Our Steampunk Flying Contraption
- By Aidy and Roz
He eventually persuaded me and we split the workload so I made the balloon (I didn't think I could make it but he insisted) over a wire armature, sewing each square of fabric in place before ageing it with paint effect - it took 5 days to make and I have to say by that point I was glad to be done with it lol. I also dressed the dolls in a steampunk style - so much fun! Oh and made the bird lol
Aidy did all the moving aspects of the piece, he sculpted the dolls, made a cabin for the boat, did all the painting on the boat and funnels and brought it all together. It works on mains electricity or batteries and he really is very good at getting these things to work well!
The show opened on the Friday night and almost at once our stand had a great response. Everyone loved our latest steampunk contraption and it soon became the talk of the show with people bringing friends to come and look at it - so maybe Aidy was right after all - shhhh don't tell him I said that - he isn't allowed to be right often!
We sold the piece before anything else - it really was a huge success and we have lots more ideas planned for Chicago, in a similar style. - despite my protests about making this one, they really are fun to make and allow us to be really creative which is always a good thing!
The Friday night preview was so much fun, there was great food on offer, even for us picky vegetarians, we had a lovely spot for our stand in the ballroom and we were next to the IGMA sales table (the work on offer was incredible) and Susan and Charles from Sir Thomas Thumb, they were really lovely and it was nice company for the weekend. We actually bought a butterfly from Susan and Charles for our butterfly catcher and he sold right away so it was the perfect finishing touch! Everyone was so excited and happy to be at the show and there was such a nice atmosphere.
It was so nice to just have to go in a lift at the end of the night and get some rest - even if getting the lift took some time lol - so many people!
Saturday was another really good day for us, we had great sales and a really positive response from people who had seen our work before and those who didn't know us at all. We also kept getting people telling us to go and look at Mike Barbour's dolls as he was doing steampunk pieces too - he was getting the same thing all weekend lol so we did eventually see each others stands at the odd quiet moment. His work is wonderful - not that he had a lot of pieces left by the time we got to see his stand.
It was nice to see Kathy and Brian, from Rainbow hand again. Their stand looked amazing although by the time we took the pictures they didn't have a lot left on show!
Deb Mackie, White Horse studio, had some great pieces too, every time we went to her stand she was busy or taking a quick break so we captured this shot at the end of the show ;)
Bear and Alisa of Standing People Designs were at the NAME event making the magazine rack alongside us - little did we know how amazing their own work is - it is truly wonderful, detailed and just perfect miniature replicas of the real thing. I love these kind of miniatures which if they are photographed on their own you couldn't tell the scale of them - just perfect. It was also nice to meet another couple who share the workload ;)
We were near Jamie Carrington which is always a pleasure, his dolls are just at another level all together and his 1:24 dolls are unbelievably detailed - how does he do it?!? He is so lovely though that you just have to admire him for the artist he is and accept that we have a long way to go!!! We finally joined IGMA because Jamie kept telling us we must lol and it is one of those things we just have never got round to doing so we are now members at last!
Aidy and Jamie spent most of their free moments sat outside the hotel smoking (naughty I know) and probably putting the world to rights...nah I think they just like to natter lol - I had more sense and stayed in the warmth! I found myself wanting to go to bed at around 9 ish and the air conditioning kept giving me a bad head, I guess we Brits are not used to it!
Sunday was a shorter day and it was quiet enough so we could both get to have a quick dash around the show, we didn't take pictures of all the wonderful things on offer as we just didn't have the time. The quality throughout was of a very high standard and could suit all budgets. Every customer I talked to was just loving the whole event ;)
We would like to thank Kim and everyone else who made the show possible, all the wonderful people who had such lovely things to say about our work and all the other exhibitors who were really supportive, welcoming and very friendly. We had a fantastic time at the show, it was a lovely venue, well organised and everyone was so friendly! If you get the chance to go next year we can recommend it as one of the best in the world.