April 30, 2009

Spring time is for the birds

Just so you are not confused this is a real life birdhouse, not a birdhouse for a dollhouse. I love creating small architectural objects and build them for a number of functions.

Every now and again I will raid the piles of accumulated materials I have gathered and build something. I made this Victorian inspired A frame, chickadee sized birdhouse a few years ago. I used Vermont Green slate roof shingles, a copper pipe for the ridge with a brass stamped cap shaped piece for the ends of the pipe. The green patina solution I put on the copper and brass looks to be a close match in color with the green of the slate. Cutting the slot in the copper pipe to fit over the shingles was the scary part. It was done on a 10 inch table saw, I had to hold the copper pipe in a custom fixture I built.

The walls are made from salvaged tongue and groove boards from a old house I used to live in. I decided to shape the ends of the boards into triangles to repeat the overall shape of the house. The rest of the wood pieces I cut from cedar except for the little dentil molding. That was a dollhouse molding I had sitting around. I gave all the wood a finish of semi-transparent white oil based stain.

It was a rather whimsical and fun project to build and sold just about as soon as it reached the gallery.

Maybe someday I will recreate it as a birdhouse for a dollhouse in 1:12 scale.

April 29, 2009

1:12 fireplace from real stone

You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Here are the promised photos of a fireplace I built for a dollhouse. The stone was gathered from a leftover stone pile from a real life chimney in Carmel by the Sea, California. I am able to work this soft limestone with a hammer, chisel and tile nippers. I do cut down larger chunks on a water cooled diamond tile saw although they could be split up by hand just about as easily. There is a hollow plywood box as a form under the stones for the chimney and interior for the fireplace. I hope you enjoy seeing it. Real stone looks so grand and yes so very real. I love the crisp, sharp, broken edges. That would be very difficult to achieve with paper-mache.

As you can tell by the interior scene this is a Christmas themed dollhouse. The elves are busy cooking in the kitchen. More photos of the project below.

April 12, 2009

Bonjour Poupée

You can enlarge the photos by clicking on the images.

A couple of summer's ago I took my first trip to Europe. I chose to spend several weeks in the Normandy region and the better part of a week in Paris. Now and again I will be posting some of the photos I took. The trip was for me a research excursion to see in person many of the types of real life structures I would like to create in miniature.

As I was touring in some of the towns and villages I began to notice that more than a few people chose to display their dolls in the windows of their homes and apartments.

I thought you would enjoy seeing them and perhaps thinking about doing something like this in your French Cottage.