Friday, June 30, 2017
Miniature Wickwork Chair part 1
Here's a link: 1inchminis by Kris This is a blog about making one-inch scale (Classic scale) dollhouse furniture. Most of it features pieces like stuffed armchairs, tables, beds, wine racks, stoves and refridgerators, but in with these largely paper-based projects were several woven baskets, a wicker table and Mein Gott a fantastic wickerwork armchair. It had so much detail! Where did this come from!! The author says, "This is a serious project with some investment in materials." I haven't heard such a quaint denial since the Denver Saddlery Catalog's Horses are big and their strength is great. This chair has been a Master's degree in twelfth-scale wickerwork. Facts such as I built two test-pieces and have been at it for a month and only gotten halfway, speak for themselves.
The cording, to my amused astonishment, was another struggle to get right. I had thought all along I was going to use Artificial Sinew, my old friend. Nope. It squished. While I was in Boulder I managed to get to a Hobby Lobby (they don't occur in the East) and bought 5 kinds of cord, thread, hemp, etc. In the end, after weeks of testing, none of them would do. The mark of the master miniaturist is the willingness to go after the right material for the right look, and it seems to be part of the art that this takes a long time. Many little steps are needed, and many tests happened before I was completely satisfied.
Here is my second test: Woven cord, Hobby Lobby called it.
The day after I got back from Colorado I tried out my old friend, #30 Artificial Fine Sinew from Tandy's, using my previous test piece because making a third one was too much effort. And lo, it worked.
Needless to say, we were off to the races.
While in Colorado I had thought my Mom, an artist from way back, would have mat board; but she didn't. Instead, for the seat, I found an ancient cardboard, taken from the back cover of a pad of artist charcoal paper that must have been at least 50 years old. Whether this was a good idea remains to be seen. It is heavy and strong, but it drilled badly and is thicker than called for. With my sinew being thinner than called for, it may be hard to cover when I get to the seat edge-binding part.
This photo was taken in Maine:
The cardboard, in two layers, makes up the seat. I'm using glue with this chair, something I've resisted working with very much, but there comes a time....
Some work was done in Maine on this chair.
Six days have gone by between the above picture and this one.
Considering I started this chair May 19, the day after the parade set was done, and here it is June 30th and the thing is only halfway done, methinks I have a life.
Part II will cover the lower legs.
In this last picture, note the badly-dye-stained notebook lying at left. Aye yai, a souvenir of haste at trying to finish the great #456. I hadn't spilled dye that badly since the 1970s. I'm afraid one of my conclusions of NaMoTackMo was that tackmaking has a notably higher percentage of can't-finish-to-a-deadline, and accidents, than had NaMoPaiMo. Food for thought.
The chair should be done by BreyerFest, and will be taken there. I have not decided its fate. If someone makes me an offer I can't refuse, it'll find a new home. Meanwhile I'm enchanted with all I've learned, and fully intend to put it to work on a sleigh of some sort. Surreys? Carts? Snowshoes!! More furniture: sofas, rockers, tables! Oh the relief... not so much at the wickerwork, as at having found a field that was worthy of me....
See you in Room 610--!!