Saturday, 11 September 2021

The Smoking Room

Hello Followers!    I'm sorry it's been such a while since I last posted any progress of my current project and profuse apologies to all of you who's blogs I follow for not posting comments.    I'll rectify that soon - honest!     I just lost my mini oomph but it's back now and I've been able to complete another room - the Smoking Room - in my Silk Weaver's property.

Unfortunately, from where the majority of photographs are taken, I was having difficulty finding out what's in the spaces behind or in corners and because of lockdown, the property was closed for the foreseeable so I couldn't contact anyone regarding this.

Pouring through hundreds of pictures was exceedingly time consuming and as a lot of the photos are quite dark, it was tricky to see exactly what was in the corners of that room, so I searched around and contacted an Illustrator who had done some drawings of the rooms and asked if she had any sketches/photos that I may be able to use for research purposes and she very kindly obliged.    Rebecca Wright    Her work was very helpful in enabling me to work out what was where so "thank you" Rebecca.

                                   * Posted with the kind permission of the Dennis Sever House

There's a lot of brown in this room and a few gentlemen's coats scattered around.    Anyone looking closely will see that the room is set up as a copy of the Hogarth painting above the fireplace.   When you enter the room, you enter the painting,

he floor has a chequerboard design - getting the scale of that correct was going to be tricky and it was!.

So, after all that, the room is finally finished.

I hope I've done the original justice.

As it's a tricky building to recreate in miniature where the mini rooms are all face on, they don't really correspond to the original building especially in relation to the windows so I've taken a bit of a liberty with those.

Finally, I've just decorated all three windows on the facade to correspond with the original because once the door is open it doesn't really matter!

* Taken from Flikr - Folgate Street

I hope everyone is keeping well, safe and busy.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Green Dining Room

Firstly, I'd like to apologise to all Bloggers I follow for not posting comments recently.    For some reason I haven't received Blog updates from a lot of you and when I did, it was posts (in one instance) from 8 years ago - a Blog that is no longer updating.   Hopefully that issue is now resolved I can follow and comment as before.

So, onward.   The Green Dining room is now complete.   It took longer than I thought given I had to search for just the right item in some cases and one or two items were custom made but it's done now and I'm pleased with it.   Enjoy!

The little Silent Companion was made from a printed off picture and supported at the back.    The foot warmer is from Arjen Spinhoven (I've added his link in a previous post) and I made the pattens.

The chair (back left) was an inexpensive barewood item varnished and upholstered and the other chairs were purchased from Masters Miniatures and the table was a long ago item from Ashwood Designs Miniatures

The Game Pie and Pomegranates displayed on the table were custom made for me by Merry Gourmet Miniatures.     There is still one item missing from the room, namely two partridges to the left of the Gervais painting on the back wall but hopefully I'll have them soon.

The Fourth Wall has been posted previously.

The above is the completed version of the Green Dining Room in the Dennis Sever House (my Silk Weaver), Spitalfields, London and below, the actual room.



  * With thanks to the Dennis Sever House for permission to use the above pictures.

I hope everyone is keeping well and safe    Hopefully it wont be too long before we can all get to much needed mini fairs!


Monday, 27 July 2020

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Isn't lockdown a great thing for the miniaturist?

Firstly, thank you all for your lovely comments on my previous post and thoughts regarding the glass bell fitted next to the cruisie.    The next time I am in touch with my contact at the Dennis Sever house I shall make a point of asking her it's actual purpose!

I've finally got over my procrastination of creating a coat and tricorn hat.   I've found umpteen excuses not to start this - not the right fabric for the coat, not the right fabric for the hat, no pattern, no starch, no time so I'm now pleased to say "I've done it"!

I've never created something like this in miniature hence the faffing and avoidance tactics.   First things first, buy a book.

This turned out to be a great find.   I'm not interested in the "dressing dolls" part of it but there are patterns galore for every period and style from swanky coats and tricorn hats for gentlemen to pinnies and mob caps for the servant girls.    Well done to all you miniature doll makers/dressers out there.  I applaud your patience!

Once I sorted out my pattern I had to create a prototype.   This was done using a piece of white cotton and glue.

Once I was happy with that I set about putting together the actual item I needed.    The hat proved a tad awkward given that the felt I used was a bit thick and no glue I had seemed to want to stick.   I managed that around the brim but given the felt was so thick the instruction "wrap around a pencil" didn't work.    In the end I just used a few tiny stitches to keep it all in place.

As this item is not for dressing a doll but part of dressing a room a prop had to be put together to replicate the door this item would be hanging from.    Foam board, foil and pins did the job admirably.   A quick blast of starch and it was left overnight.

It worked!    I was pretty chuffed with that given it's a first.   There is another tricorn hat and a cap required for this room and items pop up in other spaces but at least I don't have to do it again for a while!

Below is the scene I'm replicating.   As this is the "fourth wall" I had to use a picture of the dresser to the right of the coat as the door closes on the central divider of the house.   It also meant I had to cut the cornice and floor short but as it's the fourth wall, I'm not bothered by that.    The pictures show King William (of Orange) and Queen Anne hence the ribbon.


The next thing on my Dining Room "to do" list was a notice board.   I'd put this task off as well as it meant searching for suitable documents to reduce and print.    However, I got that done at the weekend and, using a really good picture as reference, managed to put that together and fix it in place.


Phew, that worked!

Next to come was another tricorn to sit on a corner of the painting of Isaac Jervais -


Followed by a bonnet hanging on the wall to the right of the painting featuring Elizabeth Jervais - the same bonnet as worn in the portrait - 


Finally, a pair of pattens - 

These are positioned on a foot warmer (a kit purchased from Arjen Spinhoven).


(I discovered recently that it was considered very bad manners not to remove your pattens on entering someone's home).

** With many thanks again to the Dennis Sever House for permission to use their photographs.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Cruisie Lamps

Work is progressing slowly with the Green Dining Room but as I'm about to start on something I've not done before, I'm procrastinating although I've told myself I have to get on with it - more on that in another post. 

Meanwhile I've been searching around trying to find cruisie lamps in miniature.

The double cruisie lamp is primarily a domestic lamp with origins in Scotland and Ireland.   Also known, in other parts of the country as a Betty lamp.

These little oil/fat burning lamps were used mostly by the poor.   The top pan being filled with the substance and a wick added.    I have heard, although I don't know how true it is, that the Scottish had the double pan because we're so tight nothing was wasted and any drips were collected in the bottom pan and reused!   Animal tallow was preferred but fish oil could also be used although this was smokey and had a terrible smell.

In the working Kitchen of my Silk Weaver house the central ceiling light is a cruisie lamp with a glass fixture next to it.   I'm not sure of the purpose of the glass fixture, maybe it prevented smoke filtering into the room, but as it's there in the RL house, I've added it.

After much searching and enquiring of various miniaturists I was able to place an order for my little cruisies with Susan of Ashwood Designs.    This is a new item created by them and I think they're just marvellous.  Exactly what I was looking for.    Thank you again, Susan.    They were also able to provide me with a choice - wick or no wick so of course I had to have both!

* With thanks to Ashwood Designs for permission to use their photograph

This morning has been taken up with me finally getting the Kitchen finished with the addition of this little lamp.