The Texas based Society of American Miniaturists (SAM) is a nonprofit organization with members all over the country who all share a love of miniatures. The organization is dedicated to educating the public about miniatures and to promoting miniatures as a hobby and as an art form. SAM was founded in 1982 in Dallas, Texas by miniature enthusiasts who decided they wanted to form an organization that had a primary mission to promote the love of miniatures. The founding members also wanted an organization that was member controlled. A logo featuring the world being held in a hand symbolizes the world in miniature. The group also created a mascot in the form of SAM, a miniature snappy dresser complete with spats, top hat and cane. One of the annual events which include miniature workshops for members is touted as SAM’s birthday party.
Most events are held in the State of Texas, rotating in different locations each year. Membership is open to anyone interested in miniatures and dollhouses and costs only $15.00 annually. Membership includes access to the group’s newsletter known as the Passport. The Passport Newsletter comes out twice a year and contains news from upcoming and past events and tips for the miniaturist. Upcoming events include the Wonderful Workshop Weekend from September 13th – 15th in Temple, Texas. The next SAM Birthday Party or annual meeting is scheduled for February 22, 2014 and will be held in Corpus Christi in Texas and is billed as a Gardener’s Retreat.
To instill an interest in miniatures among young people SAM offers scholarships to individuals ages 12 through 18 to help them attend the Annual Conference and Weekend Workshop. Most years the organization awards three youth scholarships. Interested young people must apply for the scholarship by writing an essay that discusses why they would want to attend the conference, what they would do with what they learn at the conference and any miniatures they have worked on in the past.
Previous workshops have included creating miniature stores. In February 2013, more than 100 attendees assembled individual and unique miniature shops including antique shops, a bakery, a Christmas shop and a shop for bears. In upcoming workshops, attendees can take classes in creating a three piece luggage set in miniature, a miniature scale shelf of canning jars, create a “cupcake” shadow box, a hanging flower basket or door wreath project, a tea for two miniature display in a teacup, a barn in a box, and a miniature apartment over a garage.
For more information about SAM and their events visit their website.