The West Coast Dollhouse and Miniature show is a fascinating event to attend for anyone with a passing interest in dollhouses and miniatures. It is an annual event held in Langley, British Columbia, and has become one of the most enduringly popular shows for miniaturists and those interested in the craft in the United States.
The show tends to be split into two days, with different events and interests taking place on each day. The first day of the show is dedicated to the tutoring and teaching side of working with miniaturists, where the general public can pay a nominal fee and receive a lesson from an expert in the field. These workshops are extremely in demand and are served on a first come first serve basis, meaning that unless one attends early to ensure a place there is scope for disappointment.
Various crafts are taught in the workshops on the first day of the show. Some teach participants how to create small, moveable animals, using wool as fibers for the coat and how to wire them so they are pose able. This is an extremely popular class, and one of the first to fill up, so should you wish to attend it is essential to arrive early. There are many other classes and workshops to choose from, however, should you not make the animal design class. These include teaching the techniques of basic needlework with specific emphasis on techniques used in the making of miniatures, dolls, wall hangings and fabric displays.
Throughout the first day, one can also attend a question and answer section with some of the most prolific miniaturists in the United States. Due to the prominence of the show, the finest artists in the country tend to make it a priority and it is a great opportunity to quiz the experts for help in your own craftwork. Also, the show is relatively cheap to attend, with an adult ticket costing $ 6. In some of the workshops you may be required to purchase extra or alternative materials to the basics provided, but this is very much an optional extra and by no means compulsory.
The second day of the show is the main showcase event. On this day, artists and dealers from across the world come to demonstrate their work and make deals. It is more a day for collectors and buyers rather than prospective miniaturists looking for tips of the trade; most of the artists focus on selling on the second day, while dedicating the first day to imparting tips and advice. However, the second day is also useful as a day out in the fashion of a museum, as you can take the whole family to have a look through some of the most exquisite works by miniaturists and dollhouse creators from across the globe.
A makeshift market runs through both days of the show, giving the opportunity to stock up on your own miniature supplies or buy readymade items for your own dollhouse. This is a particularly good opportunity if you are unsure what to purchase; with so many other miniaturists around, advice is plentiful and the atmosphere is always friendly and welcoming.