Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a new cabinet base for a shelf unit

As part of a recent commission I've been playing with a new look for a low base to support a shelving unit. The idea was to raise the shelf unit up high enough off the floor so the contents of the lower sections could be seen. I think this may do the trick. It's made of rosewood and ebony and stands about 1.75 inches (4.4 cm) tall and 5 inches (12.4 cm long). The length was dictated by the niche where the unit is to go in the client's room box. The doors are real glass and do slide. Getting them in place was a "joy" shall we say?   I'll put up the complete piece - base and shelf when I've got a suitable photo.

square tiles on floor are 1/2 inch square

Friday, September 23, 2011

getting the drop on a space problem

First - please excuse the bad pun.

One of my clients had a problem; she had a small room box but wanted quite a variety of furniture in it, including a dining table and some chairs. I suggested a couple of stackable chairs and a drop leaf table. The table is quite small when closed and against a wall - just about 20 scale inches (50 cm) deep and 24 (60 cm)wide, but opened fully it is 68 inches (173 cm) long.
The brass circles are the ends of rods I used to peg the cross piece joint. I thought they and a nice contrast to the rich wood colour.

I only have one swing out support - hey it's my design and this keeps it lighter looking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More new furniture

I've been focusing on furniture lately, partly because I can only have so many room boxes on hand (sort of LOL). I came across another interesting Paul Frankl design that I modified slightly  - a low bookcase. This piece clearly shows the influence oriental designs had on Mr Frankl. I took this photo of it beside the coffee table I recently made as well. The bookcase is about 29 scale inches high.

Based on  Paul Frankl originals
thing-of-purpose table
I recently came across a napkin ring that just begged me to get it and do something with it; so I did. The result is a table about 17 scale inches tall, with a acrylic top. I'll have something on it when I take photos for the web site, but I sort of like the "art photo/sculpture" aspect of this shot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Frankl Art Deco furniture

While doing some research for a commission, I came across a goldmine of images of Art Deco period furniture by the American Designer Paul Frankl at an old auction listing

I am in the process of "miniaturizing" a number of the pieces: here, for example, is a progress shot of my take on an oriental coffee table. Among the changes - different colours, discarded the black glass top as superfluous in this colour scheme, and removed the metal rod supports as well.
I couldn't resist the raspberry from my garden as an indication of scale. The table is 14.5 scale inches tall and 28 inches long. I'm probably going to do the occasional table as one of my next projects.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, I have been doing things although you wouldn't know it from the blog. One item was a request from a long time customer for a light based on a Kharbarosk Lamp. After many false starts - making the complete rings out of wood was one issue - I came up with this:

Uses an LED for the light source
It's about 1.5 inches - 3.75 cm tall and the rings are about 7/8th inches - 2.2 cm in diameter.

 I also spent some time making a pair of Frankl dressers - in Birds' Eye maple that also proved challenging but overall I think they came out well. These are another item that proves hard to photograph well. The wood patterns actually are much more attractive when seen "live". I'm working on a version in plain woods that should photograph better. These were BIG dressers - 77 inches 195 cm. tall.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

battery powered track light

I just completed an order which included a battery powered track light. I'm quite pleased with the final product although it did end up requiring more work than I first thought. For one, I had to mill out part of the channel (base) interior so the battery I had selected would fit. The final product is quite nice however.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back from London - definitely not richer but possibly wiser!

Well, let's hit the high points of the KDF show first - well organized, nice venue, many quality dealers who are also, naturally being miniaturists, very nice people to meet and talk to. Many complements on my designs and work BUT not enough people actually following up by opening their wallets. Mind you the economy and a 20% sales tax doesn't help, but STILL! Fortunately we stayed on for and extra 10 days and really enjoyed London. We were told that it was the warmest, driest spring ever and we only had 1/2 hour of rain in the whole time we were there. Did a lot of museum visiting.
Well, back to the drawing board: I am filling a number of orders for battery operated lights including one for one of my e head track light units and a fireplace flicker unit. There seems to be a market for that at least for now.
 I saw some commercial (and to be fair - much cheaper - and old fashioned styled) battery operated LED table lights and a chandelier at the Vancouver Miniatures show on Sunday and they were really very cold/bluish. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone right now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a new Art Deco or modern light and chair

Just some more playing around trying to get a enough unique items to generate some buzz (and sales of course!) at te next show. The light has 9 LEDs in it and the rings alternate between chrome and gold plating - kind of hard to make out in the photo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My LED lights with batteries - first conversions

At teh Chicago show I was asked if I could make my LED lights work off batteries. Naturally I said yes and then had to come home and figure out how I was actually going to do it. My first effort turned out quite well I think. I was asked to convert one of my sconces, so the first thing I did was figure out what size battery I could hide behind it. A CR2032 3 volt button battery fit the space available. I then added some thickness to the sconce sides to largely conceal the battery and on/off switch. I added some magnets - very small magnets to the back and supplied a piece of self adhesive metal strip to go on the wall - and presto chango (and 3 hours of work) later. a battery powered sconce. My battery life test indicates that one can expect at least 3 - 4 days constant running (72 -96 hours) for the battery which I think is pretty good. The photo on the other hand is bad, but will have to do for now.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

some new lights as well

Getting some more new items ready  - this time a Deco style light fixture, which has a background made using French banding from the 1930's - we won't see anything like it again.
same light - one off one on, about 2.5" 6cm in diameter

about 2.75" or 7 cm in diameter
The second light can be a vanity or dressing table light - it would also work as a chandelier I suspect. The centre is a glass mirror. It's a tad hard to see, but the backing is a black hexagon shape. Both fixtures use LEDs

Thursday, April 21, 2011

another show so more modern furnishings

 No rest for the wicked, so I'm back in the studio preparing new items for my next sow - the KDF (Kensington Dollhouse Festival. I've made some pieces that are variations on previous work, and, of course, some completely new designs. One of the latter is this dressing table, with a beautiful piece of Olice wood for the top. The drawer is Holly with an inlay strip
Dressing table - Olive, Holly and Jatoba woods - about 4 inches or 10 cm long
Panels rotate and can be interchanged - about 6 " 15 cm tall
For this screen, I left the top uncapped, so the various coloured panels and be moved from post to post to create new designs. Each panel is about 1.16 " or 3 cm wide

inlaid shelving unit - glass is 3" - 7.5 cm long

Monday, March 21, 2011

by hook or crook it lights the spot

Shepherd’s crook light
A new light, this one can serve as a reading light or as an accent light as well. The base is a block of machined 1/4 inch thick aluminum set in a Pear wood rectangle. The light source(s) is a group of LEDs. I just grabbed the first chair that came to hand; it probably would look better with one of my modern chairs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

new sculpture/light

Living as I do in a major earthquake zone, it’s a little hard to get too excited today about miniatures while thinking about the tragedies in Japan. Who knows when it will be our turn.
None the less, I still have to make a living, so here’s a variation on a theme. My client asked me to make all the columns on this sculpture under-lit, and as the customer is always (well, usually) right, I modified the piece. Of course that also meant I needed to create a new base to accommodate the additional electronics.The piece is about 2.5 inches (6 cm) tall.
My closing though today is from John Donne
MEDITATION XVII  circa 1624 from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

new month - new light design

sort of shows how it lights the work area
close-up to show details
Working hard to avoid finishing other projects I spent a little time to design and make this desk lamp. In my entirely unbiased opinion it’s kind of cool. The base is aluminum, LED light source - about an inch (.25cm) tall - I haven’t measured it yet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is “quoting“ my photos a complement?

I had a cheap laugh today. I was doing some research on furniture by Paul Frankl, on the internet, and what did Google turn up? Sites like antique stores and auction houses using my photos(unattributed of course) of MY furniture, based on Paul Frankl originals, but not the same, as photos of actual Frankl furniture. I guess that’s flattering!?

Friday, January 21, 2011

another light “thing”

About 5 inches (12 cm tall)
the bench is 5 inches or 12 cm long
Well, I have continued my exploring with light piping. This time I wanted to se the effect of twisting a square  length of acrylic would do to light patterns. It does work in interesting ways, although again capturing it for the web is tricky. I’ve also added a photo of it beside a bench that is headed to the Kruger collection at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I must say I feel pretty good about that!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

new lights - sculptures

Well, no one else makes them like this.
I decided it was time to get creative again (easier to do when there is no order back-log) and I started designing new lights that really are sculptures. The first one, which is about 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, is the subject of the photos. The drawback to the lights is that they are extremely hard to photograph and successfully convey how they look “live“. The bottom of the base is illuminated.

here it is beside one of my Morris chairs - for scale - with additional light
rotated 180 degrees

turned 90 degrees (more or less)

other end, from a higher angle.