Sunday, March 29, 2009

A-Door-ing It


AFTER ANOTHER FOUR DAYS of Halfland building progress the set is beginning to take magical shape. All masking tape has been removed from the tree roots and the places where the soil meets the tree have been finessed. The cottage door is completely finished and operational in all ways. Functional hinges are concealed behind leather and twig sets. There is even a wooden latch on the inside that Rana can swing down into a twig catch at night. I'm loving the painterly quality the sky backdrop is giving.


The door plate, locking hardware, and sweet key are finished. This is the level of set detail that I'm looking for in the film. It's rustic but seems real in this world taking form. The key will hang from Rana's belt, with her medicine bags, by the wired silk cord seen here.


The key (measuring 1.5"; 3.81cm) was made of pounded wire and punched copper (upper left, on the upper right is the key coated with iron paint and metallic silver on its way towards a pewter patina. I didn't want to take the time to make the locking mechanism truly a working one, nor spend hours learning about locks, so, I copied the brilliant model door detail from my friend Hila Rosenberg Arazi (lower right). Hers was much more tiny (1/12 scale vs. 1/3) and therefore more difficult to realize. I chiseled out a niche in the wood with a screw driver and used cut pieces of balsa & snipped eyelet hardware. These were then also painted with iron paint and instant rust solution (seen in earlier door detail photo above).


The bulk of my effort was spent in prepping the landscape for ultimate planting. Every inch of grounds were painted several times with my favorite Art Paste gel and sprinkled with vermiculite/mulch mixture and left to dry. Everything had to be scrubbed and brushed off between each layer. (Paul grows weary of having the walk through grit on the way to the loo at night, bless his patient heart) I love how realistic the ground looks at this stage (upper shot) I almost hate to dye it brown an green and put plants on it. I kept setting a goal here of planting the set, planting the set, planting the set. It wasn't until I started to create the pathway that I realized all of this work was preliminary to that.


More was constructed this week, but one of the most fun was the tiny eyeglasses for the Writing Mouse. I noticed that the art paste (cellulose) dried strong and clear, like a tough membrane. I push some into the wire eyeglass frames and let it dry. I think it stands in perfectly for thick vintage glass! I wrapped the bridge and ear stems with purple thread just how the antique pair I have were made. Above you see the finished Writing Mouse puppet wearing them and his little acorn cap. My favorite puppet so far, although is is the first one finished properly.

More goodies ready to show soon...

20 comments:

  1. This post is fun! I love the teeny tiny glasses, and the door mechanism is brilliant; it looks totally real.

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  2. I have been enjoying your level of detail for a few months now. A friend Peggy sent me your link. I love the little mousey. I make needled felted creatures with stories. It is called Felt Forest. I thought you might like to see some of my friends. www.sharonferg.etsy.com. I simply cannot wait for each post showing the progress you are making. Such lovely work! Sharon

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  3. Thanks, Elva Sweetie. Remember, you are a part of this film too! Will you let me know when it's about say 2 weeks away from green, warmer, spring weather there? I'll make the 1/2L shadow puppets for your scene then.

    Hello, Matryohka, Sharon! Welcome officially. Lovely to have you looking in. I am going to purchase one of your fantastic Woodland Tea Sets from your Esty site. WOW! Can you please tell me the size of say the tray? That way I'll know who in Halfland gets the tea service! Your things look like something the great Ulla would love to blog about.(http://www.ullam.typepad.com/)

    Do you read her? Peggy told you about Halfland? Was that fabulous newest fish puppet maker Peggy Fussell I wonder?

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  4. hee hee.cute mouse. :)

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  5. That would be matryoshka! With an *s*
    }lll{
    @..@
    ºUº

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  6. You are creating miniature Magic here!

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  7. wow thank you. I left you an etsy conversation to talk about the tea set. You needn't buy one. I don't read your friend ullam but I will take a peak now. thanks. Yes that would be the talented Peggy Fussell!!

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  8. Great pics this week!

    and excellent progress as well.

    jriggity

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  9. Thanks, Paul!

    Thanks, Sharon! Your price is very reasonable for the little nut and wood tea set, I can afford it and am happy to support your handicrafts! You wrote me that you and your daughter are cooking up an undersea critter for Halfland and I couldn't be more excited! Hooray!

    Thanks, Justin! More soon!

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  10. your attention to the tiniest of details is amazing. it's always a treat to stop by and check out halfland's progress!

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  11. Your attention to details is unreal! And I love seeing you in the midst - gives a real sense of scale. Writing Mouse is delightful!
    U.

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  12. Gorgeous work! As always, I am stunned at your details. I love how this is progressing!

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  13. I am absolutely floored by your work. The amount of detail on such an itsy-bitsy scale. Amazing. I'm going back in time on your blog to catch up with everything.
    Can't wait to see more.

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  14. My grateful thanks to you, Amy, Ulla, and Vanessa! Details are my favorite thing to do. My doing he big set construction is like cruelly making a kitten do calculus! The kitten struggles and the math doesn't get done!

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  15. Wow, John, Thank you very much indeed! Welcome to HALFLAND!!!

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  16. such a beautiful door, shelley. i love that key. and those glasses are adorable!

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  17. Thanks, gl! I thought you might like the Writing Mouse's glasses!

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  18. Oh the eye glasses are perfect as the writing mouse is also. The door is quite magical. The set seems so much closer to ready.

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  19. Oh, thank you, Marcie. I am using all the wonderful things you sent to make things for the set. Thank you again!

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