Guild members who feel that their work is of above-average quality may apply for Artisan evaluation after one year continuous membership in the Guild immediately prior to applying. The Artisan Selection Committee is comprised of a mix of Artisans, Fellows and General Members, and meets once a year in the spring. The applicants submit three to five pieces of their best work to be evaluated. The committee looks for the following criteria: relative scale, professional quality, proper use of medium, and finish. Those applicants judged with passing scores are accepted as Artisan Members in the Guild. Those receiving less than acceptable scores receive a letter from the committee chairman with constructive comments on how to improve their work and with encouragement to re-apply again in the future. Many applicants who are not successful in the first evaluation do apply again, and the majority of them are successful at their next evaluation.
Bel Ayala, UK
Brigitte DeLage, France
Needlework & Textiles/Embroidery
Carolyn Denning, USA
Needlework & Textiles/Petit Point
Kamilla Dlugowolska, Italy
Hillary Lee, USA
Sun Lemmens, Netherlands
Tomoko Masakage, Japan
Dorota Mateusiak, Poland
Susan Milmore, USA
Needlework & Textiles/French Knots
Chiemi Oba, Japan
Sybille Schwandt-Lang, Germany
Sergei Shevchenko, Russia
Loredana Tonetti, Italy
Are you thinking of applying for Artisan Membership? We hope the following will give you an idea of what the Selection Committee is looking for. (There is a link to download information below)
How is the work presented? What do you think of when you first look at the piece?
The way your work is presented is important. For example, if you are applying in the fine arts category, be sure to put your painting in an attractive, well made frame. State that the frame is yours if you made it, or if not, who made it. You will lose points on a poor frame, but not for using one made by someone else. Either way, the frame should be of equal quality to your painting. Likewise, if you are applying in the costume category, be sure to dress the best mannequin you can find. Remember that the accessories you choose are helping to present your work in the best possible light, so don’t overlook their importance.
You should be beyond the beginner level before you apply. You need to have worked in your category long enough to make it work for you. If you choose something too ambitious and don’t quite get it right, you will lose points. Find your level and do it well with creativity and imagination.
Your piece needs to be well made and in proper scale. Scale is very important, and proportion is also very important—is the pot the right size for the plant, etc? Do the materials you are using lend themselves to miniatures, or should you be looking for something better? Look for unusual materials and different ways of handling them. Does the finished piece look realistic? The finishing and attention to detail need to be addressed. That extra touch is important. Use glass instead of acrylic. Seal the ends of silk ribbons so they don’t fray. Keep your work neat and clean. Make sure there is no glue showing. Finish furniture so it feels silky, not rough. Pieces should fit together to make a pleasant whole.
There are four categories of membership within the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, Ltd: General Membership, Family Membership, Artisan Membership, and Fellow Membership. Anyone may join as a General member or be added as a Family member. This includes all persons who are interested in miniatures, whether they collect, build, sell or just enjoy the world of miniatures.
The next category, that of Artisan, is one of the most sought-after designations in the Guild. To become an Artisan Member, one must submit samples of one’s work to be evaluated by the members of the Artisan Selection Committee. This committee is composed of Fellow, Artisan and General Members.
You must be a member of IGMA for at least one year immediately prior to applying for Artisan Membership. Should you desire to apply for Fellow Membership in the future, you need to have been an Artisan Member for at least a continuous two years immediately prior to applying for Fellow Membership.
To start the process, contact Misty Barth, Artisan Selection Committee Chairperson, or Carol Hardy, Guild Administrator.
Upon receipt of your request for an application, you will be entered into our computer and be sent an application form and a cover letter giving complete information and the schedule of the next evaluation. Alternatively, you may download the documents from the Downloads menu on this website. The applicant pays an application fee of $50 when sending in the forms and items to be evaluated by the Artisan Selection Committee.
The Artisan Selection Committee meets to evaluate submissions once each year in September, prior to the Guild Show. The successful applicants’ names are then presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The successful applicant then receives an Artisan Certificate personalized with the name, date and category in which Artisan Membership was attained.
Field evaluations are available for those who wish to submit very large structures or landscapes. They will be conducted only at the Guild Show in September. Applicants wishing to have their work evaluated at the show must contact the chairperson prior to the committee’s spring meeting.
It is strongly urged that Artisan Certificates be displayed if Artisans take part in miniature shows. They have earned this special distinction, and the honor may be displayed, but only as long as they remain Artisan Members of IGMA.
Some of the applicants, unfortunately, do not earn the required points to become an Artisan Member. In each case, a letter is sent to the applicant clearly stating why the submission was not successful and offering suggestions for improvement. It is hoped that those comments are received as constructive.
Applicants may reapply at any time, and many are successful on their next attempt. The initial fee of $50 covers three attempts at becoming an Artisan Member, but only as long as the applicant remains an active member of IGMA and does not drop the membership. A second fee, also valid for three more applications, must be paid if applying for the fourth time.
Please remember to send your very best work. No matter how great your reputation as a craftsman is, the committee can evaluate only the pieces you submit. We have had people tell us that they need their best pieces for a show. If that is the case, remember that we have your pieces for only a short time. We try to make the deadline for submissions as close as possible to our evaluation and board meeting. Your pieces are returned as soon as possible.
Please note: Board of Trustee Members are not permitted to apply for Artisan or Fellow Membership while serving on the Board. If you are anticipating running for office, consider carefully whether you will be content to wait until your tenure ends before applying for Artisan or Fellow Membership.
To be eligible to apply for Artisan membership, one must be a member in good standing for one continuous year immediately prior to applying for Artisan membership. Upon successfully satisfying the application process and receiving formal approval by the Board of Trustees, the applicant is invited to become an Artisan member. The right to display the Artisan certificate and be identified as an IGMA Artisan requires maintaining current membership in IGMA.
Please contact the Artisan Selection Chairperson, Misty Barth or the Guild Administrator, Carol Hardy, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to let them know you intend to apply.
Please download all three forms below as part of the Artisan application process.
P.O. Box 629
Freedom, CA 95019-0629
Tel (Outside US): 831-724-7974