Preparing for the overhaul...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Miniature Bricks and the Tudor Dollhouse

I'm finally ready to grout, but first...

Please ignore my laundry basket in the background.  This picture marks where I left off last time: starting to clad the house.  Putting things in perspective, these pictures chronicle DAYS' worth of work.  By the time I'm done cladding everything in the house (I still need to do the chimney column) I will have glued on almost 3,000 individual bricks.

It's really important to keep your lines parallel!

The ends of these rows (this is on the right-hand side) are an example of the "not quite half" bricks I was talking about before.

These end bricks are about 3/4 of a brick.  I cut and sanded the ones I needed as a batch, all at the same time, before I started gluing.  Personally, I prefer that approach, as it speeds things along.

I did the entire left-hand side before gluing on a "bridge" row and beginning the right-hand side, working, this time, from the top down.

I glued rows on the bottom at the same time as I added rows to the top.

The completed front.  As I'm sure you've noticed, there's a gap above the door.  Unlike in real life, you'll sometimes end up with funky shapes that don't quite fit together.  In real life, you can work around these problems by framing to specific door and window sizes, but the dollhouse world isn't that standardized.  So, well, what to do?  Here, I'm going to cover the gap with a pediment.  It'll add interest to the facade (and remember, the fountain is coming, too!) and draw attention to the front door.  Which still doesn't have any hardware, but I'm working on that...

I started cladding this side in the middle, because I measured from the top so the rows would match up.  The ground on the bottom is uneven, because I've already glued in the tiles for the hearth.  Then, basically, I finished this side the way I did the other.

It was a little tricky working around the columns!

I dry-fitted the bottom section of the ovens, to make sure everything looked good.  I clad the entire back wall behind this lower section, because, due to the size of the grate opening, you can see most of it.  So far, I'm happy with how everything looks.

However, I left some of the back section, that no one will ever see, blank.  3,000 bricks are enough!  Not only do these bricks (and slates, and sandstone pavers) add expense, they add weight.  Less is (sometimes) more!

So far, so good!

I used a piece of scrap wood to lay along my cross bridge, to help me make sure everything was aligned correctly.

I need all the angles to line up.

I think the courtyard itself will be gravel.

I may add some urns, for greenery; I haven't decided yet.

Most of this wall will be invisible.

Here it is!

The last major thing, on this wall, apart from the stucco and the mortar, is the roof of this little oven.  I'm still debating what to do, here.  Any suggestions?

I attached one half of the shutter.  Cladding around the shutter supports was nigh on impossible.  I'm fairly pleased with how it came out, but one row is slightly uneven.  It's possible nobody will notice but me, but trust me, I will always notice...

Almost done with the bottom part!

This, right here, was the hardest part.

Cutting the bricks for the left-hand side was no joke, either.

I did these with white glue, since I ended up having to mush them around a bit.

Finally, victory!

I haven't finished antiquing the upper shutter, but I wanted to tape it on to get a sense of what it'd look like.  I'm sort of at a loss for how I'm going to rig up some shutter hardware.  I really wish there were a better selection available for purchase!

I'm fairly pleased so far.  I can't wait to see it with the stucco, and the final roofline--which I have to carve today.  That'll be my next project after finishing this blog post.

Just picture it with a pediment...and mortar.  And landscaping.  And a roof.

I haven't yet decided if the turntable will be part of the finished project.

I might landscape it?


The Dangerous Mezzo said...

This is really stunning!

Anonymous said...

Your work is beautiful. Very inspirational! Thank you for sharing your process. Keep up the awesome work!!