Monday, April 12, 2010

Charcoal burner unit

I'm constructing the charcoal burner / hotplate as a separate unit, so that we can build spiral stairs behind it.  I wanted it to have an arch above the brick hotplate and shelf, so here's what I'm trying.

(Sorry for the photos, I did this part last night and it was dark :)  I bent a piece of cardstock (cut to fit the depth of the unit) until it made a nice arch, then taped it in position and trimmed it for length.  (Note the hot pink theatrical spike tape!  I couldn't find anything else, eh :))  I cut a piece of balsa wood the width of the unit and then taped the cardboard to it.  I marked the line of the arch and cut it out of the balsa wood.

I then taped the cardstock arch to the balsa wood front, and glued the arch in place.  I'll fill in the rest of the front with balsa and then plaster over it, hiding all my awkwardness, I hope, without creating too much more new awkwardness!

The brick hotplate is still removeable, and will stay that way, so that I can install or fix whatever lighting I decide to put inside this thing.

UPDATED 6:16 pm

Here's the charcoal burner unit so far.  I stuccoed the front of the unit with Poly Filla and because I was having problems making it smooth I decided to make a virtue of necessity and make it really textured :)  While it was still pliable I scored in the outlines of the stone arch above it (I also thought of making "stones" and setting them into the plaster, but laziness won out).  The stonework needs a wash of a warmer colour, but then I think's it's about done, except for the wiring and a piece of trim across the front.  Hooray!


  1. Gosh, you are working so fast Nina! It's been more and more interesting! I know the result will be fab:)

  2. I'm working fast because I know I have this window of time for miniature stuff -- when it ends, it may be weeks before I can get to it again!

  3. Goodness, you move sooo fast, I've had to backtrack on some older posts! I love how you made the bricks, yes, the camera IS brutal! Flaws are essential especially for this era and for anything aged, etc. I’ve lived in a 450 year old cottage (in England), and believe me the plaster work in places left little to be desired and lets not start on the walls! lol

    I love the ideas how you are tackling awkward angles, they can be and are a nightmare! Fabulous work! :o)

    Michelle :o))

  4. My husband and I are going to England next month, Michelle, and one of the things we do there is take lots of photos of old houses for inspiration :) We're visiting Lavenham in Suffolk especially for its concentration of Medieval/Tudor buildings (and its proximity to some of David's relatives).

    Even in our 130 year old house in Nova Scotia I know there's not a right angle to be found -- you're right, we need to keep that in mind all the time. My goal with my own miniature work/play is to make something that looks like a small realistic theatrical set -- it is respectful of the reality without being doctrinaire, and relies as much on atmosphere and suggestion as completely accurate detail.

  5. It looks really nice already :) And I'll join the "no right angles"-club as there's no in my houses, even if they are made from kits. I HATE accurate measuring and most of my work just by eye so you can imagine the result...

    Have you already made a list of all dollhouse shops in the area you're going ;) My mom and daughter are going to London in July and I will give them a looooong list what to bring :D


  6. Thanks, Merry :) Yes, I've been researching what I can visit where we're staying. I intend to go to dolls house stores in Chesterfield, York, Norfolk and Essex! Another time I'd like to time our (almost) annual visit to coincide with one of the big miniature fairs. I've got my budget set, and I'm promising myself not to spend any more than I take!

  7. I used to live in Suffolk.where the cottage was! lol I've been to Lavenham, it's lovely and very quaint and old. ;o)

    There are quite a few dollshouse shops in Essex (I used to live there too). There are bound to be a lot of dollshouse shops in London, but I'm guessing they will be expensive and very spread out over a wide area as it's the capital! lol ;o)

    Kensington Dollshouse Festival(London) is on from 14, 15 and 16 of May, you might be over then?

    Michelle xxx

  8. We're not going to be in London at all this trip, and we don't get to England until the 21st of May, so we'll miss Kensington :( I would LOVE to go there some year -- I bet it's overwhelming! There must be many craftspeople who only sell at shows, not online or by mail.


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