Sunday, 16 April 2017

Resources

Sometimes, half the battle of designing and make anything in miniature depends on finding the right materials. I'm sure I'm not alone when I describe the frustrating scenario of typing in the word miniature -(insert material searched for here)- into Google and getting 51,273,004 results, most of which are neither use nor ornament. Josje pointed out a miniature material exchange group on Facebook a while back, which I thought was a great idea, but it seems to have been closed down. I now rely heavily on you lovely readers to post links to new resources.
So if you don't already, I would urge you to post links to any suppliers that you find. That information can be pure gold and literally save someone hours of Google searches.

The first material I tried to find is the embossed diamond fabric that mimics modern miniature mattress covers. I'd seen it before. I knew it was out there. Model Horsey collecting people make saddle blankets from it so I knew it was a thing. I contacted a few well known UK model saddle makers and they couldn't remember where they had bought it...or it was a secret...I dunno. Two days of search later and YAY, you fabulous, fabulous French people! I found the most wonderful company called Ma Petite Mercerie who sell, amongst other things, 10mm diamond embossed Jersey.



The company sell small amounts in 10cm strips and ship really fast. I love how comfy that mattress looks now.


The second search, and one that I seem to do on a regular basis, is for wood. Finding suitable wood in the UK is a pain. Finding exotic wood, (i.e. not native to the UK), is nigh impossible. By pure coincidence, I was reading a thread in a wood turners forum when someone mentioned a wood mill in the North East. Huh? Where??
Here it is...in the middle of nowhere.



Our SatNav took us to someones house about a mile from the place we wanted to be. The lady who lived in the house looked kinda surprised to find us standing in her back garden but also accustomed to strangers asking for directions. 


Is it sad that I get this excited over wood? The place was a treasure trove of exotic hardwood. Even better, they could cut blocks to size and all of the wood came with chain of custody certification
The owners son is about to take over the business and drag it into the 21st century buy selling online. I'll post a link as soon as it becomes available. Alternatively, if you're in the area, I can provide you with better directions than my SatNav 😄


The last thing I did is more of a time saving tip than a supplier. I mentioned in a previous post about transferring images onto wood using wax paper. This tip is for anyone who has a laser cutter or who has access to a laser cutter.
I made a load of advertising stamps by laser etching a design onto rubber sheet. The tip is - a laser can read fonts. Even better, a laser can read any font, including dingbats, (which is a stylised picture font).



This saves you a whole lotta hours drawing designs from scratch if you want to laser cut or etch a picture. I think they'd look pretty good stamped onto some antique crates.


I hope this is helpful to someone.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend
Pepper :0)