Tuesday, February 6, 2018

La Folie du Parc de Bagatelle ( construction of the prototype)

The project I am working now is a little bit out of my “comfort zone” so it takes more time than my previous projects to build and assemble the different parts.

First, I built one of the walls but in the end, I found out that the door was far too big for 1/12 scale so I started again.

The second difficulty comes from the curved walls on each side. The material I used was too thick and didn’t bend easily so I had to start again in a thinner version. Now I am working on the cornices. Straight cornices are not too difficult to do but curved ones are harder to do.

The next step will be the roof.

My friend Alison will soon start designing the sculpted elements and make molds to duplicate them.

Here are a few pictures of the first prototype: 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A new project for 2018

First, let me wish you all the best for 2018. 
2017 is over now with its load of good and bad moments for each of us. 
I make the wish that 2018 will fulfill our dreams and expectations and keep us healthy.
What about this new project? 
My dear friend Alison Davies sent me pictures of French building located in the Parc de Bagatelle, very near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and she suggested we could join our skills to make it and maybe sell it. She'll do all the sculptures and I'll  do the main building. She'll make molds of the sculptured elements to reproduce them 4 or 8 times. I'm sure she'll do a wonderful job.

The story of the building: It's a small pavillion, not exactly square but almost located near the gate of the park.

It has 4 doors, 4 "oeil de boeuf" windows on the sides and 4 on the roof. The particularity is that the walls are curved at the corners (see the picture) which makes it a real challenge for me, but I have some ideas....

I went there in November as I was spending a few days in Paris. I took many pictures of the outside but I couldn't get inside. 

Through the window I could see there is a partition in the middle with a fireplace and a staircase leading to the first floor behind the wall. I won't build that partition but keep the room entire so that we can display Alison's wonderful furniture. The Folie is actually another building much bigger that I hadn't had the opportunity to visit but I will.

This building is called Le Pavillon Louis XV, it was probably used for visitors to wait for the rain to stop or maybe have a picnic but I'm not sure about that at all.

                      Details of the sculptured elements above the door

                         Vertical elements on each side of the doors

Alison has already done the "oeil de boeuf" that will be on the roof. Have a look!

Aren't they perfect?

As for me, my brother has helped me to draw the main lines of the structure using Autocaad program.

This is what it will look like.

The roof now:

That's all for now. Have a great New Year's Eve. It will be very quiet for me, at home.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Latest additions to the Hotel Mame

Here are the latest additions to the Hotel Mame.
I started building it about 6 months ago and it's the first time I spend so much time on a project.

For the Salon, I chose to do Parquet Versailles. It is quite long to do as each square (5cm X 5cm) is composed of about 40 small pieces... I used walnut wood.

For the other rooms I did Point de Hongrie, which is easier to assemble...

The yellow room

It is not completely done but the picture will give you an idea. I managed to make curtains that looked natural ( I hope...) Sometimes I see great rooms but the curtains are too thick or too big and they spoil the effect. I must say little fabric is used to make real-looking curtains.

The billiard

I didn't know what to do with this room which only had bookcases and looked a bit empty, so I added a pool table and now I think it looks better.

I don't know how many books I made but it took me days, LOL! I am not ready to make a whole library!

The room of the five senses
Its name comes from the 5 panels I found on Internet. They are 
decorative panels called the "Les five senses" painted by Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755) 
Eighteenth century pastoral scene  representing trees and landscape as well as in the foreground characters, painted for the cabinet of the Queen Marie Leczinska in Versailles
I chose to paint the panels turtle dove grey. Now I need to do the parquet. I haven't decided yet if I'll make curtains or not. The other question is about the furniture, I borrowed the one you see from another house...

That will probably be another bedroom with grey furniture and parquet Versailles.
La salle a manger

I changed the table cloth, a long one looked better, I think.

As you will see on the picture below, each room is an individual box. A box within a box. I can move it in and out. It makes wiring very easy and I could imagine changing one room for another one, or add elements or paint it a different color.

 I connected the chandeliers and lamp to a box controlled by a remote.

 I hope you have enjoyed reading about the Hotel Mame. It's a big house. I tried to recreate the atmosphere of a French house built in the XVIIIth century.
I didn't fill the room with furniture. Maybe because I see too many rooms filled with furniture and an accumulation of objects isn't always successful. Or maybe it's just my style.....

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Interior of l'Hotel Mame

Hello and sorry for not having posted anything for a long time. My job at the university kept me quite busy and I didn't have much to show you. Nothing was really worth showing but still "under construction".

Do you remember my last project? An elegant XVIIIth French "hotel particulier" ( private home, I guess).

I first looked for ideas to decorate the inside as I haven't had a chance to visit the interior of the real house in Tours, my hometown.
Then I started with the hallway. Stonewalls, called "tuffeau" in French, a white chalky stone and tiles from Henry Bart. It looks like and feels like real tiles. Beautiful and you can add bee wax when the grouting has been done. Love it!
I often find there is too much furniture in some rooms I see on the Internet. I like large empty spaces. So only two French chairs, a mirror and a console created by Alison Davies. So pretty! I covered the chairs with taffetas from Les Chinoiseries
I added windows and door at the back of each room and it brings a lot of light in and it's easier to take interesting photos.

On the left is the dining room. Here again I used Henry Bart's tiles and I did the wall panels with tiny (1 1/2mm) half round mouldings. Creating the curtains was another challenge as I am not good at it but I think in the end, they look good. I built a box to hide the top of the curtains. I had Bespaq chairs but I had to change the fabric to match the grey walls. Not too much furniture. Homemade table. The plates are from Kyd ceramics in Bangkok. Not too much on the walls, just two large frames and garden urns at the back I found on Ebay. They lool made for that room.

The glasses come from Winesiam in Bangkok too. Winesiam's owner, P'Nok, will present her family's creations at the SIMP in Paris on June 26. She'll have glasses and other amazing items for sale.

On the right handside is the salon. I made about 500 litle books to fill in the shelves. Furniture by Alison Davies and fabric from Les Chinoiseries. As the room is quite big, there was an empty space at the back so I had the idea to built a music instrument called une "epinette" in French. It's a cousin of the 'clavecin" but smaller. I printed the painting and pasted it on the cover. The harpsicord itself is made from Forex which I always use for houses and decorations. The cornice was made by Sue Cooks. The window at the back gives a lot of light too. I haven't made the floor yet but I'm planning to create "du Parquet Versailles"

The first picture before I added the harpsicord

and a day later... :) This is just a prototype. I will build another one this week but I needed to see how it was made first.

A view from another angle...

Now the ground floor is almost done, I have to start working on the first floor, two berdooms and a library. More books to make, LOL
That's all for now. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my last project. 
All the best,

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The exterior of the Hotel Mame

The building of the Hotel Mame is now finished and I can show you the last pictures I took.

The chimneys:

The building has 4 chimneys in total but I only did two as my building only represents half of the contruction. The metal parts are supposed to maintain the structure. I got them from Arjen in Holland. He also cut the beautiful grids that ornate the windows.

The decorations above the windows were made using a mold I got from MasterMolds on Etsy. I think they are used to decorate cakes. I transformed the original shape a liitle bit to fit on the windows.

On each side of the door, there are two lanterns. They are made of cardboard and I added some gold elements to match the style of the XVIIIth century.

I used acrylics and water colours to weather the facade

Finally I mixed sand and wood glue and covered the floor around the house. (when it's dry, sweep the excess sand). I think it matches the building quite well. 

Now it's time for a cup of tea and scones.....

The house at nightfall...

The same on a sunny day....

Another angle....

I have now to think about the interior...

Thanks for all your comments. I try to reply to everyone but sorry if I am a little bit late....

Talk to you soon :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

L'Hotel Mame

I have been working on the Hotel Mame for 2 months now and I can share the last improvements with you.

First, weathering. Although the original building was made of 'tuffeau", a chalky white stone from the Loire valley, I decided to give my project a different shade. As a matter of fact, I tried the "tuffeau" look, my building looked new, like an architect model so after spending 5 hours doing the first layer, I started it all over again. This time, I added yellow ochre. It gives it a southern of France flavour. It reminds me of the "hotels particuliers", elegant houses passed from generations to generations, in Bordeaux or Aix en Provence.

Building the roof was another challenge because of the size. The building is large, about 135 cm wide...So,as I used original drawings for the roof "a La Mansart", the height of the roof in the middle is 40 cm! So the roof is both impressive and heavy. I had to build a structure beneath to support it.

Below is a sketch of a Toit a la Mansart

As my project only represents 1/2 of the building, so does the roof.
After hours fighting with it, I managed to finish the roof and starting cutting cardboard slates, hundreds of them. It took for ever before I had enough. I did it while watching the British series about Victoria on TV. I should say listenenig as watching and cutting was not easy. I glued them and added the 4 windows on the roof.

It was time now to work on the details and I built the chimneys from the pictures I had. Stones and bricks together, very pretty!

Actually there are 4 chimneys but 2 look enough. Maybe one day, I'll build the back part of the house, then there will be 8 windows on the roof and 4 chimneys.....

Last weekend, I spent both days working on the floor of the hallway. I used tiles created by Henry Bart , a French artist. His tiles are just amazing, made from stone powder I guess. It is a long process but the result is fabulous, you just grout them like real tiles. And when it's dry, apply some wax. It has the look and the smell of real tiled floors. Give it a try.

 Here is the result. I can't wait to start working on the interior...

I built the two lanterns on each side of the door and chose to add some golden elements after checking pictures on the Internet. I may do them again but we'll see with time.....

The garden urns are typically French, they are made in Anduze in the south of France. They are called vases d'Anduze. The ones I show here were made by French artist  Elizabeth Causeret but unfortunately, she doesn't have a website.

Now, I need to finish the sides, weather them and start working on the inside.

I have had the chance to contact Alison Davies who is a British artist who creates the most beautiful French furniture you can imagine. I think she has started recently to manufacture and sell her pieces but I can tell you, the pieces are amazingly realistic.
 Here are two examples of her work. Aren't they beautiful?

I can't wait to build the rooms to to acquire and display them!

The great news is that Madelva has published pictures of my house, rue du College, in this October's issue of Miniaturas the Spanish magazine. She is very kind and supportive to give me an opportunity to share my work with other people worldwide. Thank you Madelva!

To finish today's post, a picture I like...
As you know, I live with my 3 cats, now that Mimine has passed away and my miniature projects inclue some animals......

Thailand has just lost its King. People are sad.

 Everyone here wears black to show their grief. As a teacher, I'll wear black clothes for one year like all government officers in the country. He was a great King who had always his people in mind and improved the lives of many people here, especially farmers. He loved animals too as you can see and was often photographed with dogs he had rescued.

Have a great day!