Wm R. Robertson

Tool Collector & Model Maker

As a child Bill was fascinated by the models in the Smithsonian and was constantly building replicas of the things that caught his fancy. At 21 he discovered the dec ...read more

As a child Bill was fascinated by the models in the Smithsonian and was constantly building replicas of the things that caught his fancy. At 21 he discovered the decorative arts world of miniatures which brought together all of his interests: small things, the challenge of making complex items, tools, history and research. For 40 years he has been a full time craft artist and educator in this "tiny" field.

Bill is most intrigued by decorative art pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries of America, England and France. His work can be found in many public and private collections around the world, and has been featured in countless books, magazines and television programs worldwide. His remarkable works include the use of mixed materials (woods, metals, shargreen and bone) rendered in microscopically perfect detail with functioning mechanisms such as working locks. His techniques combine ancient shop practices and period tools with his own unique inventions.

Robertson’s expertise has also made him uniquely qualified to help design spaces in which miniatures are displayed. In this capacity, he has worked as a consultant for The Smithsonian as well as a guest curator for exhibitions at The National Geographic Society. He has also designed four miniature museum interiors including the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City and The Kentucky Gateway Center in Maysville, Ky.

Bill is committed to sharing his craft as a means of advancing the art of miniatures. He has been an instructor at the Guild School in Castine, Maine for 25 years and also teaches regularly in Denmark, Holland, France and Japan. He is currently a trustee on the Board of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. In 2015 he was presented with Craftsman of the Year award by the Joe Martin Foundation.

Always eager to move on to his next project, Robertson rarely repeats the same thing twice. When asked what his favorite piece is, his answer is usually "the next one."


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