ladybug) and Cynthia Howe. Sometimes these cabinets are for rooms in 1:144 or 1:120 scale, but often they are larger (1:100 or 1:87).
Artisans Who Sell Finished 1:144 Scale Structures
Nell Corkin - Nell's website has many examples of her wonderful museum quality miniatures, and her blog shows some of her works in progress. She also sells some of her paintable cast resin furniture.
Patricia Paul - This imaginative artist works in 1:12 and 1:144 (or so) scales. Her visual sense and use of color always provide a treat! Especially cool are her grungy bathroom and ironic skeletons. Rumor has it that she is in process of coming up with a babyhouse--so stay tuned!
Taller Targioni - Their 1:144 scale cabinets are always fun to see and explore!
Sources for Supplies and Tools
I'm not even sure where to begin. I seem to spend most of my time searching the internet for new suppliers and types of supplies
(who doesn't?). I've visited hundreds of websites for model railroad and ship builders, veneers and wood, tools, plastics, dental
supplies, jewelers, LEDs, etc. etc. etc.
Ah, now that I've begun, the harder thing to know is where to stop....
Byrnes Model Machines - Jim Byrnes designs and makes precision power tools for the miniaturist, including a disc sander, thickness sander, and table saw. Oh yes, and draw plates. Oh yes, and.....
Crown Timberyard -- A good source for high quality milled lumber sheets and strips. Jason is just starting out, but is committed to the high standards of the model-ship building community. So far, he carries Swiss Pear, Boxwood, and Holly, but will be adding more over time. Thank goodness for those model shipbuilders! Wood is available down to 1/32" thick, and thinner on request.
Evan Designs - Shelly's lines of software, LED lights, and other items were developed for model railroad afficionados, but she's adapted many portions of her product line to accommodate small scale dollhouse applications. And she is constantly developing new items to help us nuts out.
Grace Shaw - Wander around Grace's Virtual Dollhouse for a small scale supply-hunters treat. Especially check out the Real Wood Paper! She also orders from MBS (below) and can bundle your order with others.
Grandtline - Plastic architectural details and builders' hardware in all modeling scales.
Lumberyard for Model Shipbuilders - Scads of stuff for model ship-building, and some thin lumber in domestic and exotic woods suitable for dollhouse work. If you're nice, they might just thin some lumber down to 1/64th of an inch thick, for you, but I'm not sure. They have a sample pack of 1/16th thick lumber.
McMahon Five Designs - Great source of reasonably priced paper made from real wood veneer. Available with different backings and thicknesses.
Micro-Mark - If there were an official website of the modeling Olympics, Micro-Mark might be it. Heck, if there were modeling Olympics, I would be in better shape. As they characterize themselves: "Your on-line source for mini tools and model building supplies."
MicroStitchery - Bobbie Schoonmaker designs exceptionally beautiful needlepoint rugs, pillows, and other textiles in a variety of styles. If you like the Cluny unicorn tapestries, you'll love Bobbie's designs. You can purchase charts or kits, as well as supplies. Some of her rug designs are suitable for small scale, if you use a smaller mesh than the mesh she provides in the kit. Bobbie passed away in 2011, but her designs are still available and some have yet to be released. We will miss her kindness, talent, and optimism.
Minikitz. This website isn't specifically for small scale, but they have a wealth of items--hard to find tools, an array of the smallest in small supplies, and often stuff you didn't even know existed. They're always keeping an eye out for new stuff, and it's all stuff that you clearly need. All in one place!
Model Builders Supply- Yes, they're in Canada (many of you may be as well, I happen not to be), and they have a minimum $$ order, but it's worth it. They have an INCREDIBLE range of all kinds of supplies for the dollhouse and architectural model builder. They're the reason I had to build more storage space in my workroom (well, let's give Micro-Mark some credit there, too). They've discontinued more useful items than most places carry.
Northeastern Scale Lumber - For your sheet and strip lumber needs, in cherry, mahogany, walnut, and maple, as well as a range of dollhouse moldings.
Plastruct - Source for a wide range of plastic products. And by "wide" I do mean ginormous.
Smaller than Life - For furniture, saws, lathes, lumber, tools, and good advice, turn to Pete and Pam Boorum. They also sell jigs for their saws, designed to help dollhouse furniture makers include finger joints and other full-scale niceties in their designs. Their classes at the miniature shows are great for learning how to use power tools.
The Best Things - This shop located in Northern Virginia is a great resource for high quality tools--both miniature and others--at great prices. If you're looking for miniature chisels for your lathe or just bench chisels, if you need a steb-center or new kitchen knives, check them out first. They also have vintage tools, art, and lots of other stuff I've never looked at. And the folks (on line and in person) are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. What's not to like?
Thin Woods - Source of thin lumber. They carry many different exotic and domestic wood species, with thicknesses down to 1/8th inch. For a fee, they will thin it to 1/16th inch for you. Contact them if you have a special need, they love to help!
Tichy Trains - A great source of windows and doors in N scale (1/160) and other model railroad scales, as well as a few other products, such as wire.
Timber Ridge Studio - A must-see collection of tiny seashells and related items for dollhouse miniatures. If you're looking for something special, Ronni is super helpful.
Veneer Supplies- You can buy sample sheets of different wood veneers, and they have a nice selection of copper veneers with different finishes. Not cheap, but very versatile!
Not Just Miniatures
Some of my favorite folks don't even do miniatures, or at least not all the time.
Linda Elksnin Art - Is it folk art? I don't know, but I can say that Linda's use of colors is inspirational and her forms are magical. Her recent works are influenced by the textile art of the Kuna, Oaxacan woodcarvings, and Haitian folk paintings. Now, how to capture that in miniature....wheels spinning, gears crashing.....
Diane Almeyda - Diane's plique-a-jour enameling is beyond compare! Okay, she doesn't get that much into small scale, but she's open to suggestion. And her website describes the process in detail.
Tom's Turnings - Tom is one of the finest miniature turners out there. He's always willing to experiment with new materials and ideas. And he understands that difficult concept of scale--that a small bowl in 1:12th scale isn't the same thing as a salad bowl in 1:48th scale. Shine a flashlight into his tiniest minis to see just how thin the walls are!
Jackie Kramer Photography - Jackie Kramer is an exceptional nature and portrait photographer. Seeing the world through her eyes is a wonderful experience.