Wednesday, 20 January 2016

More Chippendale furniture

This past weekend I also made some more Chippendale miniatures. I have already shown a lyre back chair, and I have now made four of these.

Just as I predicted, the moment I put these into the room, the old ones felt wrong. So they are now moved to storage for another project, some time in the future. Or perhaps for sale or swap. Likewise, the old side table is out, and the new Hepplewhite side table has replaced it. It is incredible what a difference it makes.

I have further made a shelf.


It is very elegant, and it will be filled with books, but I have no idea how to hang it. I want to have it on the inside of fronts, mostly because I am running out of space for furniture. I will try to mount it with velcro, like I did with curtains.

Last but not least, I made a lowboy. I didn't know what a lowboy was before I started making these kits, so once again, this hobby is highly educational.

The up-done chests from Poundland in the background now feel completely wrong so I am looking forward to making more Chippendale pieces. Come back soon.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Adam ceiling: corridor and guest bedroom

Today I made two more ceilings. If you haven't seen my Adam ceilings, here is the dining room, the gentlemen's smoking room, the drawing room, the grand hall and the upper hall.

The corridor is a bit complicated since there is a stairwell, therefore I needed to cut out a bit. Apart from that, it's a small ceiling, and there is no ceiling light, but now I will be able to add it, with less trouble than with the other ceilings. I haven't yet decided what light I want here, which is why I hadn't done it before.

The second ceiling was even easier. The attic rooms are small, the ceilings are rectangular without any details, so it was simply cut a suitable piece and glue on. For both ceilings, I had to remove the old cornices and add new after the ceiling was in place.

I have two rooms left, nursery and servants' room. I also have the master bedroom where I have a nice ceiling that I can perhaps just add some cut-outs for.

I don't think I will have Adam ceilings in the basement because it will imply moving the main building.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Adam ceiling: drawing room

It has been a while since I made Adam ceilings. If you haven't seen my Adam ceilings, here is the dining room, the gentlemen's smoking room, the grand hall and the upper hall. It is now time to deal with the ladies' drawing room. There is nothing wrong with the old ceiling, I still think it was a very clever design. But once I have started adding Adam ceilings I have to keep the style.

As with the other ceiling, I had to remove the flooring upstairs, and I wasn't looking forward to that because the skirting upstairs was already fixed. Luckily, I managed to pull out the floor - the advantage of building floors on card rather then directly inside the room - without having to break up the skirting.

I won't show step-by-step pictures because it was similar to the dining room. I had to measure and cut around the chimney breast, then align the central circle with the existing hole, put the chandelier chain through the ceiling rose (the same metal filigree), paper and ceiling, then glue on the paper. Add paper coving, except for the chimney breast where I used a piece of wooden cornice for effect.

Now that I have practiced it didn't take as long as the first ceiling, and I made no mistakes. (I hope).

In the picture, I see that the half-circle over the chimney breast is not symmetrical, but the chimney breast wasn't supposed to be exactly in the middle of the room, and anyway I cannot do anything about it now.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

This and that

I have been working hard all day, but have very little to show. That's because I have been doing small trimmings that an untrained eye wouldn't even notice. For instance, this:

I don't know about other people, but my floors never fit perfectly, because they are handmade, and handmade things aren't perfect. Some defects can be hidden behind mouldings; here, for instance, a gap is covered by skirting boards. But around the threshold it still needs to be trimmed, and I have now done it with several doors. Please say that this looks better:


I know it does. Bit it takes quite a lot of time, cutting, fitting, staining, gluing, sanding, varnishing. Just a tiny strip of wood. There are zillions of such tiny details all over the house, and I have now spent hours dealing with them. Also adding more mouldings where necessary, and filling and then painting tiny gaps, and painting moulding edges that I had forgotten to paint before I attached them. Boring things and really nothing to show.

As a reward, I have started making some Chippendale miniatures from my most recent bargain.  They are great fun to make, and if you haven't seen my previous pieces, I have collected them in two posts, here and here

I started with a bench because I had never made a bench, and it was relatively easy apart from endless sanding. I wasn't sure what kind of fabric to use because I don't know yet which room the bench will be in, but I can change it later.

Right now the bench is in the music room, and the fabric is the same as the curtain. I am going to replace all chairs in this room, and I can use the same fabric.

Then I made a side table, which was also straightforward. It goes well with the dinner table. But of course I have two problems now. There is no space for it in the dining room. And the old side table suddenly feels crude. So it is possible that the old side table will have to go. I am not particularly attached to it. I bought it cheap at Maple Street. There is nothing wrong with it, and it would look good in another room, but a Hepplewhite dining table demands a Hepplewhite side table.


I guess this happens in 1:1 scale too - once you've started buying period furniture everything else feels wrong.

Finally, I have started making chairs. I now have kits for seven pairs of chairs, almost all of different models. I am going to have new chairs in the dining room, to go with the table. Chairs are a challenge to make because it is precision job more than any other.

Most of my old chairs have sides cut from a single piece of plywood. In any case, they aren't as elegant as Chippendale chairs, which you can clearly see if you put them beside:


The chair on the left is from the very first pair I bought on ebay three weeks into my miniature hobby. I replaced the original fabric. I don't remember where the chair on the right comes from, but until today I liked it. Interestingly, the Chippendale chair is slightly smaller. 

I have two more of the same lyre-back chairs so there will be four of these around the table and two or four of a different model. The dining room will look great with a proper set of chairs. Come back soon.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Chippendale furniture, part 2

I continue the inventory of my Chippendale furniture. I now see from the dates of my blog posts that it took me two years to get more kits.

Links will take you to blog posts where I explain step by step how I made the miniatures. The collectors numbers are from House of Miniatures catalogue.

Chippendale desk on frame, ca 1770 (no 40067, 1981)

 Hepplewhite round table, early 1800s (no 40005) and Hepplewhite corner table, 1780-1800 (no 40061), description here.


Chippendale daybed, 1750 (no 40043)

 The previous post also included  Chippendale looking glass, 1750 (no 42403)

And finally, hutch cabinet (no 40003)


The wonderful thing about these kits is that they contain very interesting explanations about how, when and where the real pieces were made and how they were used. I have learned a lot from them.

All these pieces are now in Womble Hall. I have just bought two more bundles which will keep me busy throughout 2016. There are only a couple of things I already have. There are many more things to collect. I don't have space for all these objects in Womble Hall, but once you have started collecting... Come back soon.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Chippendale furniture

There has been a lot of interest from my facebook miniature friends in my new Chippendale kits, so I have decided to collect all my Chippendale and Hepplewhite pieces in one blog post, with links to how I made them. From the dates I see that I made the first one exactly three years ago, on January 1, 2013. The first kit was a Christmas present from my daughter, and then I wanted to know more about this collection, and I got totally hooked. At this site you can find a complete catalogue of all items, produced in 1970s-80s and discontinued. You can get some newly manufactured copies from Minimundus.

 I have been lucky to find several bargains on ebay, of 10 to 15 pieces. Shipping from the USA is expensive, but if you buy a large bundle it's reasonable. So far I have only got two duplicates.

Here are pictures of my completed pieces, with links to blog posts about how I made them, step by step.

My very first piece, closed cabinet top, late 1700s (no 40001, 1976) 

I soon made a desk to put it on (no 40017)

Queen Anne candle stand, 1725-1760 (no 40013, 1977)

Chippendale canopy bed, 1750-1790 (no 40014, 1977), part 1part 2 and part 3.

Chippendale night stand, 1750-90 (no 40012, 1977)

Hepplewhite three-piece table, early 1800s (no 4006, 1977)

Chippendale 3-drawer chest (no 40011)

Chippendale cabriole legs chairs (no 40027), the only item I bought from Minimundus.

Chippendale chest on chest (no 40009)

Chippendale sofa (no 40015)

Chippendale wing chair (no 40016)

This was the first batch I made so I'll stop for now, but will show more soon. All this furniture used to be in a house that I used specifically to display it and that I gave away when the furniture moved to Womble Hall.

To be continued.