When I threatened a shop here again, or, to be exact, the S&H thought he could do a shop here again, I thought a response to the question, would you like one? might come flooding in.
As no response has occurred of any variety, I thought three thoughts. 1) You are too busy doing Christmas things to have read the blog and seen the question. 2) You have wandered into this website by mistake and were actually searching for a video of Miley Cyrus twerking. 3) You just come here for a bit of reading and didn’t know I made miniatures and sold them and 4) it was so long since there was a shop here you can’t remember what kind of stuff I made.
Therefore, thought I, perhaps I should show you what it is I do make.
These are things I make. They are bas relief pictures, the largest would fit in the palm of your hand. They are made of paper clay. To make them I make an original sculpture. Then I take a silicone mould from the sculpture. When the mould is cured I press paper clay into the form, remove it and dry it. Then I paint it. The results are small, they are for doll’s houses. The largest, which is my take on a mediaeval inn in Chester, would fit in the palm of your hand. Prices are various but the largest, which can take up to a day to make, cost about ten pounds sterling.
I make sculptures of all kinds and then reproduce them, either as a solid form, or, in the case of the dolls, as multiple hollow porcelain forms, internally jointed by metal embedded loops and resin elastic. Smaller scales have hollow lower limbs that are jointed to the torso by wired, stuffed cloth upper limbs. The smallest have solid limbs with a hole in the top that are wired to the torso with a wire that goes through the hole in the torso and comes out at the arm top or hip in a tiny wire loop.
Here are the dolls I was preparing for Miniatura just before the world went mad. The scissors are big scissors but not gigantic, the dolls are 48th scale. They are smaller than your little finger. Each is an individually made, porcelain doll, china painted, fired twice in the kiln and dressed by sewing clothes on to them. Prices are variable, about eighteen pounds.
On top of the cost of the item there will be postage costs and packing, though where possible I will reuse packaging that is clean and in good condition, for green reasons, though you will never get a recycled supermarket cake package. I did have a miniatures friend many years ago who was famous for that, you could tell what she’d had for tea last week. Postage and minimal packaging costs will be actual where possible and I think will have to include tracking costs. I have been remote shopping like everyone else recently and have discovered that stuff doesn’t always arrive, or arrive in good order. I cannot make anything twice. I do not make by factory methods, except for many porcelain pieces going into the kiln for a firing. Each made item, especially those of many parts, like the dolls, is an individual. They are made from moulds, which I have also made, but in the drying or firing they can change. Many of the fabrics are hand dyed.
The items I make are art. They are not meant to be realistic. I do not like dolls that are miniature people. The dolls are dolls, they live doll lives, some would be permanently smiling at the bottom of a cup of tea. My version of what I see is usually cheerful, optimistic and slightly naïve. I like that. I do not wish for gritty realism. Life is gritty realism. Gritty realism is miserable, I’ve had too much of it in the last nine years.
Most of what I make is not expensive for what it is, or the time involved in the making. The most expensive dolls so far have been £45 at shows, they are the twelfth scale glass eyed dolls, which, despite being those things, were still cheerful and doll-like.
Having said which, if there were a shop, that would give me the chance to make and sell things that were not dolls house items.
Until I find a literary agent (still looking) and get a novel published, the words are free. The words here will always be free whether there is a shop or not.
If there is a shop it will not be huge. It will not be the online kind of shop where you sit down in the evening and emerge at bedtime much poorer having bought goodness knows what. There will just be a few things. You will not be able to try them for three months then send them back covered in gravy in April for a refund, which you will have to argue with someone in a call centre for two hours of your life to get back. When I had the shop, shoppers frequently expressed surprise at how much nicer the items were in the hand than in the photograph. I will always try to rescue a doll you love which has broken in the normal course of careful, gentle play by a collector. Porcelain is strong. If you’ve dropped it on concrete and then jumped on it I retain the right to charge for the repair. If you live far from the UK whatever you are buying may take months to arrive, some of my Christmas cards last year got to their destinations in March. I will never chase you to rate, comment on or give feedback. My inbox currently is clogged with requests for me to do the marketing for huge companies who have already had my money. I will not put cookies in your computer (though you’re welcome to balance a biscuit on the keyboard. Every now and then turn your laptop upside down. You’ll be amazed at the crumbs. Crumbs! Chocolate covered ginger fingers, they stopped doing those last July!)
But the items will be 100% me. They will not be fair leftovers. They would only be available in the shop. Once sold they would be gone.
What do you think? If you are interested please click on leave a comment, below and, you know, leave a comment. (But don’t give me a rating or stars. Your comment will not go through a third party, or even out for a coffee, it will just pop up in my inbox.)