(title from post first appearing 18 July 2012)
Late spring clean
I usually do a rough sweep through the blog entries once a year but haven’t made time so far in 2015. Whilst up to my shirt cuffs in tiles and glue I’ve been wondering how I got into this mess in the first place, other than being so cackhanded in the way I go about everything.
The first blog entry still extant is dated 26/7/2011, though I may have deleted earlier items in one of my previous spring cleans. I remember how I got into that particular bit of the build, but why did I continue?
Well, it was one way of filling in time, it was one way of doing the old Zen and the art of centring in on a subject other than letting the mind wander (in my case an inability to get on top of debilitating digestive probs) and I’ve always liked the idea of handicrafts.
I do remember writing an entry about working under the burden of clutz-dom – I’m left handed for writing but can’t make up my brain which hand to use for other jobs. I’m also very heavy-handed and will stand in the paint tray if it’s available for the standing in. Being short, I can knock over the nearest glue jar on the work surface, catching it with the ever flying elbow. At least once a week.
So whilst twirling the duster through the blog entries this year, I looked up that blog entry to see if the points I tried to make then are still valid now. I’m afraid they are. I’m still a clutz, I still overwork the materials making them dingy and bruised and I’m still sticky up to my shirt cuffs.
That blog entry
first appearing 18 July 2012
Owning up – a review of story so far
I’ve been thinking about what I do with the miniature items when they are entrusted to me after the exchange of a suitable amount of dosh.
- Many things purchased possibly don’t get used in the manner imagined by the seller, or look quite as they were intended, and yes, this does include finished items dismantled
- I over handle and model items like someone who plays with their food
- Results are therefore, always chunky and slightly grubby
- Although an inability to be precise can be lowering, I’m pretty much up beat about the whole thing.
- Balancing mind’s eye design with hand ability and skill is great fun
Am probably better at looking at something and turning it into something else than making from scratch, though am not sure what an item entirely disassembled and reassembled into something a little different should be called. (Let’s keep it polite.)
The growth of a Medieval to Jacobean dolls house
– sad examples of wilful vandalism
Lovely inlaid small box lid with carved animal scene cruelly detached and used as back to sideboard with piece of newel post to help hold in place and leave gap for wiring.
Kitchen table – more Georgian pine than anything – carved, hacked about and dirtied. Dresser with hen section removed and new bottom half built from scraps and lolly sticks, with hen part separate under stairs.
It started with 8 second hand, ex-display, standard sized room boxes from eBay, a bad sketch by me, a load of photos from the web and a great deal of reading.
The room boxes were mostly the same dimensions so some hacking and extending in both length and height as well as wall and/or ceiling removal was necessary. The 8 have become on the ground floor
- entrance hall and stairs rising (single storey) thro to the back of the 1st part of the Great Hall (16” long and double storey height)
- a dining room
- the first part of the kitchen quarters and the sleeping room directly above
On the next level there’s:
- the sitting room/solar
- the corridor outside it with stairs rising to a floor above (yet to be added)
- a section closed off for a lighting panel, cable storage and other paraphernalia
- a mini chapel and the beginnings of a bedroom which may yet be extended a little
- and there are still 2.5 pieces of the boxes left to use.
Stairs heavily sanded to look worn with use
First part of Great Hall
Private dining space
More work needed above kitchen
The second part of the Great Hall with the meeting room above is the only part entirely built from raw materials so far.
New build, left side view
- and right
Ceiling built out of individual frets – amdcrafts who at present does Party Post Boxes
More amd frets used here
More frets, floor boarding, kebab sticks tiles and a pigeon wrapped around what were grey, now sandstone spiral stairs
Most sessions work well with a general feeling of heading off in roughly the right direction for me with very few things ending in the scrap waiting to be recycled. Finished items such as glassware, food items and pewter ware etc (as seen on kitchen and dining room table) tend to be mostly left in peace, with possibly here and there a little bit of dirt added, but on the whole they are given their due respect.
However, destruction as a form of creation is extremely enjoyable and stimulating, so I can’t promise to give it up all at once, and it has been very useful to bring together some of the aspects of the house so far in order to gain a better perspective on how things are a-building. Meanwhile, on with the search for a Holbein rug!
— ~ —
Since these photos were taken and the notes made the dining room has been stripped down and redecorated and the solar/sitting room is totally remodelled and opened up and a further sitting room for the Guild Master’s wife has been added. The chapel is now a secret one at the back of the Master’s office and, although I’ve more or less run out of second hand room boxes to destroy, there’s a new floor level above completed with the ‘T’ shaped Long Gallery 1 and Long gallery second half, the Arnolfini bedroom, the girls’ bedroom and now the removable front porch set of rooms along with dividing an original second hand room box into three. I’ve yet to return to the kitchen end of things but there’s a whole set of storerooms to be sorted out there and somewhere for the male live-in help to doss down too. And then of course there’s the cursed attic and large roof to attend to. More tiles!
2015 spring clean conclusions
I guess it must be a case of “I’ve started so I’ll finish”. Though I must admit that now, going on five years in, I’m addicted to miniaturing almost as a way of life.
Besides what else is a person to do with all the ideas that continually fly around their head other than try to construct them into something – or other?