A day after being in the studio I can happily say the brushes are out again which is always a good sign, it means I’m moving towards another test soon. I began the day by adding the last of the detail to the ceiling light, which brought together the overall look of the piece.
Moving onto the sliding doors which just weren’t sitting right for me. With the false blind/wall directly opposite and a beam running over the top ending over the sliding doors, which before the changes was running directly into the doors which doesn’t really work or look good either. I simply cut off the top pieces and added the detail further down, ending by fixing the door in place.
With those pieces done I thought about what else I could do, I knew painting would be the next step, cracking open my tin of primer I made a start to the larger more open surfaces before applying a watered down coat of acrylic to the smaller pieces, whilst I also had to replace a few pieces on the rails I can safely say I am into the painting which hopefully should be complete by the end of the month.
A shorter day than usual, which hasn’t stopped me achieving all I wanted to today. Painting is getting ever closer.
With detail being the main focus I have started to add more to the ceiling light, with balsa strips going around the horizontal edges. I’ll be adding the vertical pieces later on, once the first pieces are fixed. It’s really coming together now which is making the slowing of progress all worth it.
I also wanted to add the sliding doors which are quite an iconic part of Japanese design, I’m hoping my small pieces fit that design. I wanted to add the door that has the potential to slide. It would be closed in this model miniature. So far I have done the backing of the door and the door itself which I will fix in place next time.
I am concerned about the blind and the beam that runs across it, as it will more than likely be meeting the sliding door, this is something I’ll have to work out after most of the painting has been completed. Otherwise I’m really happy with today’s progress, I can’t wait to add more.
I’m really happy with today’s progress in the studio I can start to look to painting this difficult model miniature, which is going to be a real mix of primer and acrylic. It’s going to be challenging to mix the two and types and creating a nice white look.
Staying with today’s progress, the main focus was the suspended ceiling light which started by constructing the main form. Stopping there I still had no idea how to suspend this object, how would this be achieved. Running a search for Japanese ceiling lights, I could find a few ideas of how to suggest the suspension before I considered adding a beam then to hold the light. I then added the string that I hope looks reflects how they are really suspended. This is after all set in the 19th century. The beam it’s fixed to wont be fitted to the model until later on allowing me to paint more effectively.
I then moved onto something that was bugging me, where the extension was added, I wanted to smooth over the rough cutting I made earlier. With the sliding doors in the main space that need to be suggested, I cut strips of balsa wood ready to be claded onto. I’ll be adding more detail once it’s fixed in place so the seams are not so obvious to the eye – or to my eye. At about the same time I made a very quickly.
Moving on I was looking over the screen-shots again, a very important thing I have learned to do when making from a set. I’ve found that details can be easily missed or overlooked, some can be ignored as it can lead to something more than a gesture. I found that the wooden blinds which I had noticed and found myself considering more and more. The screenshots told me that I had to make the decision to add the blinds which meant the stairs were drastically altered to allow the piece to be added. For now it will be added later as the blinds are directly under a beam, so a strip of cardboard has been temporarily added before it’s fixed in later like the ceiling light.
With the big changes and later additions I am very pleased with how much I have completed today. Next time I will be adding details to the sliding doors then I think I can move onto the painting.
I’ve really had a good day in the studio. Although I might not have done much it feels like I have. It’s been a day to complete all the furniture which I feel I have achieved.
I began the day by looking at the stairs which I am very happy with. I noticed that a table is at the front of the stairs. Meaning that I had to cut into the stairs which I then butted again. Before I added a table which is just a bit taller than the raised floor.
I then moved onto the furniture in the extension which I had been missing, making an end to the furniture that I needed to make. They are a complete set of raised benches and tables which are missing on the raised floor where people would be sitting on the floor to eat/drink. I also have my first ladder to complete the model miniature.
Looking to the back model miniature I was concerned about making another extension, which would put the first one at risk. Thinking more about it and looking at the screenshots again, I decided to extend the raised floor to touch the back wall instead. Taking another of the boxes and cutting to size, covering two pieces of cardboard on top to make it flush again.
Over the past month or so I have once again challenged myself, letting the boxes I have guide the work, even if its made making slightly more complicated, the tight space to work in, I have preserved with it, which I’m really proud about. I have been able to add an extension, before having a creative solution for another extension. Moving on I am looking at making a suspended light piece which maybe a little too much for the piece. Then I’ll move onto the balsa detail before I start to paint.
I’ve finally had a full and satisfying day after my return from New Mills. Again I have achieved all I set out to do today in the studio. First wanting to finally complete the extension that I needed to add to allow a few tables on the right hand side. I am already thinking that another extensions needed at the rear too, something I really don’t want to do as they are difficult to add smoothly as I have found, especially with the design of this model miniature that is so small and confined.
Moving on I have made strong start on the furniture now. The raised floor is now completely populated with quickly made simply design pieces which required a few alterations before I was satisfied. Finishing the day by making my first ladder, a balsa piece that was far easier to make that I thought. Looking back I think the rungs should be angled, but that’s a small detail when it will be projected onto.
Next time I will be adding the furniture in the extension, before I add more balsa detail. I am still considering adding another extension – not ideal but maybe necessary. They’ll be a few other pieces to make before I make the most challenging piece of all – a suspended light, which maybe a detail too far and could be lost when it comes to looking at presentation.
At first I found the idea of running a workshop to be a daunting, yet once I had an idea, keeping it simple and fun I sourced my material and got stuck into what turned out to be a very rewarding weekend. Seeing children of all ages responding to the installation as the made their own cardboard facades of all abilities take shape. I’m now open to putting together more in the future.
Installation in The Festival Art Show at Spring Bank Arts part of New Mills Festival (2017) . Cardboard model miniatures and video installation of Iron Horse of the Studio (2015)
A day later than I expected to share my studio update, deciding to spend time with my family instead. I have however made a lot of progress though with my latest model miniature. The main element that I wanted to complete was the balustrades on the balcony and stairs. Which went better than expected. It was hard at times, working with such a confined model, which I am starting to regret that now. Still its taking shape and I let those four boxes I placed determine the scale and I have to accept that.
With the balustrades complete I turned to starting the furniture which I will again have to keep loose due to the confined space I’m working in. Due to the design of the set – being Japanese I have made the majority of one wall is fixed together on one piece of card, a doorway, a cabinet and 3 long rows of shelves.
Lastly I noticed during the days working whilst looking through my screenshots, that I had missed a dimension of the model miniature. What I thought was just a more confined area alongside the doorway. In short I need to make a minor extension to one side to allow seats to be installed. I’ve already drawn up where I want to cut into. I’m only adding another section to where it’s needed, I wont be altering the upstairs. It will however changed the exterior of the piece which will be reinforced with what it fast becoming a signature look of these models.
Can’t find earlier posts? You can find everything over here on the Work in progress page
It’s been a testing day in the studio today. I think its down to the scale of the model miniature now under construction. It’s a very confined and built up piece around the edges. With stairs at the front which is never a good thing to have. Usually my stairs are either are set against making it easier to work with them. Today I’ve had to add the other rail which is on the inside the rail. Both sides have proved to be hard to produce. It’s all down to the angling and height of the stairs.
Moving on from the stairs I focused on the balcony, which I have fleshed out today, making the raised floor appear to be stronger. Whilst also adding the bare structure of the rails in-place, I’ll be adding the posts made from balsa next time. Then down below I can make a start on the other details, there’s a lot of shelving and box tables to make, which will probably take shape later this month or October currently.
It’s be another busy day in the studio, starting with two tests which I feel have brought a nice close to that model miniature. Taking the frames I made yesterday and temporarily fixing them to the model miniature. Firstly the two tests which I did in reverse order, the larger then smaller frame. I knew that as soon as I fixed the larger one in place it created a presence in the space that draws in the audience to look and explore the work. Posting my progress today on Instagram, a term was suggested – video diorama that really does fit this work in it’s present form. I could apply this same method to the other piece I’ve finished, even returning to the smaller model – something I’ll have to decide later.
The smaller frame was really disappointing after such a reaction from the larger frame. It just did very little except to create some interest and neatens up that side of the work. There’s no draw to the work with frame. All I can say is that it allowed me to get to where I am now with the work. I am still thinking about the angled based to raise it around 30-45 degrees. I can use the central base support as a starting point.
Moving back up-to the studio I made a really good start to the latest model miniature which I was concerned about for a time, using 1ply cardboard instead of 2ply which I’m used it. Thanks to the 4 boxes that I grouped together last time it has really weighed it down, making it much stronger and heavier. I also used the cardboard strips to hold the walls together. I spent most of my time working on the stairs leading to the balcony, which I made flush with another piece of card before finishing for the day. I will add the trim around the top before completing the balcony all away around. I just need to consider that this will have a completely different design – being Japanese. I must admit I am very excited to attempt making a ceiling light which I would like to suspend somehow. A detail I will leave until later on.
I’ll be sharing video documentation later on in the week.