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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Miniature Between-the-Wars Market

Something did work finally, so I can start with the next batch of photos. This market barrow with its vendor was one of the first minis I ever made. The barrow came from the Venus Dodge book, and was finished in 1997. The wheels were a gift from a gentleman from Prince Edward Island I met at a miniature show; I was looking for wheels, there were none for sale, so he just asked for my address and sent me some. You certainly meet some very nice people in the mini world!

Having made the cart, it needed to be filled, so I turned to Joanne Swanson and my old Nutshells, invested in some Fimo, and began to make fruit and vegetables. This market barrow is old enough that the crates are made of balsa wood, and the labels on them were saved from real-life human fruits and vegetables.

Bruno is the vendor; the third doll I ever made, and for whom I used Fimo. Never again once I discovered Sculpey II however, as this Fimo wasn't translucent and far too pink for my tastes. The Sculpey II comes in l lb. bricks, and I have a supply of it handy at all times. It can be tinted to various skin tones with the addition of very small amounts of Fimo or other clays.

To dress Bruno, I turned to Sue Atkinson's book. I knit his vest, using a set of antique lace needles, very fine, and the type of thread used in punch-needle work. Miniature knitting can only be done in full daylight, and if you drop a stitch, just dump the thing and start again! As well, the acrylic thread is quite fuzzy, and all the fuzzy bits grip like spider web. His pants were made from a small sample of men's wear suiting fabric, a godsent for anyone dressing miniature people.

This was also my first experience with DAS/Prang air-dry clay,used for the cobbles of the base. As I didn't realize that it could be tinted with light washes of watered-down paint, I used full-strength acrylic paints. And you can't use mini-hold wax on it, as it lifts the paint. So all my dolls have to be able to stand on their own.

The rest of the market will show up in subsequent posts; the market isn't finished, of course. None of my miniatures ever are, as I always end up adding to them. I've begun on a flower cart, and intend to add a fish stall, a second-hand book seller, and a Christmas stall for seasonal displays.

By the way, the burlap bag is the inside of a bag that came with a bottle of sherry; you never know where you can find good fabric for minis!

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