miniatures & dollhouses

miniatures & dollhouses

Post by sjp2.. » Tue, 22 Aug 1995 04:00:00



I just discovered this particular topic of discussion, and it reminded
me of my dad's hobby. Dad was forced to retire from a lifetime of work
due to a heart ailment. He was beside himself with boredom, so my
mother bought him a kit to assemble. It was for a secretary's desk in
miniature. Now mind you, dad had never been much at working with his
hands, but he gave this kit a try. He was so disgusted with the quality
(or lack of quality) of the kit pieces, that he decided he could make
a better piece of miniature furniture himself, and did. He got so
hooked on miniatures that he started designing and building houses,
a bakery, a toy shop, a post office, an ice cream/bakery, a small
country cottage, and finally, his last piece before he died suddenly,
his replication of Norman Rockwell's home in Stockbridge MA. Now I
don't think the miniature is a true replication of Rockwell's home,
but is a fascimile of it at best, but we all call it dad's Rockwell
house. His unique design has a fixed roof with lighting in what would
have been the attic spaces above each room, and three front panels
that swing open on *eave* to *foundation* hinges that are totally
concealed. The kitchen was attached to the left side of the main
house, and its' front panel also opens on this hinge system to
expose a full view of the kitchen area and all its furnishings. Each
room is furnished with his own furniture designs (early American),
books, lamps, everything made by him with very few exceptions. He was
a true New Englander, so rather than buy material for curtains, carpet,
table runners, etc., he would cut up old cloth belts, snip off shirt
tails from worn shirts, cut to size straw placemats, etc. He was not
beyond stealing my crochet thread to weave seats in his rocking chairs
either! The front doors open, as do doors on many of the rooms. I wish
I could describe in detail this masterpiece, but I can't. You'll just
have to trust me when I say for a man who didn't even start working on
miniatures 'til he was 65, and who only worked on them for about 10
years, off and on, he had become a master at this craft, and his work
is still on display in each of his daughter's home, and my mother's
apartment. He had made enough pieces that after his death, I was able
to give one completed house to each sister, and my mother got the
toy store, Santa's shop, and a gazebo. My husband and I have the
Rockwell house, since it is large enough to make it awkward to move
easily, and since dad had lived with us til his death, my family felt
we should keep his last work. I have maintained it rather well, but
intend to work on it in the coming years, restoring some age-related
deterioration, and perhaps even try to improve on some of the structural
things I see. Dad passed on a wonderful hobby, and a marvelous keepsake
of him for us all to cherish. Sarah J.
 
 
 

miniatures & dollhouses

Post by Deena Deese Kilmon 2-00 » Wed, 23 Aug 1995 04:00:00


: things I see. Dad passed on a wonderful hobby, and a marvelous keepsake
: of him for us all to cherish. Sarah J.

WOW!  What a lucky daughter you are!!  I would give anything to have
something so wonderful that my dad made.  Thanks for passing on a great
story!

Deena

 
 
 

miniatures & dollhouses

Post by Chuck Holco » Thu, 24 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>I just discovered this particular topic of discussion, and it reminded
>me of my dad's hobby. Dad was forced to retire from a lifetime of work
>due to a heart ailment. He was beside himself with boredom, so my
>mother bought him a kit to assemble. It was for a secretary's desk in
>miniature. Now mind you, dad had never been much at working with his
>hands, but he gave this kit a try. He was so disgusted with the quality
>(or lack of quality) of the kit pieces, that he decided he could make
>a better piece of miniature furniture himself, and did.

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the interesting and inspiring story.  I know how he felt,
being disgusted with the mediocre quality of kit pieces.  Hence my
interest in scratch-making antique furniture.

This has led to an intense interest in Shaker furniture, wood turning
and all sorts of interesting bunny trails.

Glad you were able to preserve and pass on your father's legacy.

Chuck