Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carpenter Gothic Cottage - 1

I'm starting on things for the Chicago International show in April.
I wanted to do something new, so my first project is a small house in the "Carpenter Gothic" style that was popular in the U.S. in the mid-1800's. Homes in this style, which sought to evoke the romance of medieval times, feature details such as tall, pointed gables, elaborate roof trims, and board-and-batten siding. The result, if not an authentic medieval look, was fanciful and charming.
The house I'm making will be similar to the pictures in the background, but not a copy of any existing building. I always find it more fun to design my own. It will have a fancy porch, and a bay window in the right hand side. There will be two rooms on each floor.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Packing the Studio

Something that I don't see discussed much online is shipping miniatures.

Good packaging is essential, because even though miniatures are small and therefore easy to box up, they are also fragile.

The best way to make sure things travel safely, in my experience, is to make sure they do not move around in the box and to surround them with lots of protective packaging.

In the case of the studio, I needed to come up with a way to keep it stable inside the plastic box. There were too many fragile surfaces and things sticking up here and there to simply wrap it in bubble wrap. I designed a cardstock insert (on its side in the photo)with attached pieces of soft foam that apply gentle pressure in just enough places to keep it from moving up and down or sideways. The insert lifts straight out of the box, and the sides drop away, so it will be easy for the customer to unpack - or repack if necessary.

The plastic box then goes inside a considerably larger box, surrounded by foam peanuts. The foam which not only helps cushion it, but also provides a certain amount of insulation, which is not a bad thing during times of extreme cold or heat.

It's on its way as of this afternoon.