This is my last one for time being.
Tomorrow... back to school again and my miniatures have to wait...
Usually, I face the last day of holidays
with enthusiasm, but this time I feel I needed another week! I have a lot ofmini work in mind!!!
I promise to be back as soon as I can.
And another landscape, this time a fishing dock. Is still pastel pencil and has 5,5 cm x 4,6cm without frame.
The painted area has 3,7 cm x 5,0 cm. The frame measures are 5,7 cm x 7,0 cm. This is the smalest I ever painted. The biggest problem is to keep pastel pencils thin enough to draw hands and face details. But even with these dificulties I'm enjoying this work. After finishing some frames (it's not easy tu cut the glass because 0,1 mm becomes a great error and the glass is only 2mm thick and breaks easily) I'll share with you a few more pastel paintings I'm doing now.
I keep on trying pastel work! Slowly!!! I don't have the time I need to develope tecnics and adapt my skills as a full scale painter to a miniature work.
This weekend I had a few hours. I decided to try Derwent and Faber pastels together. After, a very thin brush with watercolour pencils... all together...
The frame is still virtual. May be next week I can show a finished work. Meanwhile I wish you all a very Happy Easter.
It's not so easy to paint this scale but here is my last work.
It's a pastel with 4,5cmx5,5cm
After cutting the glass and building the frame
I was pleased with the result.
May be it's destiny is my granddaughter's new dollshouse wich I intend to start building soon... we'll see...
If you follow the link below you can find the selected IGMA Artisans 2011.
Now, in holidays from school I got a little time to take a few photos of the pieces I submit last April to the IGMA Committee.
They took a long time to be back at home. After being presented to the jury they were taken to the Guild School exhibit in Castine where public and students can see every year the work of new IGMA Artisans and Fellows. It was a big honour for me to see my work elevated to this level.
The exhibit lasted till middles of June and only in 1st August I had my pieces in hand again. Why? Well, the Portuguese custom services wanted me to pay duties as if I was buying the pieces!!! It was my fault, of course, not to take all cares when I send them to USA. I should have post them as “Temporary Export”. Well, after a long odyssey , hours of phone calls and lots of mails, I solve the problem but I could not avoid lots of travels of the package between my town and Lisbon. But thanks God everything arrived well without any damage. Only a small pinnacle of one of the pieces was unglued!
Misty Barth who kindly sent it to me took the photo below with a cell phone during the exhibit.
And now, I’ll post the individual photos.
Piece nr. 1
Birdcage dome topped
Basswood, wire, brass sheet, dye old pine, brass hinges and nails, watered wax
emulsion, acrylic hand painted flowers "popular" style.
The wood is so thin and delicate that I don't use in any case power tools.
I start with pre-calibrated wood. I work with files, sandpaper and a handcrsafter's
knife. Jeweller's saw is also a constant tool in my workbench.
It takes me longer but in the end the piece is more realistic once the artisans in their
times did not used power tools to do birdcages.
Sometimes, when I see that the structure needs reinforcement, I made simple straight joints. If not, a little drop of glue is enough.
Piece nr. 2
Romantic Birdcage (Victorian style)
To give a more realistic look the sliding tray is intentionally aged.
The original piece was natural finished. I thought that, nowadays, in an actual,
modern house, according to the fashion of the moment, a shabby chic look
As I described in the first piece, the same wood and wire. Hand made carved
and a washable paint in a country blue colour.
Piece nr. 3
Church style Birdcage
To build this model I used basswood mahogany tainted, wire and to finish a thin coat of watered wax emulsion buffed with a brush.
Just for curiosity, I must say that I made exactly 278 tinny holes to introduce the bars.
The top finials were once more "sculped" with files and sand paper.
Piece nr. 4
Pseudo Oriental Birdcage
I used walnut for the structure. To finish I gave it a very aged look.
The shape of double roof with the outside supporting crossbars shows a
Japanese influence. This may situate this piece at Belle Époque period.
Décapée painted, intentionally ruined as if it came directly from
grandmother's attic with no more care than brushing off the cobwebs.
To build the roof I used a spare struture to hold the parts in place wich
was removed in the end.
Piece nr. 5
Note that Chinese is inside brackets. Really this is an original of mine.
Having in mind the characteristics of chinese buildings I sketched two or
The structure is basswood. Very thin bars of wood instead of wires once
the original chinese used bamboo.
The birdcage has a kind of tray and to support this tray four tinny feet
dragon shaped, covered with gold leaf. Some decorative details partially
covered with gold leaf as well as the contrasting colours red and green
are according to the common taste of Chinese art.
The Artisan Selection Committee met on April 30, 2011 to evaluate Artisans submissions and I proudly inform all my readers that my membership in the Guild has been elevated to that of Artisan member in the category of Accessories/Birdcages. On May 2, 2011, the Committee's evaluation was reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees of IGMA.
My Artisan Certificate arrived today and here I display it with the promise to continue the pursuit of perfection in my work.
I'll be back soon with the photos of the pieces I submitted
The idea is not original but I wanted to do it my way. From the structure to the tinniest detail I enjoyed the pleasure of hand making all of them, engaging myself in a kind of game. At same time I tried new materials I had the experience of adapting some technologies to 1/12 scale. The result was an intensive 8 days of work without stress, full of fun and pleasure. Of course this is not what I can call a “professional” work but it was worth while the effort. In the end I like the final view of this “cosy” corner as Ana Maria Morgado called it in her Blog http://ajourneythrougharts-and-miniature
She is now the owner of this piece.
I offered it to her with the same pleasure as I did it!
These are not miniatures but I had to share this amazing work with you!
Click the link below. It will open a Word file with lots of photos from a Russian,
an American and some other unknown artists who carve egg shells.
Enjoy it and have a Happy Easter!
Finally I decide to try a very simple electric work. When I build “Villa Joana” (my grand daughter’s dollhouse), I had the first contact with electrical materials. In the beginning I was a little nervous… my knowledge in electricity field is not enough and I fear everything could explode… but, nothing happened so I started being more confident. When I was installing the lamps in the house I thought it would be great if I succeed building some lamps. So, I decide to start with this simple design. I saw it in an issue from February 2006 of “Dollhouse MINIATURES” (page 38). I didn’t follow the instructions but I copied the general idea.
The author is Fran Casselman. I couldn’t find any site or Blog but if you search with Google or any other browser there are lots of references as well as a page on Facebook.
I also decide to introduce something different from the presented model so, I asked a friend to cut a decoration for the lampshade. I draw it and he did the laser cut.
It was not so easy to improvise materials for making the electrical connections. I used a small 9v bulb we generally have in car’s instruments like miles counter. Those bulbs have outside wires so I had to solder them to the electrical wire. Amazingly I didn’t melt the tinny wires!!! Beginner’s luck? May be… But it works till now! Problem: the bulb is not replaceable!
In the middle of the four wood pillars there is a thin brass tube. The electrical wire goes inside. I had to carve the top of the four pillars in a half aspheric shape to fit a brass piece that serves as support. Inside this brass piece I introduced a hard plastic tube to isolate and prevent heating. Well, this description may seem a bit complicated but if you look at the photos I’m sure you’ll see it clearly.
I had to create a standard model to cut the four brass wires that sustain the lampshade (all with the same size and plied exactly equal). It was a little difficult to fix them once I didn’t want to use glue but I like the result.
The four pillars around the brass tube are kept in place by brass bands fixed with tinny brass nails.
There are still a lot of building challenges I must solve before I try my own designs but I intend to do it soon.
I have a lot of new pieces in mind.
As you have noticed my last posts are months out of date. But this one I couldn't miss.
It's not the first time I refer my friend Ana Maria Morgado. She is an amazing miniaturist as well as very good artist with photos. Last summer to celebrate her birthday I offer her one piece I made express for her. A birdcage. She deserves this and more. She is one of the most important persons for my miniature work. Always encouraging me to go further, always looking for something that can helps me (books, materials, ideas, general information).
For the last two years she was my companion in the miniature shows adventure. We shared the tables and we build together a few pieces. Her hand paintings are simply magnificent!
Her last Blog is wonderful!
Great work, Ana Maria! Congratulations!
But, going back to her birthday and the birdcage I offer her, here is the photo I took
And now, look the "poem" she did with the same piece!!!
I never had a so beautiful photo in my blog! Thank you my friend!
Published by MINIATURAS - Construcción & Coleccionismo, nr 151 (July/August 2010) you can follow the building procedure of this birdcage called by the editor " La Jaula de la Felicidad" what means The Happiness Birdcage. Happiness for the bird, probably a nightingale who flew away and sings now in a beautiful garden full of roses. :) At least, this was the idea I tried to write in the tinny Chinese characters over the gold leaf in both front columns. A friend of mine, Chinese, taught me how to write it, but I doubt I have succeeded... it's too difficult to write in this scale!!!
You can click on the photo or increase the zoom to read. I'm sorry I have no time to translate it now. May be later, but I can't promise...