Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making Solid Furniture Pieces

    There are two basic lines of thought with miniature furniture making. One line of thought is to make the piece virtually the same way as a full-sized piece is made. If the full-sized piece has working drawers, then the miniature has them, too. If the real one has padded cloth seats, then the replica does, too.

    The other line of thought is, "If the people who view the piece will not be able to pick up or touch the item, does it really need to be such an exacting replica?" I have created a variety of miniatures and have used both philosophies.

    Right now, I'm building the shoeshine stand and chair for my barbershop. The picture at left is my working drawing that I did in PowerPoint. In real life, it would be a heavy piece; probably constructed out of oak. It reminds me a lot of the minister's chair that was in the church where I grew up.

    I plan to sit my barber doll in this chair, reading a newspaper or a hunting magazine. The main thing is that the seat and back of the chair will mostly be obscured by my little barber. So, do I need to put real padding and leather on the chair? I don't think so. I currently plan to make the black leather parts out of wood. I'll seal it; then paint it. I may even grind in some indentation into the "leather" so that my barber sits more comfortably (that way he won't tip over too easily). I most likely will glue him to the seat anyway!
    I also plan to make the drawer in the bottom fake. It won't be open and doesn't need to open; so, I will glue a piece of wood to the base to represent the drawer front. I'll add some knobs to this (small 
brads), and call it good. I did this with the dresser in the maid's room in Sara's dollhouse. It turned out okay. (You can see it in the background on the right side of the picture.)
     The nice thing about making a solid miniature piece is how quickly it goes together. Also, because it is not nearly as delicate, it holds up for a good long while.
    It's a good argument for making any furniture a child might play with in a dollhouse. Skip the fancy working drawers and delicate furniture. Make something the kids can accidentally step on without smashing it! And if they do break it, (a) you, the builder, aren't devastated that all your beautiful work has been wasted and (b) you can make a replacement piece in a heartbeat!
    I'll share the finished piece with you when it's done.

1 comment:

xashee's corner said...

not sure how i came across your blog but i am glad i did! i read your profile and you were lucky to have parents who bought your first miniature, at such a young age. i am a miniaturist late-bloomer. hehe
i didn't spend much time on your blog before i wanted to comment so now i am off to really delve into the info you have shared! Thanks so very much for sharing! Have a great day! :)

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