Sunday, 28 October 2012

The NEW house

No sooner has the last coat of paint dried on my Georgian house and I am planning the next house. The last house has taken more than a year to finish, so I have decided to make the new one smaller and more manageable. This one will have a Scandinavian feel. It will be one story with small attic rooms. I am not planning on having a kitchen, just a central hall with a sitting room to the left, and a dining room to the right. These are some idea sketches:

I finally settled on this four room plan (with central hall and staircase). It will also have legs.

I think I will use MDF this time (the last house was ply wood). Ply splinters and warps much too easily. 

Im not sure if the facade is balanced enough, or if it is too busy. I will have to dwell on it for a few days. Next weekend is a long weekend, so I plan to construct the shell then. 

While I was plotting my next house this afternoon, I took a moment to colour some frames I bought gold. I haven't decided what to paint in them yet.

I think perhaps this time I will copy an Arthur Streeton painting to continue with the Australian theme.  

Friday, 26 October 2012

Thank you Crazy4minis!

I recently ordered some nice little chairs and a table from Sadly one of the little chairs arrived having lost one of its spindles. I wrote to Weronica from Crazy4minis and asked if perhaps it had fallen off while she packed it. She promised to send it.

Today, an entirely NEW chair arrived in the mail! So thank you very much Weronica, I was not expecting such a nice addition!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Mysterious Charlotte Hunt

There is a mysterious maker of dollhouse miniatures named Charlotte Hunt. I have seen many of her miniature furniture featured in books about dollhouses published before 1995. All I can find is that she made miniature furniture and interiors in the Swedish Gustavian style as well as Neoclassic English furniture. She was based in London.

As you can see, her interiors are very beautiful. 

However, no matter how many google (and other search engine) searches I do I can't seem to find any information about her. I believe she had a business which made miniatures on commission, and she seems to have been quite successful. 

She has absolutely no online presence. 

Who is she? Where did she go? Most importantly, does she still make miniatures?

Do you know? 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Tiny Amount of Australian Colonial Art

I am a particular fan of John Glover (1767 - 1849) the Australian colonial artist, who is best known for his faithful representations of the Tasmanian and Australian landscape. Glover is famous for being one of the first European artists to accurately capture the light and form of the Australian landscape. On a recent visit to Hobart, I bought a book of his works.

A particular favourite of mine is "My Harvest Home" painted in 1835 (below).

I set about creating a copy for the dollhouse. It took about 3 hours.

Unfortunately I'm not sure what kind of frame the original hangs in, so I went for a plain one.

It is now hanging in the dining room.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Miniature Manet or Tiny Titian?

When it comes to dollhouse art I am very discerning. A house needs art. Having studied art history at university I consider myself terribly well qualified to undertake such important decisions. 

My boyfriend's father thoughtfully bought me some tiny sticker pictures the other day that I thought would do just fine. I cut out the terrible pixilated prints to liberate my nice frames. 

Edward Hopper went particularly well in the parlor.

However, I came to the conclusion that some "originals" were also necessary. But what artist? A Titian allegory? Perhaps a beautiful Manet? In the end I settled on an arcadian landscape by Poussin.

I used water colour pencil because it is much less messy than paint and allows for a "painted" look without the fuss of mixing colours - it's kind of a cheat. 

My pea-sized Poussin looks very charming in the dining room.

To the Dollhouse Shop We Go

The dining room was looking a little bare, and so I decided it was time to make the 40 minute trip to the only dollhouse supply shop in town. 

It's not a bad little shop, but most of what it stocks is mass-produced furniture, poor quality and sometimes out of scale. While I wasn't terribly optimistic, I though I would see what there was.

I always enjoy the busyness of the hundreds of items on display. 

I finally came home with a few picture frames and a very nice mirror. 

The mirror has very much improved the look of the dining room.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Important Addition to a Little Swedish Room

A Swedish room needs a Swedish tiled stove or kakelugn.

These stoves are an iconic part of any traditional Swedish interior.

I made mine out of a block of rough wood I found in the shed.

I added the edges with pre-milled skirting board and cornice.

To make the doors I used left over metal packaging from some Swedish caviar paste that I had bought at Ikea.

 I then painted the stove white, with blue decoration. The finished product was very pleasing, although I think I will make a few more in order to get the scale and painted details just right.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Little Chairs in a Big Office

Today my little Swedish chairs arrived at work. I send things I order online to my work address, because I never seem to find the time to get to the post office. 

I unpacked them and they sat on my desk amidst the office stationary and looked very astounding to several passers by. 

I arranged them, and admired them and rearranged them. Then photographed them, and rephotographed them. 

And re-photographed them.

Let's just say that not too many hours were billed today. Eventually the chairs and I made it home. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Commitment to Realism

In my internet travels I have come across many people interested in miniatures who have created some remarkably real houses, rooms and furniture.

I have been following the blog of a couple from America who have been making miniature houses for thirty years. Their blog is called “Small House Press”.

I am also a fan of a British couple, Mulvany and Rogers: They make miniature models by commission. Their realism is flawless.

Another favourite of mine is a suite of miniature rooms that are on display in the Art Institute of Chicago known as the "Thorne Rooms" (after the lady who commissioned them in the 1930s).

All of these miniatures are incredible. It is the standard I hope to achieve one day!