Last autumn I've bought a few pieces of real marble table tops at a dollhouse show and this is just one of them. I really loved its shape and the way its build up with all these different colored chunks. It reminded me somewhat of tortoise shell?
I was figuring what sort of base to make for it and when i thought about turtles, sea turtles came to mind. Then it struck me all of a sudden. Why not go for a nautical theme? As I researched museum pieces and antique dealers while at the same time keeping shells and fish in the back of my mind i discovered a returning theme, magical dolphins. Often made in guild wood, and very popular in the mid 19th Century. Here are a few examples,
As you can see they can consist of just a single fish or 2 intertwining. Even 3, just curving around them selfs. All these varieties offered me the freedom to create a design of my own. Sketching and looking for the "right feel" i ended up with 2 Symmetrical intertwining dolphins. Then I made a clay model to get an even better feel for the shape and curves, and to see where the challenges would lie. Doing so i discovered that carving some of the inner shapes would be next to impossible. Cos both fish would be identical i decided to cut them out separate but simultaneously. So I made side views and cut the rough shapes out of solid pear. Lovely wood to work with. If you want to, you can check out all different stages here, in one of my albums, cos otherwise it would be way too many photographs.
It's now at this stage that it's ready for detailing, a very time consuming process. And even though my eyes need more and more (day) light as they grow older (don't all miniaturists suffer from it???) i feel like a fish in the water. Because spring has arrived, the back garden is bathing in sunlight. And I can't think of no better spot to carve...
Enjoy your weekend