Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Reflections on dollhouse reconstruction

I have now covered four years of rebuilding my Victorian house since we moved to Cambridge. We bought our own 1:1 house three and a half years ago, but when we moved I just fixed everything inside the cabinet with bluetack. The cabinet is now in the dining room, and most of our guests take no notice of it. Perhaps if it had glass doors... but then it would not be a mystery. Some people know that I have a dollhouse and ask to have a look and tell other guests to ask to have a look. Most people have a look and say "Ah" and "Oh" and turn away. Every now and then there is someone who keeps looking and suddenly understands what materials I have used and recycled, and looks more and is full of awe. I am full of awe myself when I look.

A dollhouse is never finished. Although most of it was made soon after we moved, I keep adding details, I make new things. I decorate the house for Christmas. I plan to put in new wallpaper here and there. I plan to put in more lights (and repair the ones that don't work). I am reluctant to replace things that I made at the very beginning because they have a sentimental value. They may look less attractive than things I can make now, with more practice, but they show my development as a miniature artist. If I had known then what I know now about my skills I wouldn't have bought things that I can make myself, but these first purchases also have a sentimental value.

I have felt enormous support from my discussion group. I don't know any miniaturists here in England and have no confidence to get in touch or attend a fair. But the virtual community has been indispensable.  Sharing your work with someone who understands is half of the joy.

Meanwhile, I moved on to new projects.

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