Dollhouse Blogs

Sunday 31 January 2021

Sculpture Gallery


Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well in these crazy time. I have been away for a long time, but I have been trying very hard to create a new normal. I took 2 months off work and during that time I would fall to pieces the minute I was not doing something, so I spent a lot of time working on my miniatures while trying to make sense of everything...still having a hard time with that one. Today, I present to you one of the rooms I was able to create, The sculpture gallery.

This space was difficult to plan out. It measure 39" x 12" and 18"high and opens to the banquet hall. At the back of the room is a staircase I had to work around. I decided to create a sculpture gallery. The idea of the room came from the sculpture gallery at Chatsworth house, but the design was inspired by Chatsworth's Painted Hall.

I started by building each wall on illustration board. I built out sections using leftover lumber I had on hand and illustration board. Since the room is quite long I felt it needed architectural elements to break it up and make it interesting. The back wall has a window, and the side walls each have 2 cut-outs that are the same size as the window. I was not sure what to do with them, but I am a sucker for symmetry.

I decided to make the walls and floor look like stone. After the structural elements were glued in I covered it all in 3 coats of gesso, then sponged on 2 paint colors, scribed the lines to create the stone,  then washed everything with a 1 to 10 mix of water and burnt umber paint which I wiped off after about 3 minutes with paper towels. I then sealed everything with a mat spray and let it dry.

I On the north side I decided to install a mural. I order a poster of Apollo and the muses that was just the right size and scale. I glued it into place then painted over every shape with modge-podge so the light reflected would make it look like paint, not a flat mat poster.

I installed the walls, floor and illustration board ceiling using books, weights, clamps...anything I could find that fit and would not damage the finishes I made.

When everything was glued in place, I installed the cornice around the room and the ceiling medallions.


The ceiling medallions were centered between the cut-outs on the wall, so I decided to put mirrors in to reflect the light. I spray painted 1/16 in basewood strips gold and purchased 1"mirror squares. I glued them onto graph paper first, then glued them in the cut-outs and covered the gaps with trim, also spray painted gold.

I cut-out a large section in the center of the ceiling for a lantern, another idea inspired by Chatsworth's sculpture gallery.

The sides of the lantern are just illustration board backed with wood, and the top is 1/4 mdf I had lying around. I just need to fill the window openings with Plexiglas and then cover the exterior with illustration board to make it clean.

I used a simple cornice and a frieze to make the lantern more interesting. 

I plan on adding a third Minuet chandelier in the middle of the lantern eventually. The lantern is kept in place with wood stoppers I glued on the outside of the ceiling so it can be removed for access or if I ever need to put this section of the manor upside down for cleaning or repairs.

I had several sculptures I wanted to use, mostly souvenirs from our trips which I had painted to look like stone, but I decided to make pedestals for each one. I made them, once again, out of illustration board and leftover wood to make them solid. I used joint compound to fill the gaps and wood grain...a lot of sanding. I painted on the marble effect and then waxed on the sculptures.

One sculpture that is special is the Townley Greyhounds Karl Blindheim made for me. Faux-marbling them was a task, but I really love them.

One thing that was important to me was to make something in honour of Vigo. I contacted Sue Cook and sent her 3 pictures of my monkey baby, and she made a magnificent profile plaque for me. I glued it onto one of her over mantels and built a base for the memorial using leftover door cases I had. I spent a whole day faux marbling it until it was just right. I cannot thank Sue enough...the likeness still brings me to tears and it warms my heart that that he is always going to be part of my manor. Miniatures is my art and this was the only way I could honour him.

And that is it for the Sculpture gallery. Here are a few pictures, both filled and empty, of the room. 

Here is a quick look at the manor today. I am still not sure how it got to this size! Next time I will present the Banquet hall.

I cannot thank you all for your kindness through the loss of my sweet Vigo. I apologize for not answering those who took the time to send me private emails. I started trying to answer them, but  I could not do it. I have lost the person I loved most in my life, and the person who loved me the most. Doctors and nurses tried so hard to help him, but after his death they confirmed he had Primary HLH. My poor baby did not have a chance.  Jo and I went back to work early in January. I love my job and the people I work with, but every day Jo and I realize life is going on even without him, and that just hurts so, so badly. One day at a time.

A big hug to you all my friends.


P.S. I am on Facebook and Instagram, but as long as Blogger is up you can count on my being here posting and following your amazing work.


  1. Hi Giac. Great to see you posting and working on your art despite the circumstances. It’s tough losing the one thing you love more than anything in the world, and no substitute. And yes, it’s weird that the world just continues on... it’s a hard thing to grasp and never seems right. I love the plaque Sue made. That is a beautiful idea and will always be a tangible reminder of your sweet baby. Xx

  2. My heart breaks for you as you endure the pain and void left behind after the loss of your sweet little one. His memorial in your gallery is a precious honor to his far-too-short life.

  3. Dear Giac, the Memorial you created for Vigo brings tears to my eyes. It is so perfect and so fitting that your child will have this place of honor forever in your mini world. It is not anything we can understand, a loss this big can only be endured. I am glad you are finding solace in your work, and clearly your creativity has poured out of you during this time of sorrow. The Sculpture Gallery is Magnificent! I am always in such awe at the perfection of your work... maybe I should use more mat board.... you make it look so incredibly realistic! The stone effect is perfect. The Lantern is inspired! The whole arrangement with the sculptures is just poetry in miniature! Beautiful work! I send you caring wishes and I think of you often. Stay well and keep making minis.

  4. Vigo a une belle et très émouvante place dans ce manoir miniature, comme dans votre vie et celle de Jo !
    Ce petit garçon était et restera votre lumière, celle qui permet d'avancer malgré le chagrin.
    Votre travail est MAGNIFIQUE !
    Les sculptures sont superbes, le tableau apporte de la couleur. La perfection est au rendez-vous dans ce nouvel espace !
    Ravie de vous retrouver dans le monde miniature.

  5. Me agrada tanto leerte otra vez Giac,claro que es difícil ver que la vida continúa sin él,pero continua,mantener las manos ocupadas,hace que la mente,también trabaje menos y eso ayuda, aunque sólo sea un poco.
    Tu galería de esculturas es increíble,tiene una profundidad que la hace muy interesante,los tonos de la piedra son perfectos y esa placa conmemorativa de Vigo tiene otro lugar donde brillar aparte de en vuestros corazones!!

  6. Love the sculpture hall, it is a beautifull project. A big warm hug for both of you.

  7. The profile plaque you put in your miniature manor is absolutely beautiful and so moving, it is a marvellous idea. I understand perfectly well why you did it. I'm glad to read that your life is getting back to normal little by little which of course doesn't mean that you forget Vigo.
    Your room with all the details is stunning.

  8. Dear Giac,
    I'm one who can understand exactly what you have been and still going through.
    The sculpture gallery is magnificent! Vigo's plaque as part of it is simply perfect.
    A big, warm hug,

  9. Me alegra muchísimo que vuelvas al trabajo Giac. Es difícil continuar adelante tras esa terrible pérdida, pero el trabajo ayuda mucho. El homenaje que le has hecho a Vigo es increible y maravilloso.
    Estás creando no una casa, si no un palacio extraordinario, tu trabajo siempre me deja con la boca abierta. Enhorabuena por eso
    Un beso enorme

  10. Muy a nuestro pesar cuando perdemos a un ser tan querido, la vida continua y se encarga de demostrarlo con cada paso que damos.
    La galería ha quedado espectacular y el homenaje a Vigo es maravilloso.
    Yo ya me he perdido con los planos de tu mansión pues veo habitaciones nuevas que no conocia y estoy deseando disfrutar.
    Recibid un gran abrazo, mis plegarias están con vosotros.

  11. Dear Giac, the special tribute, the profile plaque you created, is a beautiful way to honour your darling sweetheart Vigo. It's so touching and heart breaking to read how you write about him....
    The Sculpture Gallery you created, is so very beautiful in all its details and more.
    Warm hugs for the both of you,

  12. ¡Qué maravilla! Es verdad que la vida sigue. Hay que atesorar los recuerdos y seguir viviendo paso a paso. Sigue creando, tu tienes un don que no puedes ni debes desperdiciar.

  13. Hola Giac, me alegra verte de nuevo . Un gran recuerdo para Vigo con esta miniatura que has realizado en su memoria , te ha salido espectacular, mi pensamiento sigue con vosotros, un abrazo

  14. My Dear Giac, So nice to see you back at work on your Manor. The memorial is a wonderful tribute. Sculpture gallery is beautiful.....filled with so many treasures and stunning to look into. I look forward with great anticipation to the next progress post.

  15. Lieve Giac,

    Wat fijn te zien dat je na zoveel verdriet weer je grote hobby hebt opgepakt. Juist als je bezig blijft met die dingen waar je heel erg van houd kunnen je gedachten en gevoelens heel veel verwerken.
    Zo ontroerend te lezen hoe je de profielplaat met van lieve Vigo hebt laten maken, een PRACHTIG monument en een groot eerbetoon aan jullie grootste liefde VIGO.
    Ik wens jullie samen HEEL VEEL KRACHT toe en hoop dat de enorme pijn wat zachter zal worden.

    Veel liefs,

  16. Dearest Giac,
    I am almost lost for words, partly because the sculpture hall you have created is so breathtakingly spectacular but mostly because your tribute to dear Vigo is the overwhelmingly beautiful.
    Best, Anna X

  17. Such beautiful work. And a wonderful memoriam for Vigo.

  18. I am very glad to see you back, Giac. Vigo's memorial brought tears to my eyes, it is just beautiful. I wish you and Jo strength as you continue on....

  19. Giac, I've had you and Jo on my mind so much. The memorial to Vigo is the most perfect thing you could have done. I'm glad to hear that you are working through your grief and I must tell you that I'm in love with your sculpture gallery. The statues, the mirrors, the lantern roof and chandeliers, it's all the perfect place to honour Vigo's memory. One day at a time, my friend. Hugs from South Africa.

  20. Ik kan me voorstellen Giac dat jij en Jo het verschrikkelijk moeilijk hebben. Je kind verliezen is het pijnlijkste dat je kan overkomen. Het doet zelfs lichamelijk zeer. Je bent verscheurd... Bezig zijn met de hobby is dan een mooie afleiding maar het intense verdriet blijft. Je hebt geweldig werk verricht in je huis. Het ziet er allemaal weer prachtig uit. Maar het mooiste (werd er emotioneel van) is dat Vigo aanwezig is in je huis. Ik wens Jo en jou heel veel sterkte en kracht om dit vreselijke verlies te kunnen dragen. Dikke knuffel van Xandra

  21. May creating this beauty bring you a little peace.

  22. Me alegra mucho verte de nuevo Giac, porque el trabajo que haces es absolutamente increíble.
    Eres un gran artísta y lo demuestras en cada una de tus creaciones.
    El homenaje a Vigo es una preciosidad.

  23. Dear Giac, I am glad you are here again. And that you find some comfort in the mini world. Vigo's plaque is simply beautiful. I wish you and Jo a lot of strenght to keep going day by day. Big hugs for you.
    Sculpture hall is magnificent.

  24. Hi, Giac. I am delighted with your work and I admire every detail. Amazing work.

  25. It's so good to see you here again... and so good to see you working on your manor again, finding a bit of relief on keeping yourself occupied. You created such a wonderful place, awesome and beautiful as always and I've enjoyed following your transformations of matboard, wood leftovers and plastic pieces into this stunning gallery. And it really touched me to learn that you made this gallery extra special... It's a wonderful idea to cherish the memory of your darling son in this very special and touching way. But I suppose you've had a very hard time painting this special piece - at least I would have cried my eyes out and I guess you did too... but it was worth it, this is the most wonderful personal touch - and such a great way to cherish the memory of Vigo. And how very kind of Sue to make this possible...

    Take good care of yourself - and I'm wishing to you and Jo once more loads of strength while facing one day and then the next one.


  26. Hi Giac,
    What a beautiful tribute to your son. I am still so incredibly sorry to hear of his passing. I am just so sorry. :(.
    This room you made is absolutely amazing. I can't get over the detail and fine craftsmanship you put into this! If didn't know any better, I would think I was looking at a full-sized room. Just amazing. You are in my thoughts!

  27. ¡Hola Giac!
    Me alegra ver que vuelves al trabajo como siempre tan fantástico.
    El homenaje a Vigo, muy bonito y necesario.
    Un beso amigo, y otro al cielo. Cuidaros ♥️♥️

  28. Bonjour, mon beau! So glad you are back online, Giac and finding a little comfort through the creation of this beautiful tribute to Vigo. As the saying goes, "There is no imprint too small to leave an imprint on this world." Vigo's huge smile and playful joy left an imprint on all of us. His presence in this gorgeous gallery you created will forever mark his place in our world. Big hug! - Marilyn D.

  29. Dear Giac,

    I have only just now caught up with many blogs, including yours, and I was so so sorry to hear the devastating news. Your tribute to Vigo is an extremely fitting one, and he will live on in your magnificent miniatures. One day at a time, Jonquil

  30. It's good to see that minimaking has helpt you through the first difficult time. And what a beautifull way to honot Viggo in your Manor. Big hug!

  31. How nice to see you back with your miniatures. You are a Master of Mattboard and the Gallery is a work of art. I have visited Chatsworth a few times and you have caught the essence of the space perfectly, right down to the gold window frames evident on the outside of the RL building. Sue Cook has done you proud with your tribute to Vigo.

  32. Dear Giac, I only found your blog last year and was awestruck over the amazing detail you put in your work. And impressed that you are also in Canada! I only briefly read things...I like looking at the pictures more, lol, but did see the posts you had put of Vigo. Then after Christmas I saw your post from broke my heart. I have been there. My daughter, Grace, died very suddenly at age three at the end of 2016. I won't give you any platitudes. They don't help, and I know from experience some things said are downright hurtful even if they aren't meant to be. Your memorial to Vigo is heartwrenching. I completed my first dollhouse, an Arthur kit that became an Irish cottage, just before Christmas. It's called Grace's Cottage. I put many little things in the cottage that have a connection for me to Grace...a painting of Howth in Ireland where I went after she died and scattered some of her ashes, another painting over the bed of a little girl climbing a tree, about the age she would be now, a Christmas stocking with her name, Jamie Oliver cookbooks because she knew who he was and liked watching his cooking shows with me. It made me sad, because I would have liked building one with her, but went on despite the void. It may not seem so now, but eventually it will get easier. One thing I will tell you is write as many memories down as you can while they are still fresh. While you may not ever want to read them again, having them there if you do will help as the memories fade. Peace in your grieving. Paula

  33. Hello Giac, it's good to see you back. Your sculpture gallery is beautiful and the plaque is a beautiful tribute to Vigo. I’m not sure if we do come to terms with the loss of a treasured loved one, we just have to get on with life. I’m glad your creativity is helping to bring you some comfort. I hope Jo is well.

  34. Such a sweet memorial for Vigo - I'm glad you were able to incorporate him into your miniatures! The gallery is amazing and I hope it provided some comfort and peace during your grieving.

  35. You never cease to amaze me. I tried to find what my favorite part was. It was hard but the ceiling and the beautiful chairs amazed me the most. You are an architectural master!

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