Saturday, 21 January 2012

Miniaturas, Final room count, attic plans, and Loggia furniture!

Hello all!
I hope everyone has been well. First off, I just want to thank everyone who follows my blog. I never dreamt  this many people would take an interest in my work. I hope my blog will keep on inspiring and giving people ideas. Thank you all so much!

Before I start, I just wanted to share some very happy news. "Miniaturas" Magazine is running a series of articles following my work on Dewell Manor. I saw the first article just hours before we left for our trip.  I have to congratulate Pedrete and Madelva for putting together such a beautiful article. Thank you very much my friends! I am honoured!

Jo and I had a wonderful vacation. I was worried about a Caribbean cruise because I'm not a beach person! The inner child in me is still very strong, so I get bored, restless and annoying in very calm situations. However, I did have a lot of fun.
I built a little sand castle , read "The Shining"  and a Hercule Poirot mystery, and of course, I thought of Dewell Manor.

As I sat at the back of the boat, looking at the sea, I made a quick sketch, yet again, of what Dewell Manor would look like from the sunken garden

the vision

the reality
Before I get to exterior work I want all interiors to be complete. The opening panels will be rather large and I'm afraid I might damage them while I work. I always had a 95% clear vision of the entire manor, except for the attic. Happily,  After many weeks of thinking, I commited to a floor plan for the top floor. So here is the finalized list of rooms for Dewell Manor and their measurements in inches:

First Floor
1.Kitchen 20 x 24
2.Loggia 13 x 13
3. Dining Room 16 x 20
4. Game Room 14 x 33
5. Drawing Room 17 x 30
6. Entrance Hall  12 x 34
7. Music room 20 x 36

Second Floor
8. Dressing Room 20 x 24
9. Master bedroom 16 x 20
10. Bedroom Hall 15 x 31
11. Girl's Room 14 x 17
12. Boy's Room 14 x 17
13. Gallery and Landing 12 x 24
14. Library 20 x 36

Attic Floor
15. Morning Room 14 x 24
16. Sewing Room 12 x 16
17.Nursery 15 x 21
18. Attic Hall 10 x 21
19. Bathroom 13 x 13
20. Gentlemans Room 14 x 24
21. Office 12 x 16

There will also be a tower, originally a clock tower, but I'm thinking of making it a room instead. Because I want the plans to be realistic, a tower means another staircase in the attic. Yet again, it will barely be visible, but it will be there!

I originally wanted to have servants quarters on the attic floor, but I've decided they all live in small cottages on the grounds of the estate near the main house.  I had furniture for the Morning Room, Nursery, and the Bathroom, so I got online and ordered a set for the Gentleman's room. This room will be visible only through the office double doors, so I wanted a set that would stick out and be noticed.

The office will have built in bookcases and will be completley paneled in walnut, so I only need a desk, and the sewing room only needs an armoire and sewing machine. With the furniture purchased, I chose my wallpaper. Since I have not worked on the manor, here are pictures of the furniture and the wallpapers to give you an idea what the attic will look like.

Morning Room 

Morning Room

Sewing Room





Bathroom Tile

Gentleman's Room

Gentleman's Room

One other room I originally had not planned on was the Loggia. 2 days before we left, I received the furniture I ordered from the Little Dollhouse Company.
The loggia will be red brick and stone, but I want marrocan tiles for the floor and a light fixture with colored crystals. I might also add curtains between the columns to block out the sun.

Before I tackle the attic, I have 3 rooms left to finish on the second floor. The Dressing Room, Master Bedroom and the boy's room. The next 2 weeks I will work on the flooring for these 3 rooms...very boring...and then I will finish them one by one.

Well, you are now all up to date and I can't wait to get some work done. I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful week. I only had time to pop into some of your blogs, but I promise I will catch up soon.
All the best my friends, and once again, thank you all!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Music Room

Hello Everyone.
I hope you all had a wonderful New year! I had a week off for Christmas and New Years, so I wanted to finish the Music Room before I went back to work. I'm glad to say mission accomplished!
The Music Room is right under the Library. I've mentionned that Dewell Manor is on the edge of a cliff in England. These are the 2 rooms that would have views of the ocean on 3 sides, So I made the windows as big as possible.

The fireplace, overmantel and ceiling cornice are from Sue Cook, and the colums from Unique Miniatures
I didn't make the arches in the top sections of the windows. The window treatments will cover them, so I saw no reason to spend time on a detail that would be lost. 
Since the paper was busy, the ceiling moulding ornate, and the fabric for the window treatments is a bright blue silk, I decided to keep the rest of the wall detail fairly simple. The most time consuming projects were the Atlantides and the Marble Columns.

Atlantides are male sculptures that top or replace columns and look as though they are supporting the structure. In a past post I used the term carryatides, but from what I read carryatides are female sculptures. I've only ever sculpted clay once, and that was for the 2 dimensional figures over the Great Room fireplaces, so in true Giac form, I told myself, maybe I'm gifted and just don't know it. Well, 2 days later, I can say my work is good, but not great.

If anyone ever wants to try sculpting, it's actually a lot of fun. I first tried working with regular clay, but the figures and detail were so small they dried out, cracked and chipped every time I touched them. I then tried Super Sculpey and I loved it. It's an oven bake clay and I thought it was easy and fun to work with.

I first twisted metal wire so as to make the figures stronger. Next I covered the wire frame with Sculpey

The matal wire was in the shape of a T. Here it is all covered

I took out some body building magazines and used those as guides to shape the musculature

(Again, sorry I can't get this picture right side up) I only had 2 sculting tools and needles, so fine details like fingers were left out. With more tools I think I could of done better, but I was more interested in the overall shape of the figures and not the details, so the investment didn't seem worth it.

Here are the 3 I made, Buba, Brutus and Adam (he was the first finished for the room). When they were done I baked them for 15 minutes. the slimmer ends, like the "hands" burnt a little, but it didn't bother me because I covered them in 2 coats of Gesso and then faux-marbled them. I'm proud of them, but know they're good, not great...but man did I ever have a good laugh at my first attempt below
This was my very first 3d sculpture ever. Jo asked why I was laughing and I told him I created a steroid loving Drag Queen in a flamenco version of Cabaret! Laughing at yourself is the best therapy in my opinion. Smashing him to start over was also fun!

The faux marble technique was the same I've used in the past. 2 coates of medium gray brushed on, 1 coat of off-white sponged on, 1 coat of pure white sponged on, then medium gray veins applied with toothpicks. The Atlantides were easy enough to paint, the columns were time consuming because of the fluting.

The columns are from Unique Miniatures. I had to heat them with a hair dryer till soft to straighten them. I had to cut out a section of the column to make them shorter. It went well, except after a while the razar saw I used with a mitter box heated the resin column and the saw had a hard time going through.  The columns in the corners of the room without Atlantides will hold busts of great composers.

This room was really long to put together, but I'm very happy with the result. I wanted this room to be very delicate and feminine, and I think it will be perfect once the curtains are up.

On another note, Jo and I are going on Holiday for a week as of this coming Sunday (the next 4 days of work will be murder) so it might be a while before my next post. I hope you all have a wonderful couple of weeks and I will definetely catch up on your blogs when I get back..

I wish you all the best and a great couple of weeks.