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!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rue du College,the interior.

Do you remember my last project, rue du College?
Well, I have wallpapered and furnished the rooms.

Nothing Luxurious but the atmosphere of a comfortable house in 1900.
Wallpapers are original. I put my printer to work and it worked well. The paper is pasted on "future board", so it's easible removeable. Nothing adheres to the wall.
 View from the outside

At night....

"Voici lle petit salon"...

The parents'bedroom... no curtains yet...

The hallway..

The dining room partially furnished...

"la bibliotheque"

Working on the painting of the house, acrylic and oil.

Then little by little, it becomes to look real

At night ...

The facade opens in 2/3, 1/3

Have a great and relaxing weekend.

Mimine has been a great companion for years. She has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is no longer supporting me in my periods of doubts. I am sure she's in peace now. I miss her.

JJ and Fifi are here to fill the emptiness...

 and Tiger doesn't like it when he sees a box.... They are all cats I rescued and they are very attached to me.

I'll never go anywhere without them :)

L'Hotel Mame a Tours

Hello, I've been quite silent lately but I have started working on a new project called l'Hotel Mame. In French, the word Hotel may apply to a private house as long as it is a big, elegant house.                   We even say " Hotels Particuliers" for swanky residences in Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux.

Anyway, l'Hotel Mame was built in 1768 for Gilles Lefevre de Montifray, a rich merchant. So it's an example of an XVIIIth Century construction, with a classic architecture.
I decided to build the backside because it is more elegant than the front side overlooking the garden.

when I was in Tours at Christmas I took some pictures and some measures with the owner's agreement. She was delighted to hear about my hobby.

First, let me tell you that although it is a 1/12 replica, it's BIG, it's HUGE. I couldn't imagined it would be such a big project.  But it's been a pleasure to build as the architecture is so elegant. I am halfway now. The facade i almost done and I am working on the sides now. Next the roof, then the painting and weathering.

The picture below shows the project done with Galad, a software program. 

The house has two floors, a large hallway, two salons downstairs with fireplaces. Very high windows and high ceilings. The windows on the right side of the house have grids. Balconies and railings for every window. I did all the moldings with the router.
The balcony, railings are brass, processed by chemical etching. The window grids are laser cut made by Arjen Spinhoven I met at the SIMP who did an excellent work.

The ground floor:

The right part of the ground floor:

The 6 windows for the roof are ready

I hope you will like my  project. More pictures soon.

I am also working on a new order: A Ladure macaron shop :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

81, rue du College


Almost finished.... The house has now a roof and two chimneys. It was a bit time consuming to cut the slates from light cardboard and to glue them but it was worth it. I used my old technque for the chimneys.
When the temperature cools down a bit, I will paint the roof. Thailand is going through a heat wave and everyday the temperature is above 40 degree Celsius! Sometimes, 42, 43... needless to ssay I can't work outside as usual or paint. The paint dries too quickly so  I'll wait.

The weathering is done but not finished either.

I have started the interior with the Parlour or Salon in French. I had found a print on a flea market in France, I used Photoshop and created the wallpaper.
Of course, Fifi, the #4, wanted to have a nap inside the new building...

The paper looks quite nice. 

As I don't have much furniture I borrowed the furniture from the Villa to take some pictures.

The floor is made from simple pine flooring I get from minimumworld. Here is the link

I'd love to use Brodnax parquet but it's over my budget !Hopefully one day.... The problem is that in Thailand I can't find thin, plain strip of wood I could make a parquet with.

I framed some family portraits too. For once I hang them with strings on each side. It looks good.

and too more...

And one above the "semainier" high cabinet with drawers,

Now the Mansard roof and the two chimneys

Of course, the roof and the chimneys need to be weathered.

Now night can fall...