I’m not sure where to begin with this blog, but here goes. The motivation for putting a new website together on flat tin figures was that many of the sites I visited were lying dormant. Other sites were restricted to painters’ blogs, or distributors, manufacturers, or engravers. I wanted to create a place that brought the whole world of flats together. I also wanted to highlight the excellent work of people I already knew, like Penny Meyer, one of my mentors. Considering my experience, it was probably a fool’s errand.
The British Flat Figure Society had me running around its site for quite some time, but it looked dormant aside from the forum. I didn’t even know if they still published a journal or not. I received news the end of last year that someone was taking the British Flat Figure Society and running with it, but that’s all I knew.
Well, someone told me about the International Flat Figure Society (www.intflatfigures.org). It looked like there might be some connection with the old BFFS site, and I am glad to report that there is. And what was once the British Flat Figure Society is up and running and very healthy. They have a huge backlog of articles, galleries, and all the back issues of the British Flat Figure Society Journal. All the back issues are available on the site. It is still going strong, I am glad to report. In fact, I just submitted my dues for membership yesterday.
Mark Kirkbride is the webmaster. He writes:
This is the new version of the old BFFS site which I took over late last year. At the time the Admin of the Site had decided it was too difficult to keep going and requested a replacement. (It had been hacked a couple of times and was difficult to expand etc.) I volunteered to take on the task of a new site over the course of a month or so found an ISP, programmed the site and moved the bulk of the visual content from the old site to the new one. For me it was a way to give back to the community – the old site was a place that gave me a great deal of pleasure so it was a nice fit. (I am a developer/Project Manager in my day time job so this was also a nice fit.)
Also as part of the move the decision was made to change the name from British Flat Figure Society to International Flat Figure Society to better reflect the intent of the site which is to provide an English based all inclusive, friendly environment for all things Flat Figures. It came online at the end of 2012 and currently is at about 135 members of whom about 1/4 are active.
The site itself is paid for by the IFFS/BFFS, which also produces the Journal and is very active in Europe at shows but, less so in the United States. I believe from my hunting it may be the largest and most active site in English in the world.
When I asked Mark what a visitor or prospective member can expect to benefit from the site, he wrote,
Well over 1,000 pictures of users work. Over 50 articles on painting from a variety of sources in the knowledge base and the largest source of flat figure history in English that I have seen. For members there is access to 108 Journals.
There is also the largest set of up to date links in English as well as a number of flat vendors represented on the site directly.
Finally it has been and continues to be a very polite bunch – they are a very enthusiastic and polite bunch.
I want to thank Mark for taking the time to tell me more about the work of IFFS/BFFS and to answer a host of questions I sent him. The site is a veritable cornucopia of information, photos, tutorials, etc. Are you a member?
Now, if you will excuse me, I’m heading over to their site again: www.intflatfigures.org