Sunday, 22 November 2015

Little progress

Hi everyone, well progress has been very slow on the commissioned piece i'm making at the moment due to the fact i'm still working away from home this coupled with my son moving house has virtually put any miniature work on hold, however i did manage to start the gilding before i left and thought id share this image with you.

Its fiddly to say the least but im sure it will be worth it once its complete, which now looks like it will run into next year! it can be frustrating but i guess it gives me plenty of time to think about the next step of the build and potentially what might go wrong. Id also like to thank everyone who takes the time to read these posts i make and assure you i do see your comments but unfortunately i'm not always in a position to thank you all with a direct reply at the moment.
Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Slow Progress.

Hi everyone, well progress has been slow on the commissioned piece I'm currently working on due to the fact i have been busy with real life  issues plus the fact i have been working away from home.
What little i have achieved has started to give the piece form and shape and hopefully over the next few weeks i will start to apply the 24ct gold gilding, i have decided to try this having never really tried it before on something this small so I'm kind of expecting to come across some problems.

All the wood has been undercoated using a flat red primer this will give the gold leaf a beautiful deep colour.

Now to apply the leaf, I'm using a water based size to fix the leaf so the whole cabinet will have to be coated with this in separate stages as to make sure the whole surface is covered, I've only really used gold leaf on large projects in the past so I'm guessing this will be a learning curve for me too.
Have a great weekend everyone  Tony.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Inside Out.

Hi everyone, ive got to the point now on the commissioned piece where the clues as to what it will eventually be are getting easier to decipher, before i work on anymore of the exterior of this piece i need to complete the interior! all will become clearer in possibly my next post but first i need to make quite a few of the glass vials in the following photograph.

                                                     (Image taken from google search)
Well i'm sure now that a little more has become apparent especially to Harry Potter fans as to what it could possibly be?

Ive managed to make around fifty of these tiny glass vials so far but i have quite a few more still to go, a tedious task but hopefully well worth the effort once they're done i put a tiny spot of gilding size on the tip of this match to balance this one on so you can see the scale.
Stay tuned for further progress!!
Have a great week everyone  Tony.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Commision Progress.

Hi everyone, well as promised here is the first photos of the commissioned piece i'm working on at the moment.Its still in its very early stages so it does look a little rough but once i start to assemble the piece i will tidy everything up.I  dont really want to give too much away as to what the actual piece will become so until i start the assembly i shall leave your imaginations to ponder at will some of you may even guess what its actually going to become.

           As you may guess from looking carefully there will be three separate levels once its put together.

I have another two pieces to construct with the tiny holes in, these will eventually hold something that will also rotate to allow you to choose which item is required,so far just in the pieces i have put together i have cut a total of 110 parts and this is just the start, i know its all a little puzzling at the moment but all shall become a little more clear very soon!
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Silent but busy

Hi everyone, ive been silent the last couple of weeks this is due to the fact i have been deep in thought about a commissioned piece i'm working on, i'm guessing it has to rank amongst one of the most difficult pieces i have constructed but things are slowly coming together and hopefully i shall be able to share some photos with you all in the coming weeks. My own build has been put on hold until i complete this as i have said i'm in no rush to finish my own build and it's nice to be able to break off from it for a while and gather new inspirations and ideas for the interior, i'm still experimenting with colours but nothing is set in concrete just yet! Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Hi everyone, well I've managed to spend some quality time this week on my own build and a few other things.

As you can see from the photo i have just about managed to complete two walls now, both windows are installed and the door is well on its way to being completed ( photos will follow ), nothing has been glued in place just yet as i still have holes to drill in the floor which will allow for the wiring to be taken into the base i also want to paint the walls before they are permanently fixed in position, i guess it doesn't really look like much has been done but I'm happy with the amount i have achieved in the time I've had.
In between doing this and waiting for glue to dry i decided to have a go at a small painting in oils.

Its painted on a wooden panel and depicts a scene from the coast where i spent some time this year, i enjoyed doing this and hopefully will find the time to do some more.
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Monday, 31 August 2015


Hi Folks, its been a few weeks since i last posted due mainly to work commitments and the fact i haven't been finishing until gone 10.00pm at night so apologies to everyone who has left comments that i didn't reply to straight away . I'm now off work for a few days which means i can hopefully get a little work in on my own build, catch up on all your posts and do a few other things too.
I have just completed this Cassone or Marriage chest which i started a while back.

The chest has four carved panels two at the front and one at each end which are also surrounded with a gilded gold border above these sits a band of ivory strip which is also continued in the centre.

I used reclaimed timber to make this piece which was once part of a decorative fireplace, the chest is
3'' long and just over 1.5'' in depth and stands just over 1.5'' in height. The Cassone or marriage chest was usually given to the bride by her parents as their contribution to the wedding and would commonly sit at the foot of the bed, I'm guessing these would have had a multitude of usages from personal effects to keeping clothes and maybe even bedding in, some could be lavishly decorated with paintings of the family and there crests too. This piece is available on my FOR SALE page.
Hopefully i will be sharing some new photos of the progress on my build a little later in the week.
Have a great week everyone.  Tony.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Catch Up.

I have now managed to catch up on a few jobs around the home and complete the commission piece which i spoke of in previous post Hopefully this will be on its way to the USA this week.

The casket contains a book of hours and also has a false bottom which can be removed to reveal a secret hiding place for small treasures and valuables.

Hopefully over the next few weeks i will be spending a little more time on my own build with a view to start constructing the main front entrance and constructing the other half of the ground floor walls.
Have a great week everyone.  Tony.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Busy Week.

Ive been so busy this past week with odd jobs that really needed to be done that i've had little time for miniatures, i always service and maintain my own cars and the time had come where i couldn't put it off any longer.

A full week spent in the garage with my son helping out made light work of what i needed to do. I did find a little time to complete another wall section of my build, this will now take a back seat while i finish off commissions .

I also bought a few tester paint pots from Craig & Rose in period colours so i can have a play and see which colours i like, i'll post updates on this in a later post, all the walls are still fully removable at this point just incase i have any change of mind,Once i start work on this again i shall be tackling the door and then working my way to the other side of the room.
Have a great week everyone. Tony.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Planing ahead.

Hi everyone, i'm only managing to spend an hour or two a day on my own build at the moment but i'm already thinking about colours and and other interior details id like to incorporate, having only ever constructed room boxes before i'm now starting to understand how most of you who build your own pieces feel, sometimes i find it difficult to concentrate on one area and want to move to another (Does anyone else feel like this) but i really need to stick with the plan in my head so everything doesn't go pear shaped.

I've constructed the fire back and tried the fireplace as you can see in the above image and all is a good fit , all the electrical wiring will just run between the wall cavities that these inner walls have created then through small holes into the base, none of these walls will be permanently put into place until they are all completed and i'm happy they are a snug fit. I'm still undecided whether to use a prebuilt door and change it to my own spec and design, the windows will all be made by myself to fit the sizes i have made for them. Any opinions or advice on colours would always be greatly appreciated :)
Have a great week everyone. Tony.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A little more progress.

I'm juggling between working on my own build and a commision piece at the moment and thought id share how things are moving along.

The ground floor has been laid ive used Teak strips for this glued into place using a quality waterproof wood glue this usually stops them from lifting or warping when i start to stain and age them, i usually use oil paints for aging and then rub that back with turpentine and add more as required the photo above is after two applications and requires a few more.

Ive also acquired a fire surround by Sue Cook i have always admired her work and now have the opportunity to use one or maybe a couple of pieces in this build.

The first wall section has been started, i have used the same method of construction for this as i used in the wunderkammer room box,this will give me the depth needed for installing display space for the miniatures i make and acquire. Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Giveaway Winner.

                    My grandson had the pleasure of choosing the winner of my birthday giveaway

So as you can see from the the photo above the winner of the ivory and tortoise shell tea caddy is ISEECERULEAN  So big congratulations to Keli if you would drop me an email please with your shipping details.
Many thanks to everyone who took part in this giveaway i wish i could send each and everyone of you something, don't give up trying as next time it might just be you!!!
Have a great weekend everyone.  Tony.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Back to reality.

Hi everyone, another year older and back from our vacation and catching up on everyone's new posts. Once i get sorted i hope to put some serious time in on my new build and post the progress i make. Remember everyone tomorrow is the final day for my giveaway and the winner will be drawn after midday GMT and announced later in the afternoon.
On a personal note i'd like to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday. Tony.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Busy Busy

June is like a crazy kind of month for me in more ways than one, we have 6 family birthdays then it finishes off with my own which collides with our vacation this year to cap things off our car was hit by another vehicle two weeks ago while parked outside our home and although it should have been a simple process of getting our car fixed it was no simple process at all but hopefully we should have it back pretty soon.
In the mean time i have completed another Ivory casket.

                            This one measures 32mm in width x 22mm in depth and 22mm in height.

       Inside is a tiny 14th Century book of hours that measures 20mm x 15mm and has 35 coloured pages.

The tiny draw on the side opens to reveal a small collection of ancient bronze coins still in the condition         that they were unearthed from the ground, a perfect little treasure box.

Ive also been busy on my own build fitting the ground floor plus a few other bits and bobs, i'll do a post on this either midweek or once i return from my holiday, i'll see how time goes.
In the mean time have a great week everyone. Tony.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

New Build.

Hi everyone, well as i mentioned in a previous post I've been thinking for some time now of making myself a new build that would not only accommodate items i have made for myself but also any future items which i find appealing. I've had to give this some in depth thought mainly because i have such a wide and varied taste when it comes to miniatures which i like ranging from antique to modern day items Hmmmm!! how do you construct a building where you can house such a wide and varied taste of objects and furniture...well I've come to the conclusion that what i need is a floor level for the older type objects, and then other floors to house modern day items and maybe a few older items which wouldn't look to out of place .

Well this is what i have come up with the bottom floor will house a collection of everything and anything but mainly old and unusual items, things which i find appealing and interesting, i guess some kind of antique shop  but not a shop, more of an importer or exporter of rare and unusual objects and items, while the other floors will be the living quarters and also be a mix of old and more modern day things.

I see so many beautiful miniatures made by not only other artisans but also so many of my followers which i have at some point wanted to buy but have never had the proper place to display them but hopefully now this will change. I have spent the last week or so acquiring the timber to construct it and then yesterday put it together for its first dry fit just to give me some idea of what its going to look like and I'm happy with what i see so far judging by how long it took me to construct the last room box i made this isn't going to something that i finish soon as i still want to make other pieces but now i have the shell i can move between projects and watch it progress as and when i want.
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Giveaway .

Hi everyone, Firstly not much to report on my new build as yet, i have cut all the timber to size and am currently in the process of measuring out the window openings, once the basic carcass has been put together as a dry fit i'll post some images ....secondly ive decided to do a giveaway and share my birthday celebrations with all of my followers which will run until the 27/06/15 i have a very busy month in june celebrating my own birthday and taking a holiday so the winner of this piece of work will be announced once i return from my vacation.
So if you're interested in entering to win this little Ivory and tortoise shell tea caddy just drop me a comment and of course you must be a follower of my blog.

The tea caddy is made from reclaimed ivory and tortoise shell and measures just under 1'' in height and 1/2'' in width and depth.

The draw will take place on 27/06/2015 and the winner will be announced on my blog the same day
I've also Reduced the last two items on my for sale page but only to followers of my blog.
Have a great weekend everyone.  Tony.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Making plans

Whilst i still have the other ivory casket to complete and now that i've finished most of the items i started last year i've started drawing up plans to start a new house. I still have two projects that i started a fair while back which have not been completed but after serious consideration i really want to build something not only that i can put my own miniatures in but also ones which i see for sale by other artists but won't purchase as i have nowhere to keep them.
Having such a wide and varied taste in what i like creates problems when it comes to constructing a house to display them in, on one hand i have a passion for antique items and period rooms but then on the other i like modern settings too, so ive had to sit down and think of something where i can combine both of these if i so wish too. The basic plans are inside my head and have been for a couple of months now but i really need to get these down on paper and see how they form together then i can get started on construction, i'm not anticipating completing this in just a few months and will still continue to make pieces to sell as this will also help fund the build but i look forward to sharing developments as and when they happen.
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Jewellery box.

Hi everyone, whilst i'm still working on the ivory casket i've virtually completed this jewellery box.

The main body s ivory whilst the lid has an inlaid section of tortoise shell surrounded by a small ivory band, the mirror inside also has a tiny ivory surround.

The removable tray is lined with a red calf leather which i've turned upside down and brushed this gives a felt effect and contrasts perfectly with all the other materials.
This box measures 1.5'' in width by 1'' in depth and stands a fraction under an inch in height the wood is slightly aged as most boxes of this age would genuinely be,  i would have loved to have put some  antique or even modern jewelry inside but im afraid im not that talented still its a nice little piece.
This piece will be available on my FOR SALE page.
I've also started working on plans for another project one that will take some considerable time to complete hopefully i can share more details about this in the near future...well busy weekend in store two dogs and two grandchildren to take care of and keep amused for two days Lol!
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony.

Friday, 1 May 2015

A work in progress

Remember i mentioned a couple of posts back about a larger project i was working on, well heres a short glimpse of what it is, i've always fancied making a larger casket from ivory but i've had to wait until i had enough to carry it through.

Its been difficult at times making this piece as all the recess and carving i've done with files only the reason being i wanted it to look reasonably authentic as caskets of this period would have looked but also because i've been taking this piece to work with me in a small wooden box complete with my tools and working on it in my dinner break, theres still a lot more to do on it yet including adding hinges polishing and then decorating the inside it measures 2.25'' in width x 1.5'' in depth the height is also 1.5''. I'm not sure yet what it will hold maybe a bible or some other treasure but i'll keep you updated with more photos as it progresses.
Have a great Long and safe weekend everyone.  Tony.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Looking Back.

This post isnt really miniature related but i thought some of you may like the photos i took and thought id share a few of them with you.
Some of you may know others won't that i served my apprenticeship as a signwriter which i was lucky enough to do at one of the largest breweries in the world at that time, I found it fascinating that such a trade could cover so many varied jobs and tasks not just painting signs by hand but gilding, refurbishing old vehicles and carriages and pinstriping, unfortunately as advancements were made in graphics and such the job became a dying trade the brewery went through vast changes and unfortunately many skilled workers including Coopers and Coppersmiths all lost their jobs. This past weekend i visited what was once one of those workshops where i was lucky enough to work as it now forms part of a museum and has been turned into a very unique restaurant.


I couldn't believe how much the place had changed from the last time i was in here, the upper floor level in the second image didn't exist and has since been installed as further seating for the restraunt.

Virtually all of the walls were adorned with old hand painted and enamelled signs from every year.
Along with many different locally made beautiful clocks all of which added to the charm of the place, there were also many paintings and photographs from the turn of the century showing these skilled men at work these i have not uploaded due to © reasons .... This place formed an important part of my artistic creativity not only by learning new things, but more importantly learning them from skilled men who had also been taught by skilled men themselves the brewery was founded in 1777 and had always painted its own livery on its own vehicles from horse drawn drays to modern transportation.  Have a great week everyone. Tony.


Friday, 24 April 2015

Ivory and Olive Wood Box.

Hi everyone, well as i mentioned previously here is another box i have constructed but this time adding an olive wood veneer to the lid.

This box measures in at 1'' width x  5/8'' Depth again ideal for keepsakes or letters. I have been making these from the surplus offcuts which have mounted up from me working on a larger project which has taken up a vast amount of recycled ivory and thought that instead of just putting the spare pieces away in my stash id make some simple items with them. Hopefully i'll be able to share this larger project with you once its complete i might even throw in a teaser photo before i reveal the completed piece but still need to complete the inside and its contents.

While making these tiny boxes it has given me some great ideas for other items i can make with the offcuts combining different materials together so hopefully there will be plenty more in store, This piece together with the others i have made is available on my FOR SALE page.
Have a great weekend everyone  Tony.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Ivory Box.

Hi everyone, since i've been working with the pre ban ivory i acquired and constructed the treasure casket with i thought id make a few more basic tiny boxes in different styles.

These are just very basic and simple boxes which have no hinges so the lid is fully removable this first one measures 25mm in width and is 13mm in depth so could be suitable for holding letters keepsakes or trinkets, The box i'm currently working on is slightly bigger and has an inlaid olive wood lid. Available on my FOR SALE page.
Have a great weekend everyone. Tony

Friday, 10 April 2015

Treasure Casket.

Sometimes i have so many ideas for pieces i want to create that i have to write them down in detail or even make a quick sketch so i dont forget, This piece of work was one of those but i had to wait until i was in a position to replenish the Ivory i needed to complete it this came about a few weeks ago when someone i've known for a few years told me he had some for sale as he had just refurbished a church organ that was built in 1835 the casket which would eventually hold that golden tiny jug began to take shape.

Ive had the tiny gold jug for some time and always felt it was a difficult item to include within another piece of work that would make it work as one piece but after some thought i came up with this idea that i think has worked perfectly. The casket itself measures just 21mm square and stands 41mm in height it is as you can see just slightly smaller than the matchstick.
The casket also has a draw which contains a tiny silver roman coin fragment this is exactly how it came out of the ground , you can just make out the head on one side of the coin unfortunately i have no idea who it portrays.

The jug is a comfortable fit but is tricky to remove with your fingers well mine at least but i'm sure someone with nimble and steady hands would be just fine the box and draw are lined with antique dark blue victorian velvet from an old jewellery box.

I think the two go together perfectly and the casket just finishes the whole piece off,  the jug is also hallmarked as 9ct Gold but i'm not sure of the makers mark or date.

A perfect little treasure casket that holds two very unique items. This piece will also be available on my FOR SALE page.
I'll hopefully be making some more miniatures out of the same batch of ivory that this was made with in the future and look forward to sharing these with you too. Have a great weekend everyone.  Tony.