The big think
Planning a possible new build
Hogepotche perched on its new table still awaiting the little hidey-holes to house the wiring. The build took five years or so and is somewhat thrown together, taking advantage of a mix of fantasy, historical whimsy and how buildings of the period look to us now.
I learned some very basic woodwork skills but no more than a young child would be able to manage.
What I want to do now is going to need less cross fingers woodworking and more of the real stuff that covers cutting items both straight and square; particularly sheets of wood. I’m thinking of a house of sometime between the wars – a building from around and about the UK. Say 1930-ish.
Why this style
I always admired the ones I could see around me on my way to school, built in pairs on the level and yet each platform of pairs was stepping up the side of the steep hills that had to be climbed every school-day morning. Occasionally I went inside an example of one for a party or to play, and an aunt of ours who ‘baby sat’ us from time to time, lived in one with the bay window, storm style porch with terracotta tiles (or was it brick); the whole period thing.
I’d like to be able to tackle the boxy Art Deco houses of the period. I love the ‘cinema’ style look of them, but am unsure about managing all those curved glass and wrought iron bits. So I’m going for the more widespread general housing of the time (1930s and 1950s or so).
Despite the Art Deco elements such as fireplaces that these houses ‘housed’, it’s funny how much of the external designs I’m looking at seem to be a pick-and-mix from previous periods: the tall, almost Elizabethan chimneys on many of them with occasionally some half timbering and overhangs at roof level and below some windows. Then there’s the odd bay window for the small bedroom at the front, echoing the much larger up and down ones on the facade, looking like the viewing bays of a Georgian seaside resort.
They also nearly all have an ‘orrible number of tiles on them one way and another.
Stage one of shall I shan’t I
Still thinking and pondering, collecting images and building layouts and generally making an electronic scrapbook while also printing out bits to highlight and mentally chew over. Worrying away at them like a bone.
Key questions and problems
- Can I manage to simplify whatever I settle on without taking away that which makes it of the period?
- Have I gained enough rough skills to be able to do what I would like – clean lines seem to escape me and this project needs them.
- Answer to that is “no” so how dependent on others (S or a DIY store) am I prepared to be?
Where am I with it at this moment?
Sieving and trying to avoid committing myself too far. This is the third set of fining down of information and I’ve gathered some architectural measurements for rooms, which are very useful, both in imagining the eventual finished size but also in the sieving process itself, figuring out if enough detail can be viewed when outer walls are taken away in doll’s house fashion, or does the accuracy of layout lock away too many hidden corners that you can’t reach by hand or eye – essential when working out which walls need to be removable to view the greatest amount of the goings on. I’m hoping that just a full front and back house reveal will do the trick.
Filling in time
Can I be making items of the period to go inside this imaginary building whilst the necessary saving of pennies takes place? I mean, if worst comes to the worst they could still be used in a smaller enterprise, so, as long as I’m mostly using raw materials that I’ve got in stock, what’s to lose?
Whilst still searching around I came across a hybrid version of the 30s style in the Irish Times which already looks like a doll’s house, but I’d best leave it alone for my ideas and go with what I’ve already collected or the search will be never-ending.
I must stand well back and think about why I’m doing it and what outcome would I like from the proposed input of time and money.
To try it or not to try it? The only question?