In the past year, there has been some debate in the miniature community regarding ethics.
Is is okay to copy another miniaturist's work for sale? What about just making a copy for yourself? Is it okay to make a cast of someone else's design and copy it to save money? Is it okay to copy someone else's dollhouse and blog about it? Should we use special tools like laser cutters and 3D printers? And is it ever okay to not credit someone for their original work?
Regardless of your take on the above questions*, there is a deeper issue at hand: we can, and should, remember to show appreciation for other members of the miniature community.
I would like to take a moment to thank the following people. Without them, I would most likely never have tried to build a dollhouse on my own (let alone two...and I have another planned) and certainly wouldn't have such a rewarding hobby.
Thank you, Lea. Without "Le Grand Livre de la Maison Miniature", I definitely wouldn't have been able to build the house in the book (although I altered the design in several places) and would probably never have realized that scratch building doesn't have to be limited to people with "real" woodworking skills.
Thank you, Brae. Not only is your blog an inspiration to many of us, your generosity in sharing techniques and sources takes much of the guesswork out of making miniatures. Although I might have eventually riddled out faux cement on my own, I am completely hopeless with Word and would never be able to create my own printed miniatures without your tiny magazine tutorial.
Thank you, Pepper. I probably wouldn't have made my own lamps for the bungalow without your tutorial, nor did I know about the (apparently known to everyone but me) technique for aging wood with steel wool and vinegar. You are the reason the bungalow roof looks 94 years old (the age of the "real" house).
Thank you, Josje, for sharing how to make a sofa from scratch. I couldn't have copied my own sofa without your help.
Thank you, John, for being hilarious and for sharing a tidbit about wrapping wallpaper around the edges of inside walls for a neater finish (especially helpful in the bungalow since the roof lifts off!).
Thank you, Giac, for kind words of encouragement to not only me, but to everyone else (don't think I haven't noticed the nice comments you post on everyone's blogs).
Thank you, Norma (my first follower!), for taking the time to encourage so many of us.
Thank you, Emily, for sharing your techniques. Although most of them, i.e. making doors from scratch, are way beyond my skill level, having this information widely available will encourage further innovation, which in turn is good for the entire miniature community.
Thank you to every blogger on my blogroll. If I am following your blog, it's because I like your work (yes, I'm still having trouble with comment forms and have no idea why, since there is no pattern to it).
And a big THANK YOU to all of my readers, whether you are a regular reader who comments occasionally or just someone randomly dropping in to look at that 1:12 Cornballer I made. Obviously I can't thank everyone by name (since I only know who comments), but a few regulars come to mind: Fiona, Karin, Elizabeth, Kristine, Tony, Erik, Mini Dork, Mad for Mod, Stephanie, Marisa, Ilona, AM, Andy, and Simon.
Thank you all for being awesome.
*My take: 1. I don't sell my miniatures, but I would never copy another miniaturist's work outright unless he or she either stopped making the item I wanted or passed away. 2. I might make something inspired by another miniaturist, but I wouldn't make exact copies of someone else's original miniatures. 3. No - and I'm on a budget! 4. If you're going to copy someone else's house, at least be respectful enough to keep it offline. The house from "Le Grand Livre de la Maison Miniature" is meant to be copied by the reader, but it's a rare exception. 5. I have never used a 3D printer or laser cutter (I don't even use power tools), but since they can do things traditional tools just can't do at such a small scale, I am in their favor. 6. Never. I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.