Tuesday, November 28, 2017

These are a few of my favourite (miniature-related) things over the past couple of weeks...

(You might like to get a cup of tea, or your beverage of choice before you start reading: it's going to be a long post...)

OK: first up, the candelabra painting was a success. I'm feeling most chuffed.
One-twelfth scale wrought-iron candelabra with candles.
Now, on to what I've been up to over the past few weeks (when I've not been at work, or making scenes...)

There was Canberra Modern, a new sub-festival of the Design Canberra festival (and very similar to the now-famous Palm Springs Modern week).

I'm really excited that such an event has started in Canberra as I believe we could be 'The Napier of modernism' (but without the earthquake).
Person holding a flier for the Canberra Modern festival while seated behind a row of chairs designed by Fred Ward.
My budgetary constraints meant I had to chose carefully, especially as several of the events included book signings of books that were firmly on my collection-development wish list.

First up was Modernist Love, a talk by Tim Ross who created the most excellent series Streets of Your Town (trailer here, watch the series here).
Tim 'Rosso' Ross and his latest book in front of an audience.
 Next was a talk by Geoff Isaac, the author of the first book on Australian mid-century modern furniture designer Grant Featherston (via a Kickstarter campaign I didn't quite get to in time).

This is one of the dining chairs that started his obsession:
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide of a Scape dining chair by Grant Featherston.
and a photo of how he stores his collection now (and I thought I had storage problems as a miniaturist!)
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide showing how he stores his Featherston chair collection.
This is the very rare E51 chair which has eluded him so far (it sold at auction for $17,500):
Slide of a battered Grant Featherston E51 chair.
And here he talks about the famous Talking Chair (during which I was plotting if a paper cup would make a good beginning of miniature version...)
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide of a Talking Chair by Grant Featherston and one of them in use at the 1967 World Expo.
Finally he shared the story of the failure of the Stem Chair, with base and chair of differing materials:
Slide of a Grant Featherston stem chair, with the base and the top created from different materials.
Afterwards there was a book signing. I bought a copy of course, calling it one of my not-Christmas presents for this year...
Geoff Isaac signs a copy of the book he wrote on Grant Featherston.

The next talk on my agenda was The Other Moderns and I was delighted to see an unexpected mention of my old friend The Dixon Street Flats* in Wellington in a slide show about Australian √©migr√© designers.
Rebecca Hawcroft giving a talk in front of a slide of the modernist Dixon Street Flats in Wellington.
Once again there was a book that I needed in my collection...
Display of copies of the book The Other Moderns on a table.
and a signing. (The author convinced me that I needed to make the trip to Sydney to see the exhibition that went with the book).
Rebecca Hawcroft signs a copy of her book The Other Moderns.

To round things off beautifully, Mary Featherston (wife of Grant Featherston) gave a talk about her and her husband's work, and his work with Robin Boyd,
Mary Featherston giving a talk in front of a slide showing a flier of the Modern Home Exhibition.
(including the house Boyd designed for them, and in which she still lives).
Slide of the interior of the house designed by Robin Boyd for Mary and Grant Featherston.
I was very pleased to see that she included pictures of maquettes and trial versions of the Talking Chair, which confirmed my thoughts on how to make a miniature version...
Mary Featherston giving a talk in front of a slide showing maquettes and tests of the Grant Featherston Talking Chair.
And then I went to Sydney to see this:
Entry to The Moderns exhibition, with a modernist chair in a display cabinet.
Man reading the introductory display on European modernism: the spirit of the age at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
(Hey, I have one of those chairs in miniature!)
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Mid-century modern scarf fabric design on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern house on display at The Moderns exhibition.
and then stumbled across miniatures while I was there: a ghost-train winding box 
Model skeleton pushing a trolley of baggage at a miniature ghost train.
Model skeleton pushing a trolley of baggage at a miniature ghost train.
and Luna-Park chess set, both by Peter Kingston. (I'm now slightly obsessed with finding out what the winding box did when it was being wound...)
Chess set made up of pieces representing parts of Luna Park in Sydney,
Back home, the next stop was the opening of an exhibition at The Embassy of Finland in Australia, where Daniel Soma's model of the Futuro House had landed after his Sydney exhibition (which I missed, so was very pleased to learn had come to Canberra in a new iteration):
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design.
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design.
Interior of a model of a Futuro House set up as a lecture theatre.
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design and behind a window covered with replicas of original correspondence about the company.
(I was ever so good and wasn't even tempted to stuff the model up my top and head to the exit...)

(*In a weird twist of...something, one of the very first miniature club meetings, in the early eighties, was in the common room on the roof of the Dixon Street flats, where we made a chair out of a paper cup).

3 comments :

Sheila said...

Wow! You did a lot.

Some of those chairs... amazing.

Elizabeth S said...

I bet No One will ever again get to sit in that tatty $17,000 chair!

The Shopping Sherpa said...

They are, aren't they Sheila?

And I think you're right, Elizabeth!