Erin Norman stumbled across a popular idea for her interpretation of The Corner Shop – and executed it perfectly!
Erin, who’s a columnist for one of the UK miniatures mags, can turn her hand to many things mini – and knew exactly what she wanted to do with this particular blank canvass for the 2012 Creative Competition, built with assistance from her husband Matthew.
She said: “I wanted to make a world within a world – a dolls’ house shop! A shop that sold dolls’ houses!
“It seemed to be the project begging to be coming into being. Naturally I thought the downstairs would be the shop display floor, and the upstairs the workroom. This would give me two interestingly different rooms to design and build, showing lots of the different aspects of the wonderful parts of our hobby.”
“I determined to set the shop in Manchester, 1900. My reasons for this was that I thought the exterior I chose suited a northern city; I wanted an Edwardian style but still under the reign of Queen Victoria. The shop sign proudly proclaims ‘Dolls’ House Makers to the Queen’. Inside there is a bust of her, and on the wall a picture of two elegant young ladies who I believe are the Princesses who enjoyed dolls’ houses made by Lilliputs.”
Erin added: “There are many handmade pieces in the shop, from the broom upstairs that was once a toothbrush, the rug in front of the upstairs fireplace, the table, workbench, and several of the 1/144 dolls houses from kits. In fact there are far too many handmade items to list. ”
“A note about the scene we have set up. Downstairs in the shop, Miss Summers, the shop proprietor in the red dress is assisting a mother, Constance, help her daughter, Emily choose a dolls house for herself.
“While they are absorbed in this task Emily’s younger brother Jimmy has toddled off and become entangled in the rocking horse! Any moment Constance will turn her head and see what he has got himself into and go and rescue him.
“Upstairs, Mr. Summers, Miss Summers father, is busy building the next house. There are framed pictures of buildings in his workroom; clearly he has a love of architecture. Downstairs are framed pictures of 17th century doll’s houses. This family is passionate about their business.”
Erin says: “On the side of the shop, sitting on a bench under the stairs sits Mr. Summers’ friend, Robert, reading the paper. He’s waiting for his mate to finish working so they can get a beer together.
“Unfortunately Mr. Summers has a tendency to forget the time when he’s building a new house so Robert may be waiting some time.”
- Paint pots on shelf in workroom are painted Fimo
- Books on shelf in workroom are cut from lengths of obeche and covered with different papers before being finished with pen for bindings and titles
- Flowerpots by Robert on the bench are old candle holders, painted and filled with a pva/coffee-ground mix for ‘soil’, which then had hand selected mixes of flower/plant decorations added.