Preparing for the overhaul...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How To Kit Bash A Medieval-Tudor-Fantasy Bakery

I started out with a kit to make this:

The "Potters Place" kit from Earth and Tree.

It cost 41.00 USD, which seemed kind of steep (it doesn't come with the door, cupola, or anything in the picture.  These days, I mostly cut out the pieces I need myself, or get a friend of mine (who's very long suffering) to do it for me.  If I'm paying him for his time--and he's a skilled cabinetmaker, so his time isn't cheap--it's still cheaper for me to start from scratch.  But, I digress.  And, anyway, I bought this kit back in the heyday of my ignorance.

Since I started transforming it into a bakery, so far, it's turned into this:

I've yet to add a roof, or most of the trim--including any of the half timbering--but at least the basic structure is complete. 

The bare bones of the outdoor bakery area.  I plan to finish everything with a combination of Richard Stacey products (see our "Shopping List" page).  Back in the good old days--and, thus, in the fantasy world in which this bakery belongs, which takes its cues from various late medieval, and early tudor realities--most people didn't have their own ovens.  Chimneys were expensive to build and, in some countries (like France) you needed to obtain a permit beforehand.  Most people brought their dough (and whatever else needed to be baked) to the baker, who baked it for them.

In much of the middle ages, in many parts of the UK, the baker was also the miller.  Although I haven't included a mill (that's off somewhere else, I suppose), I'm envisioning such an arrangement, here.  It goes toward explaining this particular baker's relative prosperity.

Eventually I'll add some support posts here, to prop up the rear end of the hosue. 

A window overlooks the street.  Below, that great gaping hole will eventually be the primary vending area.  Although visitors can also come into the shop, most would've purchased whatever they needed directly from the street.  Many humbler tradesmen lived in one, or maybe two room cottages, and sold their goods basically out of their living room windows. 

The vending window, when closed.  Eventually I'll buy some chain, that'll hold the tabletop open, and also assist in pulling it up and into place.  Designing it took awhile, because it wasn't easy to find hardware and fittings that'd achieve my desired aim. 

This is what it'll look like open, more or less; use your imagination! 

A view of the interior. 

The chimney column runs straight up through the center of the house.  I've left room, over on the left hand side, for an additional fireplace--although the chimney column, itself, would've given off plenty of warmth.  All four sections will eventually have leaded panes; I'm waiting for the next batch of window mullion inserts to arrive. 

Right now, I'm in the process of designing the half timbering.  I also need to get some more wood for the roof.  I'm still in the process of deciding whether the bakery should have a slate or a thatched roof.

So what do you think?  Does anyone have any questions, comments, or concerns?  I'd love some feedback!


Janice said...

Watching how you have bashed this kit has made me feel much more confident about the way I will treat my kits in future.
I am starting a big street project and want to change quite a lot of my kits.
I have to work with balsa though as I haven't got the power tools or the skills for hard woods.
I am also thinking of using some of these foam cores too.
I love your blog! I have been browsing all evening while my husband has watched the rugby on TV. Thank you for giving me far more entertainment!

C.J. said...

Janice, thank you! I use balsa quite a bit in my projects. It really doesn't matter, I don't think, since I apply so much cladding--bricks, stone, etc. I've had extremely good results.

More entertainment than rugby!?! Don't let your husband hear you say that! :-) According to the men in my life, the only thing more exciting rugby is footy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you my dear, keep an eye out for the rest of it :)

Bakery Equipment