September 29, 2009

Windows and Door

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2007

The photo above is the entry door to the Acorn Cottage, is is a plank door with cross banding. The owl is a brass finding I bought. The door handle I made from a strip of brass I textured and bent then solder onto it etched brass leaves. I purchased the sheet of photo etched leaves at a miniature show. I also used the leaves on the light fixtures for this woodland cottage.

It is time to start making windows and the door for my new coastal cottage. That requires a lot of research and quite a few decisions before I can begin to cut the wood pieces.

I am going to create a few outward opening casement windows. They need the shashes and trim moldings cut to shed the rain away from the opening. These windows are also a good opportunity to add some small scale detailing to draw in and capture the viewers eye and give them a change from the larger textures and shapes of timbers and stucco. The visual animation of hinged opening windows and doors helps to break up the plane of the exterior wall surface. An outward opening casement also allows me to place a table right against the window. Objects on the table will help the viewer transition their interest into the inside of the cottage with a little sneak preview. The photo below shows a real life example with the type of detailing I will make.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2008
The window style above with the dolls in it is what I will be using for the coastal cottage.
The drip edge at the bottom of white window frame will be a challenge to create. Love the French blue color of the sill below the window.

I have roughly imagined a build date for my projects framing of around mid 1600s to late 1700s but the time frame for the dollhouse as it stands will be 1900. Now that gives at least a couple of hundred years of remodeling changes and wear and tear on the building. A lot of things happened to home design during that time span, chimneys and fireplaces changed and windows, doors and hardware changed too.

When you look at the really old buildings you often notice changes in the framing around door and window openings, maybe they were added or enlarged or made smaller or even closed up areas that used to have windows and doors.

I plan to have a few small windows from an earlier era on the sides as well as the casement windows. My centuries of fisherman owners were into salvaging and scrounging for some of their improvements and left other things intact from previous generations. Sometimes the sea washes up lumber for home improvements.

This is a scratch building job, you can't walk into a dollhouse store and buy an odd assortment of windows spanning several centuries that are going to fit into a custom design. Over the years I have made dollhouse windows several different ways and I have a few new ideas for making windows I want to try out on this project. This time around my front door will have window panes in the top half as I want some extra light coming into the interior.

The glass I will be using for my dollhouse windows is clear with little waves and bubbles in it. It was mouth blown in France. Up until about 1930 or so most window glass was made by these methods. Picture windows are a modern invention, old windows are made from small panes because that is the only aviable size the glass came in. If you click on the link below you will see a video showing how the glass I am using was made and why window panes were always rather small.
Mouth Blown Glass Video

Update I have finished the door and windows since this blog was first posted. You will see it showing up now and again on more recent posts.