More Furniture

So there I was,

The Finished Trunk

The Finished Trunk

I did a little distressing to the outside,

The Back

The Back

The Open Back

The Open Back

Drum roll, please . . .

The Reveal!

The Reveal!

In Profile

In Profile

From the top: two globes (terrestrial and lunar), a bunch of rolled maps, a roll of “Daphne” Superior Graph Paper, a set of drafting tools, more maps, some books, and a collapsing drafting table.

All The Parts

All The Parts

The Drafting Tools

The Drafting Tools

Oh, I almost forgot! A desk surface that pulls out of the base. Pretty cool, I think, specially for a piece I was going to abandon three days ago.

 

Less Paper, More Wood

After all the excitement of publishing The Library of Lost Books, I’ve been playing around with some furniture:

An Explorer's Trunk

An Explorer’s Trunk

An Explorer's Trunk

An Explorer’s Trunk

I got a bit carried away with this one.

A Traveler's Library

A Traveler’s Library

Traveler's Library, Interior

Traveler’s Library, Interior

. . .and this. Plus a couple Medieval and/or Gothic book stands with alchemical books:

Alchemy Books

Alchemy Books

More Alchemy Books

More Alchemy Books

I got so charged up that I got myself in trouble. I was going to make one of these:

Slanted Desk

Slanted Desk

But I forgot that the top has to be split half-way between the edges, or you get this:

Best Laid Plans

Best Laid Plans

Too Offset

Too Offset

which I countered with this:

Butressed!

Butressed!

It all went well until I realized that the thing, when upfolded, was enormous. And I’d set myself up to fill all those shelves with stuff.

Tomorrow,

Looking Good From The Outside

Looking Good From The Outside

Tomorrow, I’ll solve it. Stay tuned!

Around the Studio

I’m keeping busy with several projects:

Miniature Books

Miniature Books

This is part of a larger clean-up I promised myself I’d tackle as soon as the weather got too hot to play outside. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of putting my books “almost away” – that is, I’ll put them on top of the other books in their shelf, or on a nearby shelf, or on the tables near the bookshelves, or on some other table in the house, or on the floor beside my bed. The upshot is that I have to search all my random books to find the one I want.

I finally got the shelves straightened out (where did all these history books come from? Can I really allot Terry Pratchett two shelves all to himself? How can I still have costume books hanging around? Where can I unload all these loved-it-then-loath-it-now books?) and one of the spaces held all my miniature book stuff: MBS newsletters, yearbooks, competition catalogs, conclave keepsakes, Microbibliophile back issues, and all the miniature books that have somehow accumulated. I bought a few miniature books before I started making them, but after I got going, I had more fun making them myself than collecting those of other people.

So now they’re all in their own little bookcase, and the pamphlets all have their own space on the real bookshelves.

Chained Bookshelf

Chained Bookshelf

Incomplete chained alchemy bookshelf. The rod that holds the chain ends goes on top of the thing, and the whole thing gets distressed and varnished. I’m pretty happy with the columns, if I do say so. The smaller books go on the upper shelf, and the big one goes on the under. Behind that is:

Tropical Explorer Trunk

Tropical Explorer Trunk

Trunk Open

A new explorer’s trunk!  Up on the website tomorrow or the next day.

Lost Books Found!

It’s finished! Take a look:

Front Cover

Front Cover

Full Binding

Full Binding

The book is 2 3/4″ x 1 7/8″, and the binding is Monarch Superfine with an extended spine of Indian pinto lokta paper.

Actual Size

Actual Size

Title Page

Title Page

Sample Page

Sample Page

What with all the trouble I had with the re-typing the text, I suspect the book’s riddled with typos.

Fold-Out

Fold-Out

I couldn’t make a book without some sort of secret surprise inside – one page has a fold-out.

So there it is! I’m pleased with how the book turned out, but more especially the binding. It’s neat, in the binding sense of sober. The illustrations have some wit to them (I hope), but the subject itself is serious. Even so, it’s hard not to smile at some of the misadventures of these poor books. It’s not just the burning of libraries and the attempted obliteration of ideas, but manuscripts left on trains, disputed wills, prudery, and plain rotten luck.

A Book Happened!

I made a couple of models of the Waldseemüller globe for a collector a few months ago, and finished another one the other day:

Globe and Map

Globe and Map

and I realized that the bottom part, without the globe, would make a good miniature map book:

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

The Waldseemuller Map

The Whole Package

The Whole Package

It’s up on the website now – go see!  The Waldseemuller Map

Current Events

I’ve spent the day fooling around with a couple of Waldseemüller globes:

Waldseemuller Globe and Map

Waldseemuller Globe and Map

Waldseemuller Globe and Map

Waldseemuller Globe and Map

. . .and a little experiment in Barbaric Splendor:

Barbaric Splendor

Barbaric Splendor

Barbaric Splendor

Barbaric Splendor

I may not be done with this last one – it seems a little unsteady on its base. I’ve also been working on the next book – ‘The Library of Lost Books’. Here’s the dust jacket and a couple of sample pages:

Dust Jacket

Dust Jacket

Sample Pages

Sample Pages

More soon!

Wow! Prue’s Famous!

My frequent collaborator and favorite author Prue Batten got into the Huffington Post! Check it out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mandy-jacksonbeverly/tasmanian-authors-the-rea_b_7462360.html

Growth of a Commission

OK, from the top:

The Base

The Base

I decided on basswood, since I was a little uncertain if I wanted to devote the time and energy wrestling with walnut or cherry, and I have a lot of decorative stripwood left over from the semi-abandoned dollhouse. What a treat! I can cut it with an exacto-knife!

The Top

The Top

I got a little ahead of myself and forgot to take any pictures. It looks complicated, what with all that step-back fancy trim, but it’s just a box and about a million 45 degree angle cuts. I made the uprights out of cherry, because I had some nice 1/4″ x 1/4″ stock. They wouldn’t play nice though, so I reinforced the bottoms with what will look like organic decoration, I hope.

Superstructure

Superstructure

The press board slides up and down on the uprights – cool, huh? I’m avoiding thinking about how the brass screw is going through the middle of the crossbar, and where can I find antique brass screws and wingnuts, anyway? Maybe I’ll paint first.

First Paint

First Paint

It’s a trade-off, paint vs stain. It can look plastic, or cheap anyway,but I don’t have to worry about glue stains. I used a thinned-down acrylic craft paint for the first coat.

Last Paint

Last Paint

I found a brass screw and wingnut! My father taught me: never throw away a piece of hardware. And I figured out how to accommodate the thickness of the screw.

The Finished Book Press

The Finished Book Press

The screw and wingnut worked out great. I added some brass trim and a couple of coats of varnish, and voila!

Glamor Shot

Glamor Shot

Glamor Shot, Cont.

Glamor Shot, Cont.

Just For Size

Just For Size

My little guy is about six feet tall, so I guess it could go in a dollhouse. Those are three copies of ‘Lost Cities’ in the press. The whole thing was surprisingly easy, so I guess that’s telling me to be more adventurous. Or to have higher standards.

I’ll be making more of these. Still can’t believe I’d never tried one because I thought they’d be too difficult.

 

Birth of a Commission

A friend of mine wants to commission me to make something for her, and I rashly told her, “You name it, I’ll play it.” This was her first idea:

Kepler's Pythagorean solids model of the solar system

Kepler’s Pythagorean solids model of the solar system

Well. I found a version:

Plastic model

Plastic model

. . .which is a 3d printout, I guess. You win, Kepler. Serves me right for having friends smarter than I am. So she suggested this:

Book Press

Book Press

Now that’s more like it. I might actually make a version of this and survive. I was staggered to realize that with all the bookish miniatures I’ve made, I’ve never attempted a book press. How hard can it be? Filled with zeal, I found some more:

Another Book Press

Another Book Press

And Another

And Another

I adore this one. These are standing book presses, but this is the more usual kind you see in antique stores:

A Common Book Press

A Common Book Press

In any case, I’ve drawn up the one my friend sent me:

Book Press Drawing

Book Press Drawing

I figured the books in the press in the picture looked like folios, maybe 18″ tall. I based my dimensions on that, but the damn thing looks enormous. I might have to make a paper model of this one. If this works, I’ll make more. The trouble is, I want it to really work. I’ll keep you posted.

Finishing the Box

I have had so much fun today! I fiddled and tweaked and redesigned and did-over and potchkyed around with this little box to my heart’s content. Tomorrow I have to fill it, but today, I did this:

Decoration

Decoration

I decided to take the horizontal strips all the way around.

The Footer

The Footer

I love the way this looks, but not the way it works. This was three-and-a-half hours out of my life I won’t get back.

The Bad Clasp

The Bad Clasp

See those little diagonal metal braces? I fell in love with them (I think I got them at Michael’s) and couldn’t source them.  I would use a thousand of them for campaign furniture if I could find them. The vertical, larger one is the turn-tab that secures the footer, but it had to be under tension to work, hence the extra wooden bar over it. I put cute little brass cap covers on the bar to hide the holes . . .

The Good Clasp

The Good Clasp

. . .and they all popped right off when I tried to swing it around.

Finished, For Now

Finished, For Now

A thin strip of leather through the top hole of the bar cleared the footer and the tension bar. I hid the sloppy joints with leather staps, and it’s ready for a good clean-up (it’s covered with glue boogers), a final light sanding, a final dose of stain, and then varnish!

I think it might be a Vampire Hunter’s Trunk, but I’m not sure. Any suggestions?