Midwest Miniature Showcase to take place Aug. 11-12


FAIRBORN — The Midwest Miniature Showcase its back for its fifth show of unique and incredibly detailed roombox creations.

The showcase this year is a place for vendors — 18 of them — to show off and sell what they have been working on over the years. The event will take place from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 11 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Wingate by Wyndham, 3055 Presidential Drive, Fairborn.

Admission is $5 for ages 16 and up, $3 for children 5-15, and children under 5 are free.

Helen Naughton, a collector and one of the organizers for the event, got started with her interest in miniature creations back in the 1970s. It wasn’t until she retired, however, that she really developed her love for the hobby, and it was just 2018 when she decided to host her first show.

“Roombox” is the term used for these creations, according to fellow hobbyist Nancy Withrow. These rooms are typically no larger than a shoebox in size, filled to the brim with intricate details. For Withrow, roomboxes have several advantages over typical dollhouses.

“You’re not tied down to rooms in a house, and they take up a lot less room,” she said. “That’s why roomboxes are so popular. You can do all kinds of things in them.”

Withrow said she enjoys making restaurants and shops, rooms that aren’t typical for dollhouses.

The barrier for entry is low, according to Withrow, and many people start by just using items they find around and converting them into miniature works of art. A purse, for instance, Withrow can make out of metal clips wrapped in spare pieces of cloth and plastic jewelry.

The hobby is, if nothing else, full of creativity and unique skills, and while one person may not have the time or ability to create everything they need from scratch, Withrow and Naughton said the community is very supportive, and anything you can’t make yourself, you can commission from someone else.

“There’s people from all over the world doing this kind of stuff,” said Withrow. “We each have our own specialty.”

Roombox making is full of details that require these special skills, to the point that no matter what skill a hobbyist might be best at, they can likely find a way to include it in a display.

“You have to know how to wallpaper, you have to know how to paint, even electricity,” said Naughton, who said she even saw a display with running water in the tiny room.

Naughton said she runs a business selling some of what she’s made, but making money isn’t the priority.

“Do I make money? I don’t know,” she said. “But I sure have fun.”

Naughton is part of a local club, the Small World Daytimers, which she said has been an enormous help setting up and running the show well.

As part of advertising and sharing the special skills these men and women present, Naughton said she has been going through and highlighting different works by different people consistently. For this show, Jacqie Rosenlieb of Enon is in the spotlight, with her unique craftsmanship that even includes miniature animal sculptures.

For more information on the event, email [email protected].

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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