Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Aloft - progress

You will notice the twig has grown a few more branches!

In order to have branches where I need them, I just add them at the appropriate place by using a wire connecter, gluing the branch in place, and then sculpting wood putty over the joint to match the joints of the naturally occurring branches. I will paint the joints to match the natural surface later - right now they just have a base coat.

The base has a nice, shiny finsh, so I will sand the part that needs to be landscaped in order for the materials to adhere properly.

Aloft - the bed

I spent a long time building the bed for the walnut house, so I just had to show it off.
The headboard and footboard are made from driftwood roots my friend Terry found for me.
After I took the photo, I decided it still "needed something," so there's now a floral comforter folded across the foot of the bed.
The bed is 1/2" long.

Friday, August 14, 2009


For my next project - a walnut house high up on a branch.

The branch is from one of the oak trees in our back yard, courtesy of a recent wind storm.

It's about 6 1/2 inches high, and wasn't originally quite this shape. I make breaks where needed, and put the pieces back together with a wire joint so I can bend them. There will be some more of that later on, when I add some smaller branches.

Since it's very difficult to work on the walnut house once it is hanging on the branch, I'm planning to finish it completely before installing it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bending Jig

For Karin and anyone else who noticed the Etch Mate 3C bending jig on my workbench: if you use etched metal parts, by all means, get one! It makes clean, precise bends and is a big improvement over various contraptions I have rigged up myself. Also, it is beautifully made. One of my "can't live without it" tools.

It's available from Micro Mark, and I believe it's even on sale at the moment.


Someone asked for a picture of my studio a while back. Here's one end of it - my workbench - all tidied up before I started on the gourd house. Chaos descends rather quickly as I work on a project, but I always clean up when I'm finished.


Thanks to everyone for the nice comments on the gourd house. It's one of my favorite projects ever.

Yes, it will be coming to Philadelphia Miniaturia, but first it will be in a three week show at the Honora Bird Gallery in Lansing's Old Town from September 10th through the 30th.

I'm starting work on a new walnut house - pictures tonight!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finished Gourd House

The landscaping took a long time. I just couldn't seem to stop adding things. I was going for a late summer look, which seemed appropriate for the gourd. The lovely, smoooth pebbles were collected along the shore of Lake Michigan, in the beautiful Leelanau Peninsula, about three hours north of where we live. Some contain tiny fossils.
I pick up bits and pieces of natural materials everywhere I go. You never know when something will be just what you need for the next project.
The big interior room is a sitting room. I decided against the canopy bed, as it would have taken up too much of the floor space. The bed must be in the smaller room, but can't be seen because a curtain partly covers the doorway. It's always good to leave a few things to the imagination.