Conference News - Should you go to Seattle?
Modeling Our Futures - A message from Jill Kenik
A Foot in the Door - Encouraging new model makers
Vendors at the Conference - Look who's signed up early!
Vendor Spotlight: Aves Studio - Make a Dragon Box
Vendor Spotlight: McNeel & Associates - Rhino 3D software
Member Profile: Miles Hale - The right place at the right time






Should You Attend the APMM's 2020 Conference?

Spoiler Alert - the Answer is YES!

SUBMITTED BY bruce willey, conference vp

You have to come to Seattle in March for our 2020 Conference! Why you? Every single model maker has something important to contribute to make the entire group more productive and successful. You have a special set of skills. Some, or even many, of the methods you use to do your work are the best way to perform a task or process. There is a tremendous diversity of skills and experience among model makers, so the more of us we can get together, the better our chances are of finding all these “best way” solutions.

The model maker’s purpose may seem to be as simple as “make models”, but since none of us make the same models, that doesn’t capture the advantage of getting us all together. All professional model makers have to be ready and able to make something that has never been made before and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is our common purpose.

You’ve had to acquire the abilities, tools and materials to do the work. You’ve had to interpret requests that come in and generate action plans from them. You’ve needed to manage your resources and activities to be safe and profitable. You’ve learned from your mistakes and your triumphs. Other model makers have done the same and comparing the different methods we use can only benefit everybody. Bringing our Diversity of Methods together is the best way to serve our Unity of Purpose.

Snoozeless in Seattle

It’s still over 7 months away, but a lot of things are coming together to make Seattle 2020 an exciting, action-packed conference! Our tour plans are being finalized and there will be an announcement about them within a few weeks. We have two of Seattle’s (or dare I say America’s - or even the World’s!) biggest, most influential companies pretty well locked-in as destinations. Hint: they don’t really involve coffee or books, but models and prototypes play an important part of their business.

You have spoken and we have listened. We are creating a very diverse collection of workshops for you to choose from. The themes of Technology/Craft, Business/Management and Career/Development will each have a number of presenters and panel discussions. There will also be Product Demonstrations to get you up-to-date on what our vendors are offering. Most of the workshops are presented by you, the APMM members, so feel free to volunteer to give one or two, and/or lead a panel discussion or roundtable on a topic. You can choose the topic or use one that is suggested. Don’t forget we give the presenter of a workshop (on approved topics) a crisp $100 bill for their efforts.

We’ll be updating topics as they are suggested and giving details on workshops that are finalized on the Forums page of the website.

For now, our list of topic suggestions includes:

  • Laser Cutters
  • Metal 3D Printing
  • Photographing Models
  • Promotion/Marketing/Advertising
  • Build Programming and/or Post-Processing Tips
  • Sanding and Finishing
  • Molding and Casting
  • Electronics/Lighting
  • Starting a Model Shop

In the hopes of having a triumphant return of the popular My Favorite Things workshop, please consider sending in one or more blurbs about the tool or material you can’t live without, accompanied by a picture and a link on where to get it. We’ll post where to send that to shortly.

We plan to bring in technical expertise for a number of workshops including:

  • Cyber-Security for Businesses
  • Project Management Software
  • Arduino/Raspberry Pi
  • OSHA
  • and maybe some other business issues like Taxes and Healthcare

We also care about your personal health, so expect a session or two on exercise by a practitioner of Quigong. (Because Yoga is just so twenty-tens) If there is something from the “outside world” that you’d like to see addressed by a knowledgeable person, suggest it in the Forum.

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see more conference details such as who the Keynote Speaker will be, places we'll be visiting on Tours, and which Vendors are going to attend.

Anyone can suggest a vendor or service/product they’d like to see represented at the conference. To entice you, we're offering a prize to one lucky individual. If you have a vendor in mind, and you can send us contact information for a person who we could talk to about coming to the conference, your name will be put in a drawing for a valuable prize! Sorry, [email protected] or [email protected] or anything like that are not what we have in mind as “people”. If you have questions, email [email protected] which is actually a real person – our own Samanthi Martinez!

So, in summary: watch the website and keep an eye out for Forum posts with updates, suggest Workshop topics, share your Vendors and pick out your submission for My Favorite Thing.

See you in Seattle!
~ Bruce


Go to next article - A message from Jill Kenik, APMM President
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 Association of Professional Model Makers
Summer 2019 Newsletter


Together, We Model Our Futures

"Now is the time for YOU to consider joining the APMM leadership." 

submitted by Jill Kenik, APMM PRESIDENT 

The Seattle 2020 Conference planning is in full motion and it will, as Conferences always do, bring changes to the APMM Board of Directors, with terms expiring and members stepping into new leadership roles. Now is the time for YOU to begin considering joining us.

The APMM Board is elected at our biennial membership meeting held during the Conference.  Until 1 month before the gathering, another member may nominate you, or you can nominate yourself for a position on the Board of Directors. Please get in touch with Sam or one of the Board Members to discuss any roles you are considering. There is no commitment in asking what a position entails.  If you are not quite ready for a Board position, you can certainly serve as an assistant or even occasional helper.

Many of you are probably relying on the old adage "Never Volunteer for ANYTHING!"  You need to reconsider because you are missing an incredible opportunity and experience.  APMM needs you, and the professional rewards are huge!  You will be supporting the organization that has always supported you.  We have all benefited from our memberships, and the more you put in to the APMM, the more you will get out of your membership.

It takes a core group of volunteers willing to spend a little time each month to keep us running and pushing ahead to help our industry.  We, on the Board, have developed a very efficient and flexible system to handle "meetings" through Forum discussions.  New topics and discussions are posted for review and comment each month, so if you are having a busy week and cannot get to the discussion right away, or need a quick break during the day, you can chime into the Forum on your own schedule.  Just as APMM members support each other, the Board of Directors also supports each other’s roles in the organization.  You will not find yourself lost and alone or overwhelmed!

Hear from some of our volunteer Board Members about their motivation for taking APMM Membership to the next level:

Michael Scribner, APMM Secretary captures some of the energy the entire Board of Directors feels, explaining, "The APMM has allowed me to witness so much more of what goes on in the field of model making than I would experience in a lifetime of working at a handful of isolated model shops. The places we visit and the people I have come to know through the organization and conferences have raised my awareness of the field so much, and added a sense of community that extends far beyond the walls of my office. I sought to join the APMM Board in order to pay it forward, to lend some effort to ensure the experiences I’ve had attending conferences - touring workshops, learning new skills and developing relationships with fellow model makers - will continue to be available for all of us in years to come. Happily, I’ve found the collaboration and collegial atmosphere of working with the Board to be a very fulfilling endeavor, sort of like a little hit of the joy of being at our conference delivered bit by bit all through the months between conferences."

APMM Education VP Will Strange says, "I joined the APMM primarily as a way to better understand how my discipline is practiced in the USA; The APMM community is a constant reminder that I’m also part of a much wider community that considers our work in very different ways. Playing a more active role within the association has led me to realise that I am part of a much wider community than I thought.

I have learned how US students learn model making, worked as a 'subject matter expert' with the Boy Scouts of America, and had access to some great research opportunities, all as a result of connections that were established as a Board Member of the APMM."

Bruce Willey, APMM Conference VP explains, "Being on the APMM Board had helped me understand how a business is run. I have worked on brand development and event logistics, learned how to properly manage decision-making within the bylaws and how to operate an organization within a budget. Our Board is made up of workers in our industry who constantly strive for improvement.  Every one of them has had valuable experience one can learn from. It's a great personal- and career-growth opportunity."

Our newest Board Member, Ernest Ang, Vendor VP believes in giving back to APMM.  Ernest says, "For me, the APMM has made a big impact on my professional career as I joined the APMM when I was still a student at Bemidji State University. I have learned so much from just meeting with everyone from the three Conferences I have attended and I also met my current boss at the APMM Conference in Greenville, SC three-and-a-half years ago. Because I have gained so much from the APMM, I want to give something back. Therefore, a few months ago when Jill asked me whether I would like to be a part of the Board as the Vendor VP, I had no hesitation in saying 'yes'. Of course, being a Board Member requires you to put in some time and commitment, but everyone works as a team and you will learn so much in terms of leadership and communication skills."

Whatever your reasons, a position on the APMM Board of Directors will prove to be a meaningful professional experience.  Consider joining YOUR Board of Directors - together, we model our futures



Go to next article - A Foot in the Door
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A Foot in the Door... 

Encouraging new model makers

submitted by Will strange, education VP

As an associate at Flic Models in London, I once answered the door to a young South African guy. Though trained as an architect, he was fed up with working as a labourer on London building sites and was going 'door to door' with his portfolio of drawings and model making. He literally had site boots on, a level in one hand and a portfolio in the other! I gave him a week-long trial as we were crazy busy at the time, and found one of the best model makers I've ever worked with…

As a Senior Lecturer at BA (Hons) Modelmaking at Arts University Bournemouth, UK (, I’m confident that our graduates are well prepared for a career as a professional model maker. I’m often reminded though, that there are a great many of us who have not had formal training in model making. There are plenty of successful model makers out there who don’t have a higher level qualification in the subject that they practice. My friend from South Africa is one of them.

Here are some thoughts, from my perspective as an educator and Education VP for the APMM, about how we establish ourselves as model makers, and how us APMM members can easily encourage the development of new starters and help others to find our rewarding profession and make it their own, too. With experience, age, and the illusion of wisdom that they bring, it can be difficult to imagine how hard it can be to make those first few contacts that grow into the network of friends and colleagues that support our careers. 

One of the biggest benefits of being a student of model making is the 'ready made' network that the school and/or program provides. Certainly, we work hard to make sure that when one of our students says they are studying with us, that reputation means something positive.

Expectations of a student/intern are lower, which can be a great relief to those who are anxious about working professionally for the first time. I encourage our final year students to consider how they would handle having a first year student help out on their final projects. How much responsibility would they hand over? Would they be expecting really high level work right away?

The confidence that comes from spending time, as a student, to get to know professionals paid off for, AUB graduate, Tom Hughes…
"I met my boss at New Blades (, the model maker’s graduate show in London. I was asked to an interview at Pinewood Studios and ended up starting there before we’d had our graduation ceremony."

Though his academic qualification probably meant little on the sound stage at Pinewood Studios, it was the three years of study that built the body of work that impressed his first employer. (

Once that first impression is made, others often come to the aid of new-starters. I remember someone who showed me the ropes… One of my first jobs was as trainee model maker at Unit 22 Models in London. A good friend of mine and I started there at the same time. I remember a guy, Paul, who made a point of passing on his experience to us whenever he could. Though sometimes he could be a bit patronising, his help was invaluable for all those "they don’t teach you that in college" moments. He freely admitted that he got a kick out of helping us along too. My friend Adam stayed on at Unit 22 after I left. He "liked it so much, he bought the company"! He is still the owner now. Proof, I say, that Paul did a great job all those years ago.

When recruiting new students for our programme, we face one big problem. Very few potential applicants have actually heard of model making as a good career option. It simply doesn’t occur to them to look for a degree course like ours. So how do people end up making their living as a professional model makers? The skill-set of the model maker overlaps with many other professions. There are a lot of potential model makers out there who think that they are destined to be industrial designers, furniture makers, or jewelry makers.

Michael Scribner, of Garmin, says: "My degree and training were in metal-smithing and jewelry design. Caught my break because one of the senior industrial designers at Garmin had been through my program himself, and when Garmin was looking to expand their model making team, he knew it was likely that someone in that program would have the hand skills and eye for detail. Frankly, I didn't even really know what a professional model maker was at that point in time. If I had known it was an option back when I was in school, I'd have probably been pursuing it more directly than I did. Having awareness of the existence of an organization like the APMM would have definitely helped with that, I think."

This is a familiar story, and one that highlights how many potentially great model makers may not even know about our profession. The APMM can help to make talent easier to find, increase the value of our profession, and highlight a rewarding career that many may not find alone.

The APMM was recently contacted by the Boy Scouts of America organisation; They were looking for a "subject matter expert" to review their 'Model Design and Building' badge requirements. It was a surprise to us that there is a badge for model making, and more of a surprise that they make a point to reach out to experts in the different badge activities to ensure that they are up to date and, here’s the encouraging thing, relevant to professional practice. What a great introduction to a possible career in model making!

The newly-created APMM Forums ( provide a great opportunity for connections and networking between those well established in the model making world, and those who want to find out more. If you haven’t found this resource yet, have a look. If you are new to this industry, reach out and ask questions, the networks you will find are friendly and valuable.

If you are an established model maker, workshop manager, or just working with those who have much less experience, share some knowledge, and pass on some wise words; you’ll be encouraging a new generation of model makers into our community…

~ Will
ws[email protected]

Will is the APMM’s Education VP. If you're having trouble sleeping, find out more about him at Look out for more news about how the APMM is working with the Boy Scouts of America in a future newsletter.


Go to next article - Vendors coming to Conference 2020
Return to Summer 2019 Newsletter


Vendors at Conference 2020 

Look who's signed up already!

submitted by  Jill Kenik

The APMM Seattle 2020 Conference is quickly proving to be a very exciting event - so exciting that we have already had six Vendors take advantage our Advance Reservation offer: Aves, B9 Creations, Camera Graphics, McCausey Specialty Products, Silicones, Inc. and Silpak have already committed to being part of Seattle 2020.


B9 Creations, a manufacturer of affordable, high-resolution 3D printing equipment will be returning for their third APMM conference.  Dani Mason, Sales & Marketing Director for B9 says, "APMM is an invaluable show for us as a manufacturer. Unlike large trade shows where it can be difficult to have meaningful conversations with potential customers, the atmosphere is intimate and educational with plenty of opportunity for meaningful exchanges. Plus it’s a great community – one of constant learning and sharing knowledge. I can’t overstate the impact that APMM, the conference and member association itself, has had on B9Creations."


Long time APMM member McCausey Specialty Products has been a preferred supplier of model, pattern and prototyping materials for more than 30 years. They offer pattern grade lumber, laminated pattern plank, and a wide variety of composite tooling board materials, specifically designed for precise fixture fabrication. McCausey folks Heleen Roach-Heaton and Blair Wollenzin are familiar faces at our events.


Don and Jerry Galarneau are nearly an APMM conference fixture!  Silpak, Inc., established in 1984, is a leading industrial manufacturer and supplier of liquid rubber and liquid plastic polymer systems used in a variety of mold making and casting applications. Silpak is a long-time APMM Vendor and we always look forward to seeing their offerings at the Conference.


Another conference regular is David Brummel of Aves Studio.  David was quick to commit to the upcoming APMM Conference, commenting that APMM Conferences provide networking opportunities and the ability to work with people that who, like himself, are looking to the future of our industry.  Aves Studio manufactures fine clays and maches and their products enable artists to design, create, build and restore at extraordinary levels.  Aves self-hardening, synthetic clays & maches offer the highest quality and performance available. 


Myra Bumgardner of Silicones, Inc. has also exhibited at our Conferences before. Silicones, Inc. has the formulating and manufacturing expertise to produce custom RTV-2 silicones for a variety of applications.  They have earned a sterling reputation for innovation, quality and consistency in a wide range of industries. 



John and Christy Zell of Camera Graphics in Portland will also be joining us again. Their dry transfers are a unique tool for applying graphics to a wide variety of substrates. Their uses and applications are limited only to your imagination. They allow you to apply graphics quickly and easily on a limited or smaller production scale as needed.

If your company is interested in the extra benefits of signing on early, please reach out to Ernest Ang, Vendor VP, or to Samanthi Martinez, our Executive Director. The $150 Advance Reservation deposit offer allows APMM to provide your company with additional pre-conference benefits:

- Sponsor-level listing on our website's Conference info page
- Special introduction at Saturday or Sunday workshop lunch/general session
- Shared advertising on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn groups
- 1/2 page "Featured Product" display ad in Conference handout materials
- Email blast to be sent to all members one month before the event (new this year!) 

Make the final payment of $550 no later than February 13, 2020. 


But, wait -- There is one more early-registration bonus... If you pay the balance by October 31, we will deduct an additional $50 for Early Registration! 

The Advance Reservation benefit package for vendors is only good for a limited time.  Join Aves Studio, B9 Creations, Camera Graphics, McCausey Specialty Products, Silicones, Inc. and Silpak in committing to Seattle 2020.


Go to next article - Aves Studio: Make a Dragon Box
Return to Summer 2019 Newsletter


Vendor Spotlight: Aves Studio

How to Make a Dragon Box and Aves on the PBS Channel's "Make It Artsy"

submitted by Ernest Ang, Vendor VP

You have some leftover Apoxie Sculpt from Aves Studio and don’t know what to do with it? Why not try making a Dragon Box with it?

Check out this video on their Facebook page (be sure to “Like” their page!) from the Idea Foundry class that Aves Studio’s resident artist, Erin Gerlach, presented in Columbus, OH a few weeks ago on making a Dragon Box using Apoxie Sculpt on a simple wooden box. You can also use the same idea for acrylic boxes or journal covers too.

Black Apoxie Sculpt was used to cover a wooden box and create this dragon eye box! Use press molds, an acrylic eye, and finish with silver Rub 'n Buff.

In addition, if you want to know more about the cool things you can do with Aves Studio’s products, please stay tuned to the PBS channel for the "Make It Artsy" series (a brand new show dedicated to the crafter, maker and artist) or you can watch it from their YouTube channel here.

Erin Gerlach will film two more episodes of the show this month so be sure to check it out!

Aves Studio Social Media pages (be sure to follow them!):


Go to next article - Vendor Spotlight: McNeel & Assoc
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