I’m now a step closer to trying out my latest test video, the balsa beams and posts are all in place, I just need to wait for them to fix and I can them paint with the primer and away I go.
I have also been applying the last coat of paint to the loose pieces, which allowed me to complete the beaming of the model miniature. With the False walls in place I could complete the beams, just the one allowing for the 4 posts in the middle of the space to be added. I can’t believe how complex this piece is really, from my minimal aesthetic for gestures I have left the exterior world to test myself on a making level. I think I’ve risen to the challenge and ready to take on more.
I thought I would be taking a break from posting updates, how wrong was I. Working on the 3rd coat of paint for the cardboard furniture and false walls, I saw that I was moving rather fast. I didn’t want to leave the studio just yet, having taking about 2 hours on today’s coat. I saw the main piece and knew that sooner or later the beams had to be added, the last bit of detail that was required.
Thankfully I have two piece of balsa that are long enough to run the length and width of the piece, which made measuring up the material for cutting run smoothly. The beam structure soon went up, with supporting posts against the walls going up soon after. I was limited by what I could do really once the main body had gone up. I can’t fix in four main posts that would support the beams in the middle of the space. The beams were pretty easy to install, with only the false wall stopping me from completing it. Once the final coat of paint is applied and dried I can completed and wait to paint the beams.
I’m really please with how this is all going and itching to get the text video out and seeing how it all work together. I know the beams will change how the video will fall into the space, but that’s also down to the positioning of the projector. Lastly, one thing I noticed when I was handling the model miniature, with all the beams in place, it felt more secure as an objects, more stable even. I think the beams are actually working as beams.
I’ve returned to the studio to make a start on the painting of Minnie’s Haberdashery. I’ve decided to use both primer and acrylic paint this time. I know this will make the painting slightly longer. 3 coats of primer and 4-5 of acrylic. So far the process to paint with both took less than 3 hours to complete. Of course it will vary from coat to coat.
It’s great to see colour (white) to be in this piece which is pushing me in every direction at the moment. I need to consider also working on the material that will be projected. I hope to get that together soon as possible so I can have smooth transition to the next test.
I’ve decided to take a few days off after a period of great activity. I feel the speed I am going at is not going to be a good thing if I keep it up. I need to stop, reflect and do other things. I am hoping to return later in the month to prime/paint the work before I project.
With my decision out of the way I had a shorter day in the studio, working on firstly on the new design for the chairs, which meant less detail but taking the same form. I felt when comparing the two designs, that it would be easier to make the second one, however it started to look like a babies high-chair. I feel though that ultimately that less is more in this case. I may change my mind during my time off and create 21 new chairs.
I moved onto add the funnel to the furnace/boiler and also attempt to smooth out the main body of the model. I’m not all that happy with this piece, I think because it still out of my abilities when it comes to curved cardboard, working with tubes can be hit and miss.
Moving onto what I have the most fun at – the Balsa wood detail. Maybe it was the change of material, working with something different that made it all the better for me. I also used less than I cut, usually its underestimated. This time I decided to pay more attention to the window frames, which are thinner, so I cut strips in half. I found that more satisfying too as it was more thoughtful than the average gesture. Maybe I am developing a new model language, or my making is simply changing as I move forward with this work.
Today was all about populating the floor space of Minnie’s haberdashery, which was starting to take shape yesterday. On the list were mainly tables and chairs to be made. First I got to work on the tables, the ones I found last time were adjusted with taller bases. I then moved onto a few of the other more angular tables, I found my making process changing today, with a flatter top before the legs were added. Previously I was sometimes having the legs flush with the top. I feel the free-standing pieces are better though, the designs will be taking onto future model miniature furniture.
I spent a lot of time working on the chairs, I made a start on the tops of four, however I found the construction of the legs to be tricky and cumbersome. Working with single-ply cardboard and the scale of the work the pieces soon became flattened, just from working with them. I had a good design when I finally had a design I was happy with. I am considering a more minimal design to try out next time. Whilst I am also looking at having none at all. Looking at the previous model miniature I made no chairs. However I feel that they may clutter up the space, there will be 21 in the space of a few different designs. Maybe I should plod on and make more if not all of them and see how they look.
I finished the day by making the furnace/boiler which is not my best work, and did take sometime to get it to a place I was happy with. I still need to some work to it before I can happily leave it.
So I have reached a point where some decisions have to be made before I leave the making behind and start to paint the piece. It’s going really fast at this point, I know with painting it will definitely slow down I have more than doubled the loose pieces that need my attention.
Today has marked a turning point in my practice, I am expanding what I can make. Pushing myself to work with interiors has forced me to make the furniture that goes with these settings. They can’t just be bear a shells of a model miniature, they need to be populated with loose pieces which I thought would be a challenge for me, which is why I left them for so long. It’s only due to the material I am working with and the concept in its current position that I am adapting my language to a whole other world of pieces and ultimately expanding what I am capable of.
I began the day by finishing off the pieces that sit against the wall, a few shelves and another tall shelf unit, which I thought was a small wall fixed pieces. Just shows the importance of referring back to your research when your making.
Moving on I made a start on two of the larger pieces – the beds. Something I decided to tackle as they are large pieces which would help determine how much space will be left in the model miniature. Beds being beds, they aren’t exactly angular. I decided to use some brown paper to wrap around a closed box that I made, to create a more believable mattress form with some weight to it. The bed frame took some time to work out. Once I reinforced the legs it could take it’s own weight. Looking at the sides the mattress does look at little high, I may alter that next time I’m working in the studio.
Moving on from the two beds, one double, another single, I turned to pieces I’d been thinking about in terms of construction. I thought that the chairs could all be made around cardboard tubes, which I could work with. So far I have only used one for an armchair, which works well for the form. The one that mirrors it is far more angular, again working from the visual research. I completed the odd set of armchairs with a mini table to sit in the middle of them, which was the easiest piece of the day. I’m find that the chairs will be the hardest to make.
I finished the day by looking forward to the rest of the chairs and furniture, it terms of how much space I have to play with when making the remaining pieces. I have already made use of two tables that I made previously for the other internal model miniature. I realised though that I needn’t worry too much as in the set there’s a collection of odd piece that don’t match so I am taking this idea forward when making to an extent, allowing me more creative freedom.
I’ve had a busy few days so I decided today I would dedicate a good portion of the day to my work. A decision I am very happy with. The aim was to make a solid start on the furniture that sits against the walls. I feel that all but a few pieces have indeed been completed today.
Using my visual research I started on one side and began to work my way around the model miniature. Using the drawings on the walls as a basic frame for the model too, I began with a few pieces, most have 3 sides as they would be sit against the wall. It’s only in the case of shelving where I needed to reinforce a few to ensure they are as straight as possible. One of the shelves just gets by. However I like how it looks so I’m going to leave it as is.
Moving onto the kitchen section of Minnie’s haberdashery I realised early on into just considering what had to be made that they would be really hard to paint around, with shelving on the walls. it’s the only section which has proved problematic for me. So far I have made 2 false walls, which allows me during the making and painting process have everything in place and ensure even paint coverage. They will more than likely be painted with a mix of primer and acrylic paint.
I’ve made furniture as loose as I can and strongly linked to The Hateful Eight, it’s really detailed for me too, its only going to get more as I add tables and chairs, and two beds. The only issue I have is scale and representation compared to the full scale set in the film.
I’ve made a good start on Minnie’s Haberdashery today, with the main structure up in only an hour. Giving me plenty of time to get on with adding a few of the features. Being a more detailed set I have decided to take note of the larger pieces, such as the shelves and tables. Te chairs I am thinking of a design that can be easily replicated on a mass scale.
So today with the main piece up, I have added the raised step for the entrance first, before moving onto the most complicated part of the day, the fireplace, with the curved middle section which took me sometime to figure out how I was actually going to cover and create the shape in cardboard. Once the main body was in place I began to add the curvature, before fleshing it out. I didn’t want it to be a lot of folded/wrinkled card that was cut and glue into place creating the shape. I wanted something more fluid. I had to reach a creative resolution. So once I had the bottom in place – the easy part. with a curved support at the back I turn to added wrinkled/folded strips of card to bring the shape together. I wasn’t happy. Yet this was in the back, giving me room to play in the from. Using a spare strip I decided to see what it would look like if it was cut to size. It worked – the best I could hope for really, 5 strips later I and a trim on the top and base when it was fitted in I’m a lot happier.
I’m not going to add gum-tape to this model miniature as it feels a lot more secure, it could be down to the size I am working out, a bit smaller. Or it could be the cardboard I am using that is essentially a piece for each wall. It’s all down to what I have to hand at the time in my studio.
I finished the day drawing on roughly where I wanted the furniture, I what I needed. These drawings will act as a visual reminder of what I need to make and where they fit. Some will be fixed to the walls, others will be loose as in the previous model miniature. This will take a lot longer to make purely because of what there is to produce for it. I’m just happy it’s taking shape.
A quick update today. I’ve been making a slow start on Minnie’s Haberdashery. Using the scene that I’ll be projected as the main point of visual reference. In terms of size I’ve decided to return to a smaller scale, allowing me to get an understanding of this new model miniature and the challenges that I will bring to.
Firstly there is a lot of furniture that needs to be made, about six tables with chairs for each. That’s not including the bench. All of these will have to be figured out and simplified into some form that is recognisable. As much as I want to show the whole set, which would be great to make. I need to consider the projector and how its going to work with it. So I’ve take out a corner of the piece, so it will come in at an angle for this one. Also working well as there is little information for that corner, maybe this was where the camera’s were mainly positioned during filming.
I can’t wait to add the walls and the beams that run throughout the model. I won’t be adding a ceiling as the beams will be enough to suggest that. There is only a base at the moment which will be added to as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress. It’s going to push my making, the presentation of the model as ultimately the projected image will be affected in some way, which at this stage I don’t know which is very exciting.
During the Festival Art Show at Spring Bank Arts Centre throughout The Big Weekend at New Mills Festival 2017 I will be running a drop-in workshop for all ages. You can build your own section of a Wild West street with cardboard and lollipop sticks. Please come and join us and make your own contribution to the street, such as a saloon, hotel, livery stable, whatever you wish. All sections will be added to a new unique street for the weekend. It would be great to see you all there.