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Friday, February 28, 2014

And Then I Carved....

I just hate when someone shows everything that they ever did and brags about it....  So I will just show you a few carved pieces and tell you about the sequence.  OK?

I officially started doing minis in 1979.  It was a simple dollhouse for April for Christmas.  She was five and I thought that it would be something fun for her to play with...  I really got into it.  I even carved her a bathtub out of balsa wood....At the time, I thought that was going to be the only house... Was I wrong!?!

Then I did a sewing room for a friend...It is now living in Maine.

The second actual room box that I did was a farm kitchen for my dad.  He liked it, but he still thought that miniatures were just kids toys.  After he passed away, I got it back and it was still in pristine condition.  The cat moves around inside, but everything else is fastened down.  The stool was my first attempt at carving.  It was a copy of my Grandma Daisy's kitchen stool.  I still have it and I used the real thing as a model... I couldn't resist, I made a pass at the legs of the table too... I was off.  No snide comments, please... Aren't all miniaturists a bit off?  At least the rest of the world thinks so.

After seeing that, the new owner of a mini shop here in town hired me to work part time and teach classes... New to miniatures, remember...?

While working there, I went to my first NAME convention in Anaheim, CA.  I took with me a regency room box that I had made. 

I had graduated to walnut and this was my first couch. 

By this time I was making one of a kind beds to sell and took them to sell at the store owner's table. I sold four!

Jump forward a few years.  Walter was working at an electronics firm and brought home a wooden shipping crate... I turned it into the Southwestern Room that Eskiaga lives in now.

Everything that you see in this photo is of my making, with the exception of the two ceramic pots and the cross on the wall.

The bed is a copy of a real antique Spanish headboard. The table beside it is a twisted spiral of my own design. 

What I really wanted to show you in this room was the woodwork running along the ceiling edge.  If you want to try carving and want something to practice on, this is the project for you.  That molding is standard Houseworks molding.  I simply carved little Vs on either side of the center line of beading.  Very easy and looks like a lot of work.  You just mark where you want to cut with a pencil and run the knife down either side of the line.
Here's another version around the door.  That molding didn't have a center line.  I just marked and carved Xs  along a whole piece of molding and then cut it up for the frame.

The door was copied out of a book on Mexican antiques. It was one piece of wood that I carved into. All of the furniture that I made for this room is plain old bass wood.  It looks the most like Mexican pine.

This is the last bed I carved.  For myself.  It is also walnut. The difference between this bed and the other ones that I did is... It is a "real" bed underneath all of the frippery.  All of the other ones were made on ceiling tile, as I learned to do it from Judee Williamson.


Here's a close up, so that you can see the design a little clearer.

I have a whole notebook full of designs that I drew, but never made. Hey! It will give me something to do if I ever run out of ideas...
The last one that I want to show you is the George Nakashima coffee table that I did for Tessie's Townhouse. 

Yes.  It is carved.  That was part of a larger piece of apricot wood that I bought back at the afore mentioned Anaheim show in the early 80s.  I bought a lot of exotic wood pieces from Goode and Sons.  At the time, didn't know what I was going to use it for.  I just had to have it.  Since I have used most of the apricot.  This and two little triangular GN side tables.  I also had a piece of half inch square stock in apricot.  I made fancy cabriole legs for a wing chair with some of that... One of these days I will get it down from its perch in a box on a high shelf.

Not today though. I am cleaning out bookcases.  It is to the point where I can't find half of my favorites, because I never put them back where they belong. 

Back to work.

See you tomorrow.

10 comments:

Lené said...

Thank you for the flash-back eye candy. Your carvings are all beautiful, but my favourite is the Mexican door!

Fabiola said...

Wonderful pieces. I really like the last bed.
Bye, Faby

Chris P's Minis and More said...

wow beautiful Bed!! Very nice work!

Elizabeth S said...

Hi Casey! Thanks for this Back to the Future style posting! :) Everyone who is involved in any kind of passionate work, has a starting place and your little stool has both a personal history with much sentimental value attached. It also appears that carving was a Natural Gift judging by the great results, and I, too remember the Judee Williamson ceiling tile beds as I was always a Big Fan of her work.
I believe it is important to keep our roots alive and I am so glad that you shared yours with us! Your projects are Innovative and Intriguing you continue to Inspire with each and every mini project that you do! Keep up the great work! :D

elizabeth

Caseymini said...

Elizabeth, somewhat natural... My dad handed me an exacto knife when I was about ten and showed me how to do chip carving, so I did kind of have a head start.

I think that was in self defense. He was a carpenter part time. I used to go out to his workshop and hammer nails into scraps of 2x4s for amusement. He got tired of replenishing his stock of nails!

Caseymini said...

Elizabeth, somewhat natural... My dad handed me an exacto knife when I was about ten and showed me how to do chip carving, so I did kind of have a head start.

I think that was in self defense. He was a carpenter part time. I used to go out to his workshop and hammer nails into scraps of 2x4s for amusement. He got tired of replenishing his stock of nails!

12Create said...

Thank you for sharing your timeline of mini carving Casey. They are all wonderful. I just love the stool you started with. As I want to learn to make as much as I can for my mini displays it is something I really want to experiment with. I do remember as a child having a go at some full sized carving with chisels with my grandfather in his workshop.

Caseymini said...

Sharee, I have done fill sized work with chisels, but never use anything but exacto and files with the minis. I feel like I have more control with those.

Lucille said...

Beautiful pieces, Casey! Thanks for the tip of carving the Vs on the woodwork! I love those beds!

Gülay Temizel Ertürk said...

Very nice work!Thank you for sharing.