Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Day 252-The Making of My Mud and Mirror Mantle


I finally started on what I thought was the trickiest part of the kitchen. I made these mud and mirror furniture including a stove with a storage compartment two Fridays ago on 3/6/2011.


These are  the items I had. The brown box behind was given to me by Asuka during one of our mini meets last year and the other 2 were bought from Daiso, our S$2 store. The more complicated piece to make was of course the low long cabinet 


The brown box was to be made into a low long cabinet with 2 doors for the kitchen. I first cut out the 2 doors. I also slit the bottom of this box to make legs. The balsa wood cuts like butter. I saved all the pieces that were cut out to make the doors.


These are some of the materials required for the door. The jewllery finding was used for the brass fittings to decorate the door. 


The next step was to spray paint the findings. I have learnt the technique of slow and sparse spray so as to create an instant rusty look. Yes, as the name suggest, just spray slowly and sparsely using a brown spray paint.


I also painted the doors and aged it to desired effect. Then I starting trimming everything to size and cut the findings for the bits I wanted to decorate my door.


This was how the doors look like after I glued all the parts down. Notice how only one door has a catch? This was because I wanted to make the other door a closed one whilst the one with the catch was to be opened. The closed door would have its catch done only after it was fitted back into the cupboard.


This picture was taken after I painted the fittings to assimilate slightly rusted brass. I thought the door looked a little too medieval for my liking. Although the motif chosen for the center was Indian enough, it also looked like the Fleur-de-lis. But I had already spent more than 1/2 the day just making these doors and it was getting dark so I moved on to Part 2. 


These are the materials needed for Part 2. Some of you may remember my attempt at making the mud relief artwork on the kitchen wall last May. Incredibly, it's been a year...anyway, I used the same plastic table cloth for the motifs. Cut out the parts that you want to create the desired design on the cupboard. 


Warning: This is a terrible picture and gives you a headache if you look at it for too long. But like I said, it was already dark. 

This part is what I call the mantle making stage, This is where I create the mud and mirror layer for the cupboard. I used Gesso for the 1st layer and spread it all over the cupboard but before it dries, I laid out the pieces cut out earlier to make the pattern.  I then apply more Gesso over the pattern without drowning the designs. By doing it this way, you can see the relief effect of the design.


This is what the cabinet looked like after all the pieces are gesso-ed down and the 1st coat of white paint was applied. I did not use glue at all. A few more coats of paint would be required to make sure the cupboard is dazzling. I think I painted at least 6 coats. 


Then came the easiest step. Fixing the little mirrors on the cabinets. The mandala is quite a common motif used by the tribal women when they decorate their furnishings. This step can also be done right at the end after the next step. 


As you can see working on Part 2 was way easier than Part 1. After I fit both parts together, this was how the cupboard finally looked like.


This is the closed door with the catch done after the door was fitted into the cabinet. The latch fitting on the cabinet was made with paper.


This one is of course the opened version. I have always loved slightly ajar doors.....


....this is why. Last night, I stored the cabinet with straw baskets and wooden cups to entice peeping. That's what ajar doors are for. Peeping into. 


Using the same technique, I did the stove. I will of course have to dirty it later but not yet. The white really appeals to me now.


This is my little side table, display shelf, cutting board and utensils holder. See the hole in the center? That is where all the ladles will go. I like this nifty little side table. 


Tribal women in India believe that spirit is present in all matter and in particular, the spirits within their homes must be respected and honoured. And the most common rituals intended to protect the home involve the decoration of its walls, floors and /or kitchen storage containers with sacred patterns-designs which prohibit the entrance of evil and encourage the proliferation of good. ---Mud Mirror and Thread.

Lippan Kam or mud mirror art is practised by women of the Ribari tribe.It is done with a mixture of clay and camel dung. Cow gum is used to stick mirrors. Originality of lippan kam lies in  adding no colour or only whites. Small round, diamond-shaped or triangle  mirror pieces are essential to lippan kam. Many a times mirror pieces are a little embroidered. It is a simple technique and anyone can do it.-----Design Flute

59 comments:

Daydreamer said...

Beautiful, Sans! Just BEAUTIFUL!! I Love the door ajar.... for peeping into... so much mystery and depth! Your decorations are genius! Of course, we've seen you do this already.... but this is even more so because it is decorating the Kitchen... the Hearth, the center of the home! I Love your tiny mirrors... and I can just see the elegant lady kneeling to stir her pots......!
Is this room of the tribal house the kitchen? I wasn't sure if your kitchen would be in a separate out-building....
I can't wait to see all the little details you are going to add!

Caseymini said...

Sans, these pieces are wonderful and thanks for the information that goes with them. The kitchen is going to be beautiful!

Plushpussycat said...

Love this post, Sans! It was so fun watching your process, and I'm so excited to see your kitchen when it's done. Very nice.
Jennifer

Eva said...

ooooooooooooooooohhhh!....love your makink off...it is always amazing....:)

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Excellent Sans! I love your kitchen, you are so creative. The finish is awesome :)

Hugs
Victoria

rosanna said...

Just a couple of days ago I was wondering whther the kitchen would have been and I thought you would have make it outdoor. I must say that I love this solution muh better; Ro wouldn't be happy to go outside on rainy days. But she is very happy with this brand new shiny stove. It's wonderful, a dream come true for any housewife.And Sans has been so inventive that she deserves another title: the Eminent Kitchen Stove Creator and Builder.
Dear, I love it and like Case I just love all the informations that come with your post. Thank you very much, Rosanna

Snowfern said...

uwahhh so beautiful and rustic...i'm always impressed by all the working parts....makes my fingers all itchy to play with it when i visit you next ^ ^

malu2 said...

Muy bien!!!!! felicidades, me ha gustado muchisímo, está perfecto,muy bien explicado, muchas y buenas ideas
que me has dado,me encanta visitarte,
eres muy creativa, cada entrada tuya
de tu blog, es una aventura maravillosa.Besos desde España.
MªLuisa.

Sans! said...

Bets! That's amazing ,what you said about the lady stirring the pot cos that's exactly what I was thinking of doing. In OM's entourage is one such lady. I hope to bash that doll a little and place her in the kitchen.

Like you, I regard the kitchen as the heart of a home. Over in my own household, even though we don't cook often, most of our conversations were over coffee at the kitchen table or when I was painting one of my minis also over the same table. I really want to make the kitchen in the tribal house properly. Something I can be really happy with . That's why it was taking me so long to start.

The last pic is of the kitchen in the tribal house. It is very dimly lit so the blinding white of the mud and mirror furniture works really well here. With the furniture done, I can now work on the shelves, utensils etc. And then, wow, the Rolla House will be complete....hmmmm

Sans! said...

Thank you so much Casey. Your encouragement means more than you can imagine! Thanks!

Sans! said...

Thank you, Jennifer. The picture of the kitchen was a badly taken one because I needed to use flash. I was too lazy to bring out the lamp which I usually do. I still don't know how people can take such wonderful pictures of their dollhouse interiors. It is so difficult!

Sans! said...

Hey Eva :) Muchas gracias :):) En 2 semanas, que va a visitar la cocina de verdad! Woooooohooo!

Sans! said...

Vic, thank you!:) Oppps going to have bring mum to the airport! see you guys lates!

The Old Maid said...

I always love the way you adorn the furniture with these little findings Sans:)
The kitchen's furniture look awesome but don't you think they are a bit too clean?LOL

Drora's minimundo said...

Sans, I love this post. Your explanations, the step by step photos of making this piece of lovely furniture. Cheers!

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

I love your kitchen!!!!! It
different, I really like the lace!

Tallulah Belle said...

This is just wonderful...I've used fabric trim for this before but never thought of plastic tablecloths...those would be so great as they thinner.

I've not been able to comment on blogger for ages...started working again yesterday but want you to know I've read all your India posts...I loved every single bit of it and am as envious as you'd expect xxx

Leo Furtado said...

Olá Sans!!!

Parabéns pelo belo trabalho e pelo excelente tutorial!!
Realmente bastante inspirador. Estou retornando aos poucos...

Grande abraço

The Old Maid said...

Sorry to write it here Sans but I was reading your comments on our comments in your last post and gosh, your Family left for Japan right? As much as I wish them the best trip ever thay much I envy them!!;)

BiWuBär said...

Thank you for taking us along in this process of making that beautiful kitchen-furniture. And you're not only struggling for perfection (6 coats - wow!), you've achieved it. That last pic is especially breathtaking - the colours are a feast for the eye!

Greetings
Birgit

P.S.: If you ever happen to visit my garden, feel free to pick any colour of those "Portulak"-roses you like... ;O)

Margriet said...

What a beautiful kitchen Sans..I like all the embellishments you put on! And the brown with wihite looks very nice!
The ajar door is great...love to look inside cabinets :-) I wouldn't leave a door open in my own house, but in miniature it looks wonderful LOL

Amy said...

I have never seen better use for lace! What a beautiful project and finished work, Sans, and the littlest details, like the baskets and latches, Joy! I think I might even learn to cook if such care was put into my kitchen stove...

Ascension said...

Sans te ha quedado un cocina fantastica.
Consigues unos realismos geniales en tus trabajos, me ha encantado toda la explicacion igual hasta puedo hacer yo una.......jejejejeje (no creo).
Espero que cuando llegue Eva os lo paseis genial (de mi hablar bien eh?) jejejejejejejeje
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

Eminent Kitchen Stove Creator and Builder, Rosanna? teehee !!

You know recently, Singapore retires some very old political leaders who has been ruling us for almost 50+ years, one of them was our Senior Minister who used to be our Prime Minister. In retirement, he was bestowed the title Emeritus. Some of us think it is a ridiculous title and as a sign of protest or maybe just for the sake of ridiculing him, there are many who started calling themselves Emeritus as well. hahaha.

Anyhoo, yes, a typical tribal woman usually cooks outside her home. So I was planning an open stove outdoor. We'll see if we have enough space :). I don't follow the rules of demarcation with this house. So my rooms fused into each other (like those upstairs) and for the ones downstairs, the outdoor and indoor merges since the dollhouse is so open. This gives me a lot more room to play with :).

I like the shiny new stove too, Rosanna, and did you see the drawer at the bottom?? I lov storage compartments, as many as possible! What shall I put in it?hmm

Sans! said...

Cindy, its very fun to make but I can imagine it going to pieces quite quickly if I keep opening and closing the door. haha.

Glenda said...

I'm loving it - your process, the materials, the clever finishing, and the final result. As ever, another mini from a very clever lady!! And the spirits of your mini house will be so happy :)

Daydreamer said...

Sans, Did I mention that your stove looks very familiar to me? I Love architecture and I am a Design Book junkie so I have books with tribal and ancient kitchens.... I have always been fascinated with the older methods of cooking..... (you will laugh if you really know me because I don't like to cook and avoid it if I can.....) but I love the THEORY and the VISUALS and the nostalgia! We had an antique cast iron stove to do all our cooking on when we had our farm.... you had to light the fire before you could cook! So I remembered seeing stoves like your mirror and mud one.... I have the book Indian Interiors published by Taschen, and I remembered you have mentioned that book too! The pictures in that book are SO inspiring! So I know that your stove is a beautiful, creative version in a tradition of creative home decoration..... (I love the picture of the baby in his little seat....) :)

Sans! said...

Muchas Gracias M ª Luisa, tus palabras me hará trabajar más duro:). Estoy muy motivado cada vez que alguien me dice que tengo doen un buen trabajo. Por tanto, estoy siempre agradecido de que amigos como ustedes se toman el tiempo para parar y hacer comentarios.

Usted debe estar ocupado preparando su boda. Se nos muestran imágenes ok?

abrazos y besos

Sans! said...

Ewa,I agree with you, the furniture is too clean. If this is for me , I would have it dirtied a lot more.

But the kitchen is Rolla's , a proud Indian tribal lady. I was so torn between making it my usual style or to let the kitchen furniture and utensils be cleaner. I eventually succumb because having a rusty dirty kitchen is just not how they live. I have read that the Rabari ladies repaint their walls with fresh mud and dung every morning ! And for their mud and mirror art, they would commission good artists to do the decorations for them once a year. It is therefore unlikely that their kitchen is run down. Other rooms yes, but not the kitchen. And do you know they have a "polisher' who comes round the village to polish the pots and pans so they will remain shiny. I really don't like shiny so I am still trying to come to a good compromise with Rolla. Maybe not so much rusty but less shine as well?:)

See how much struggle I have with this? That' why I find doing the kitchen the toughest :).

Sans! said...

Drora, thank you for stopping by with those encouraging words. :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Kathy! Please check your mail in 10 days. :)

Sans! said...

Jayne, put India on your list if it is not there already. Save loads of space in your home for souvenirs from India. :)

I think there are a few pluses plastic trimmings have over lace. Firstly, they don't fray when painted on or varnish or sprayed. 2ndly, I believe they last longer in that they are not prone to attacks by insects/bugs/moths. You are right that these are also slightly thinner. Of course, plastic is way cheaper. Once painted on, you really can't tell whether the trimmings were plastic/metal/cloth. I dislike plastic immensely so if anything even feel plastic, I'd bin them. Once you work on them , they don't feel plastic at all. Kind of like the "metal trunks" which I swear feel like aluminium now instead of plastic...hahaha...I am deluded that way :)

Sans! said...

Olá Leo!

Estou muito feliz que você está retornando ao mundo blog. Você é um dos meus maiores ídolos na comunidade mini. Eu perdi de ver o seu trabalho muito.

Eu amo a série de livros e tableau de música que você criou recentemente. Está incrível, como sempre.

Sans! said...

Ewa!!! Write here to say anything you like. Tell me I bear a striking resemblance to your great grand aunt when she turned 85 and I will still not mind :). Teehee.

Ahhh, yes, you and I are to do Japan together one day right? Ewa this is a good time to see Japan because all the prices has been slashed. It is as cheap to fly to Japan as it is to fly to Bali now for us. The decision to go to Japan was made very last minute. Just the week before when I was shivering under my blanket, my sister texted me to ask if I want to go!!!! Sighhhhhh. How to say yes?

Anyway, I am on the way out to "The Doll's affair" an annual show in Singapore where they exhibit and sell some BJD dolls related stuff. 1st time I am attending, I will let you know what it is all about. Cindy and Asuka are exhibitors and will be showing and selling their minis.

Zobaczymy się później, Ewa!

Pubdoll said...

Absolutely wonderful and gorgeous Sans! Noone seeing the final stove would have dreamt of it was made from a box, jewellry and lace if you hadn't been kind enough to take us through all the steps of making it!
So practical with the ladle holding side table - I love it!
And I love that the doors actually open so we can peek inside! (I too love peeking through doors)

Rosamargarita said...

Me encanta tu cocina, me encanta tu creatividad... cómo lo haces?
Un beso de Rosa

Asuka Sakumo said...

They are so beautiful Sans! And so glad that you really used my (failed) cabinet and make it to the full awesomeness! :)

Flor said...

Sans me impresiona ver la habilidad con la que creas tanta maravilla Ö
Muchas gracias por compartirnos el como haces esa magia ( =
Te quedo preciosa!!!
Un abrazo
Flor

Patty said...

Sans, Wow! You have out done yourself with this magnificent stove/oven! I LOVE it so much! Your history lessons are always so incredible too!!

Sans! said...

Birgit, I will visit your garden one day :)

On Sunday, I added mirrors to the cupboards . They look slightly more authentic now. :)

Thank you for your compliments of the picture and I thought it was badly taken :)

Sans! said...

Margriet, kitchen doors left open in my real house spells disaster because we have like a hundred lizards in the house, some of them longer than the length of my palm.

But in the Rolla house, I have at least 4 cupboards that have opened doors and drawers. Maybe I can make mini lizards :) but no rats! Not even in my dollhouse.

The Old Maid said...

But how interesting it is to learn all the facts through your projects! I was thinking it may be too clean because in our villiages all the things - walls etc that were supposed to be white were blanched once a year;)

Sans! said...

Amy, thank you :). I wish I have the same attention to details for life size projects too but I can't even tie a bow properly for a present ..haha :) and cook? It is a mental block I know. One day, I will unblock them :) Maybe after I am done with minis. :)

Sans! said...

Ascensión, no puedo esperar para conocer a Eva! Me gustaría que se puede venir a visitar a mí también. . Con Eva, tenemos traducción eh? Entonces usted puede venir a ver mi vida real "shabby" (no "shabby chic", sólo "shabby") de la cocina .. hahaha:)

besosssssssssssss

Sans! said...

Glenda, you were in my thoughts today. Because I was playing with the minis that you made for my tribal house . Remember the bottles? They are going into the kitchen :) Debating whether to dirty them :). Maybe just a little :). Hope you will visit when I show the kitchen :)

Sans! said...

O my Betsy! I too am a design book junkie ! I own a series of Taschen (cheap and beautiful :) ) "Style" books. So I have Moroccan, Italian, Spanish , New York, Shanghai , Buenos Aires, French :):):). The one on Indian Style is damaged badly though :( but I also owned the mini version. :)

And yes, I first saw my mud and mirror furniture in Taschen's India Style. It's uncanny that you said you like the pic of the baby in the mud and mirror chair because it is one of my favourite too. And of course, I want to make that chair :).

Like you, I love the traditional way of cooking. My family believes that soups boiled over charcoal fire taste much better than those over a modern day stove. I don't own an oven and we only have 2 gas stoves in the house. My microwave oven was a hand me down. The toaster oven I bought was for when I start clay work. jajaja. It's been one over years and I still haven't used that oven :).

Sans! said...

Asuka!!!! :) Thank you for the box. It is perfect and fit my kitchen like you have made it just for me :).

Sans! said...

Thank you Helene :). You are way too kind with those compliments :). I am glad I have finally done them. The concept stage sure took a long time :).

Last weekend, I built a matching shelf and a plate rack :). Took me longer to fix them up on the walls than to build them :).

Sans! said...

Rosam, estoy haciendo bien, ¿cómo estás? :) Hoy en día, tomé mi última dosis de antibióticos Aniti! Hooray:). Creo que todas las bacterias en el cuerpo ahora están muertos! :)

un abrazo :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Patty! And with all of your support and encouragement, I hope I will keep getting better :).

This house is a testament to how wonderful the people in blogland has been to me :).

Sans! said...

Thank you Patty! And with all of your support and encouragement, I hope I will keep getting better :).

This house is a testament to how wonderful the people in blogland has been to me :).

Sans! said...

Flor! Yo estoy comprando una gran comida para que "perciosa" comentario:) Su trabajo es una inspiración constante para mí:) Espero que nunca se detiene:)

un abrazo :0

Sans! said...

By the way, Ewa, I did give in to my true colours and the kitchen is not as pristine anymore. The stove is dirtied and the "new' dish rack that I made is old and looks like it will fall into pieces if someone so much as remove a plate from the rack,haha!

The Old Maid said...

Can't wait to see them!! LOL!

Kim said...

Sans- your fingers work magic! The kitchen furniture is so beautiful!! You make me want to work on my minis so badly- I just haven't any spare time right now! Beautiful work ♥

Sans! said...

Ewa, awaiting a few more things and I will show you the Rolla kitchen :).

Quite a journey , building my Rolla house :) but now the end is near..and I face the final curtain...gawdddd I hate this song :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Kim ! You made me want to work on my garden but that is such haaaaaard work! And the weather is so hoooooooot and I can think of a million lame excuses why I really can't start now even though it's been 16 years since I moved in..

Sharon Rose said...

WOW!! I found you last night and quickly joined your site like I had found a little piece of heaven:) I decided to check in with you this morning and leave a comment but to my surprise you had checked in with me!! What a thrill to find you like my castle... it is my work in progress and I have already found some great ideas here. You have a wonderful blog.. I look forward to seeing more of your treasures. Cheers from a new friend :)

Sans! said...

Heyyyy Sharon :):).

Thank you for being here ! I really enjoyed your blog! We are alike in our love to convert trash to treasure but you are way ahead of me in terms of skills and resourcefulness. For one you can use a drill and I am still a little afraid of it :).

I hope we "meet" up often to exchange ideas :)

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