For the last few days I have felt like me again. Not 100% me, about 89%, I think. I have been pouring porcelain. Oh what a joy. I’ve been doing the 48th scale dolls, which is an act of faith, of hope and also of desperation. If you are used to doing stuff and making stuff and you do very little stuff for four and a half years and then nothing at all, when you had got through the previous few years by promising yourself an explosion of doing stuff, well then you get very desperate and frustrated.
But finally I got the porcelain slip out and got started. I immediately encountered a difficulty; a gallon of slip is a heavy thing, normally wielded with two working arms and the hands at the end of them. Three days in, the OH knocked a poured tray full of dolls on the floor, then this morning he started cooking all over the kitchen, and when I tidied up after him, trying to chivvy him out of the way I did the same thing but worse, I stood on several and killed them dead.
However, I do still have my fine motor skills and can still pour and stop and know how thick my slip, how turned my scalpel, how green my valley and I am more back than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Finally something going right.
’Tis getting better too. If you were one of many interested in the decoupage, I should tell you that tomorrow on craft TV www.hochanda.com before Leonie is let loose at eleven with new Stamperia products, Dali, the stockist of them, is there at 10 with more new things from Stamperia and then Leonie is back in the afternoon at 2. That sounds like a solid three hours of lovely things being demonstrated by people who know what they are doing to me. I will be here with my cup of tea. Times are British though the shows are available afterwards on Rewind. However, I have noticed that shows having a majority of items which are mainly sold out during the show tend not to be repeated. Shopping channels on TV can reach millions of people and therefore undercut the prices of individual shops. To do this they get a huge wodge of whatever it is they are selling and sell it and then that’s your lot, goodnight Vienna.
The principles of economy of scale were explained to me long ago by the lady who at the time was the principle importer of dolls house accessories from the far East and one of the first to have a factory working for her and making her designs. It was a beneficial arrangement. For the factory workers, mainly young women, the work was lighter, cleaner and better paid than most other jobs available in the area. Although the furniture was hand made, doing it on production lines meant improved efficiency. Raw materials could be bought in bulk and even with shipping and packaging costs, the items could be retailed in the UK at very reasonable prices and still make a profit for the shopkeeper. The workers did not necessarily understand the foreign and historical items of furniture they were making, they just saw the photo and made a little one like that. There was one occasion, when sent a photo of a wardrobe, without the note saying: this way up, they made it upside down. The lady received a consignment of several thousand wardrobes standing on their pediments, with the top shelf, top cupboard and the hanging rail at the bottom and a twiddly decoration firmly glued to the ‘top’ because it looked a bit plain. She was still quite annoyed with herself when she told me the tale a couple of years later.
This of course is the beauty of craft TV. You can see which way is up. I have to be honest here and say I buy more than I actually get round to doing. When I worked for Dolls House magazines I did once ask how many Dolls House kits people had under the sofa. The replies kept the ‘letters to the editor’ page going for months.
Setting out hopefully is a wonderful thing; excuse me while I go back into the kitchen to pour over my work and be happy to do it.
The watching for the way and the joy of the journey.