Friday, May 30, 2014

One big step forward

Hello dear followers,

I have been in France for a few days now. The flight with Indian Airlines was just perfect and I am getting used to the French weather which is definitely colder than where I come from.

I am enjoying every minute with my family and friends but I have had the time to try the table saw I will take home with me this time.

I have already started cutting the different elements for my next order, a boulangerie- patisserie.
The table saw does a great job. Now I have to learn how to use it.

That's all for now. If you are in Paris on the 22nd of June, I'll be at the SIMP, come and say hello.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A resourceful site

Hello everyone,

A short post before I fly home on Monday. I'll be back on June 26th and will spend a month with my "great" parents and my sibblings at home in Tours, France. I can't wait to enjoy my mum's and my friends' cuisine.

 I enjoy my life here in Thailand but going home is always all "expats" long for once a year.

When I studied Joachim du Bellay's poem in High School "Heureux qui comme Ulysse", I didn't imagine I would be like Ulysses one day.... That is the best translation I can think of...

Happy he who like Ulysses has returned successful from his travels,
Or like he who sought the Golden Fleece,
Then returned, wise to the world
Live amongst his family to the end of his age!
When shall I see again, alas, of my dear village,
Its chimney smoke, and in which season, ?
Will I see again that little, modest, plot of earth
That is a province to me, and far more than I draw here?
I’m drawn far more to my forefathers home,
Than to a Roman palace fine and proud,
More than hard marble I prefer fine slate:
My gaul Loir I prefer to latin Tiber,
My little Liré I prefer to Palatine,
And to sea air, soft climate Angevine.
Joachim du Bellay, Les Regrets, sonnet XXXI, 1558.
Today I am not going to speak about my project but about a website I have just discovered and I am sure many of you will like it too.
It has been created by David Neat. He is a British Art teacher and he must have spent hours and hours to create this valuable piece for us, amateur miniaturists, to use.
The site is divided into different units. 
I mainly focused of the section called methods which is divided into 8 units, making realistic models
recommended tools for small-scale making, 
white-cards models, 
common size of things, 
brickwork patterns, 
mould making and casting, 
working in scale.
Each unit is develloped in sub-parts, all detailed with pictures. Below is a picture by David Neat ( Don't worry I asked him if I could publish one his pictures and he agreed!)

If you, like me, haven't studied anything about building miniatures and techniques, you will adore his work. 
I have been doing miniatures for 2 or 3 years now and I can't get any help here from seminars or workshop so you can imagine that this site is of a great help.
This website is free and Mr Neat knows what he is talking about and how to teach about it.
That's why I want to share this with you today.
Here is the website's adress:
The other very good news is that Madelva Fernandez will publish 4 double pages about my work in her June issue. It makes me so happy to be able to show other people what I can do in my free time with some Forex and a cutter (and many other tools, I know...) 
She has sent me the draft but I can't show you before the magazine is issued in Spain in early June.
The other good news is that I have ordered a Proxxon table saw with the money from my lasr order.I think that it will make my hobby much more professional with a saw like this.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The making of...

If you don't have much space and can't stop making new projects, you can use my method.
I have built an empty box

Then I can build one scene, first, the floor, then the walls....

Then I added a LED strip with a dimmer, the ceiling,....
The little door on the left leads to the kitchen. Servants and maids were not supposed to use the double doors reserved for the owners.

Then some furniture, a chandelier, some plates, glasses and your scene is ready.

Now if you want to start building another scene, change the floor, change the walls and we are in a different room....

Or prepare the next one.... the kitchen with the servants'dining room behind and the "arriere-cuisine" (the pantry?) to the right. 
This is just cardboard but I need to check the perspective and see how I can build the different walls. The floor will be different, bien sur! Light will come from the top!

By the way, this is where I spend many hours working on my projects...

Don't worry, it's safe here but all the windows have bars because they're always opened. It overlooks the garden.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

One step a day!


A short post to share some pictures with you to show you the progress of the antiquaire shop.

I cut, built and painted the left side. The display cabinets are deeper so that bigger pieces can be displayed.

JJ, my cat # 2 (out of 4) helped me with the cutting....

I painted the 2 columns with a feather to make them look like marble. A good trick to know.

This is the 1st step. Tomorrow when the layers are dry, I'll use the feather again for the darker veins. Painting marble takes time and I myself.

Then I tried to assemble the ceiling, the 3 walls and the floor to get a better idea.

 I have the project to make ironwork above the doors, something like this....
I think it looks very French. We call this small window above a door  "une imposte"

Add some furniture and it starts looking like a shop...

That's all for today. Step by step, the boutique is coming to life.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The "Antiquaire"

Hello and sorry for not posting much recently but I have had a bad sinusitis that kept me away from the computer...

But I have something to share with you...

I had my first order for a roombox. It is based on the same principle as the other ones, a box within a box. The aim is to display a collection of silver items that have been patiently waiting for a display.

As usual, I started with a quick blue print on my board and I started cutting the areas for the display units. There'll be a niche betwen two display units.

Then you can see on the next picture different steps. I used LEDs connected to a 12V. battery. The shelves are made of acrylic.

I printed nice antique panels to add above the display units. Display units are 1 inch deep. The layout is the same as the dining room I did before. I chose grey because I think silver will look good with that background and I wanted to give the feeling of an Antique shop that could be somewhere in Paris.

 I suggested the person who commissioned this work to look for modern and design furniture to add to the shop. We can also imagine some paintings on easels and some beautiful pieces of china there as well.

The doors at the back are modern.  It's a contemporary boutique.

In the niche will be an important silver piece made by Peter Acquisto. 

Now the floor. I have chosen white and black tiles, 1 inch X 1 inch. I painted them on acrylic board. I also made two columns to add on each side of the double display units at the back. It looked a bit empty. My marble technique is a bit pale but often in miniatures, marble looks too "veined" (?,  what's the word in English?)

The miniature bronze on the shelves are mine. I  find them at flea markets here, they are amulets.

 Now the floor is ready...

Tomorrow I plan to build the right side of the shop.

As the shop has the same measurements than the dining room, it's easy to change the walls in the box and get a new scene... That could be an idea; to create different "decors" that would all fit into the same box. These panels are quite thin and easy to store without being damaged. Then, people could have a scene for a while and then change for another one.

And before I finish this post, a few pictures of the dining room which is almost finished... The black box on the left is a mini 12 V battery charger. No need to connect to the main supply and it's enough to lit the room for about a month.

Remember, nothing is finished, we are half way through. I think I'll need another 50 hrs to complete this project. Does 100 hrs seem a lot for you?

Special picture for Jean Marc: the Ultimate Easy Cutter that I use to cut mouldings  at different angles, to be found on Ebay. Hope that helps...
 (et c'est super pratique!)

 Since it's Sunday... Have a great week!