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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tudor Apothecary Shop: Progress Report

The front façade is done except for the door; I am hoping to start that on Monday. It needs to be built out of thin slices of wood, and I have to find them first.

The shutters were a bit of serendipitous luck. My white paint seems to be in poor shape, which means that when I taped the shutters off to paint the red areas, some of the white paint came off. It looks like the shutters need some work, but the miniature inhabitant is too busy to repaint. In the photo above, the shutters are both in the closed position.

When the shutters are down, they double as display space. No glass in these windows; this type of display area used to be seen in England well into the 19th century. And for those with inquiring minds, the word "window" comes from old English "wind eyes", the name given to glass-less windows. However, in the case of this shop, the shutters are too high off the "street" to actually work as display areas. I will probably put some herbs to dry on them when the shop is filled, and hope that no miniature shoppers clout their heads on the corners. There will be a rope in each inner corner of the shutters, which loops onto a cleat inside,  when the shop is closed. I used leather for hinges in this shop, and the door will probably also have leather hinges, as was quite common in the Tudor era. Poor people's cottages often had a leather hide in place of a door; just imagine the drafts that would create, not to mention all the critters that could sneak in at night....

The two halves of the shops side by side; the bottom of the shop box will be bricked. The original design has a blank right side wall, but I am going to timber, brick and plaster it, as it would be a good place to put the eventual apothecary garden. I saw a very old wall in Arnhem, The Netherlands, a couple of years ago, with a small diamond-shaped opening in it, which I am going to try to duplicate in miniature as the street-side garden wall. The roof for this half of the Apothecary setting is not as high as the workshop roof, and will have two dormer windows in it, living quarters for the apothecary. This was a job that could be done by women, except in London;  his/her apprentices would make do with the workshop or shop floor as their bedrooms, unless the apothecary was a very nice person and treated the apprentices as family.

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