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Men and miniatures


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I extracted some of this from a couple of my previous posts in the introductions folder and moved it here instead:

 

 

My folks said that when I was little I told them I wanted a dollhouse- I didn't care about dolls I wanted the house itself, and I got one though I don't remember it, this would have been around 1964 or 1965 which was back in  a time when the steretypes and all were extremely strong, boys were all but required to and played with trucks, planes, G.I. Joe so called: "action figures" (disguised dolls) and played "army," and girls  played house, cooked, played with dolls and doll houses and like ruffles and so called  feminine things. It's difficult to escape those stereotypes even today, that's one reason why you don't see men wearing dresses, yet women can wear "mens' pants" along with 3 piece suits and cut their hair short as a man traditionally always had, and no one gives it a second thought.  

The next house we moved to had a custom-made mailbox a friend or an employee of my dad made for us out of wood, it was as I remember- a miniature replica of our garage, oh I begged dad to take it with us when we moved and cried when we left it behind! My favorite thing was going out to get the mail and opening the miniature  "garage" door to get it.

Back in the 1920s or around then, in France maybe-  a woman sculptor whose name escapes me at the moment, actually had to apply for permission and get some kind of permit or approval to wear "mens" clothing! She found it more practical and comfortable for her work.

So we've come a long way since but  along way to go yet.

It all depends on where you live too, I happen to be in a very small town with under 1,800 people, a large number of whom are over age 62, a large percentage of farmer type backgrounds, and not especially open to new things.                                

It would seem to be somewhat of a challenge to find something for us guys along the lines we are looking for, I am guessing because the stereotype has been that "dollhouses" per sei are a "girl thing" due to their traditionally having dolls, men interested in miniatures are "supposed" to go for  the "manly" things like HO model railroads,  gas airplane models, model cars and Esty rockets, so the books and magazines seem to reflect this and seem to be aimed quite a bit more towards girls and women than men.

I can really see there's somewhat of a "hole"  men seem to fall through when it comes to  miniature publications, and in advertising etc., at least as far as houses and roomboxes, furniture etc goes, there's loads of model railroading books and magazines, clubs, groups etc with more of a focus towards men but that's a different category.

You don't see this masculine/feminine thing in sculpture because it's always seemed to be an equal gender thing, with plenty of women sculptors along with men sculptors, women even creating larger than life, massive equestrian monuments out of bronze on a huge stone base, while you'll also see men sculpting coin designs and flowers in stone. The sculpture magazines also reflect this- geared for the professionals and the trade.

I'm not real thrilled by miniatures having the connections to and association with "dollhouses" and childrens' toys, not only because it just has the association of being a "girl" thing,  but also the association with "crafts" and factory mass produced components (Houseworks parts etc) ditto for ordering items from various places and the packages come with:  DOLLHOUSE or TOY in big letters on the address label or whatever.

I get the "when are you going to put your dolls in there?" at work where I'm working on my roombox which shows the stereotype is pretty strong even in 2014, but hopefully as more men are seen, profiled in magazines, and become recognized as professional miniature artists that will change.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wm. R. Robertson

I think the crazy perceptions of society have messed up a lot of people's lives. I once read a statement by hospice on people's regrets as they lay dying and one of the top 5 was they felt they couldn't be who they wanted to be . I do remember as a kid in the 60's there were boys toys and girls toys. By the 70's things were a little more mixed up but it was still all about labels, I remember a hair dryer, "Max for Men", same as the one marketed to women but instead of yellow it was brown and had Max for Men stenciled in big white letters down the side. I guess by saying it was OK for guys to blow dry their hair they didn't have to feel guilty borrowing their sisters hair dryer.

I don't really remember being attracted to girls toys, I did like little buildings, miniature houses, etc. but I didn't feel a need to populate them with little people. I grew up just outside Washington, DC. And we had about 10 hobby shops within easy access. I could have told what was on every shelf of each shop, I loved lusting after all those cool things. I have such memories of drilling over those little green Unimat lathes that just seemed the ultimate in cool hobby things, I have since owned a bunch of them and feel the best thing they do is get you interested in better machines. Another kit I always wanted, and it must have been expensive since I didn't end up with one. Anyway it was a house kit, don't remember the scale, it was a ranch style house but built stud by stud. The kit had thousands of precut 2 x 4 s, rafters, etc. I did have a number of typical building sets like erector sets ( btw, when I get time I took lots of pictures of super cool building sets in German museums, those kids had really cool toys)

I did however like anything that came with lots of cool little accessories..... Like my G.I. Joe. I also made a bunch of my own toys and really like to build stuff. Instead of a train set I had started but never finished a big, 4 x 8 foot, WWII layout thing, it sort of had features from all the war movies at the time, Guns of Naverone, Bridge Over the River Kiwi, The Great Escape, etc..... So it had a camp to escape from, a bridge that could blow up, big guns at the top of the hill etc....... Basically it was like a train set without the trains, just the parts I liked, the buildings.

Anyway I'm just drifting down memory lane and have to get to work..... Not really, it's play.... I'm heading for shop to make little things.

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Warren Barnard

Building Dollhouses was never an issue because I would build anything and everything, so people just saw I was building something else. Having younger sisters and eventually nieces helps to pass them on to. I had never been interested in dolls to put in houses until one of my current projects, and even those aren't dolls but miniature people to help populate and tell stories to draw the viewer into the miniature world I'm building.

 

I remember buying Airfix figures to paint up and then having to make miniature worlds for them to populate, which lead to wargaming and having huge armies of tanks and vehicles and troops to control. Mainly WW2. And those worlds led to buildings and as a kid their were very few suitable kits available in New Zealand so that you had to make everything from scratch. We obviously didn't have the internet in those days so we would buy the US and UK magazines and the catalogs that made us druel over what we couldn't get but in hindsight that's what drove me to find ways to make our own and make them better. Then came movies and the models made to be filmed and used to create things that don't exist in the real world. As a child in the 70s I grew up with the disaster movies like Poseidon Adventure and Towering Inferno and Earthquake and so I'd scour the film magazines for tidbits about the models. That's what made models COOL. Grown ups got to make brilliant things and got paid, wow.

 

I grew up wanting to make things because I couldn't not build things but now I had a goal, to make models for the movies. The journey was not what I expected, but that's life and so I got to build houses, decks, kitchens and furniture and then one day I was building props for TV and films and then sets including a full size Thai palace in Malaysia. Then one day I got to make film miniatures, yahoo, and I was so busy building them I never got to see them being filmed but boy was I first into the theater to see that film and then there they were, my models on the big screen looking like the real thing, hundreds of feet long. I got to make miniatures for a few films but the era of filming miniatures was almost over because cgi had arrived and taken over. Commercials took over a bit, so I got to build some more cool things, but I'm now waiting on confirmation on Friday that the latest job will now be going to Romania to build and film because it's cheaper, which to me is basically the death knell for film miniatures in Sydney.

 

I could see the writing on the wall 4 or 5 years ago so I started making the miniatures I wanted to build and so far I'm exciting myself and others and they are starting to commission miniatures.  As I grew up the miniatures just got bigger and I now love large miniatures (the term Bigatures was coined on the Lord of the Rings films) so from starting with Ho and OO figures and vehicles to now building 1/12th architectural miniatures the journey has been my life and who knows where it will lead me tomorrow. But I do know that designing and building miniatures will always be a large part of it because that's who I am.

 

I am proud that I can build things and I hope that the current generation can get the chance to just use their hands and minds to make things because being a boy or a girl is irrelevant, building real things out of real materials cannot be substituted with computer programs, a computer is like a scalpel or a hand saw just a tool to help you create real things.

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I think the crazy perceptions of society have messed up a lot of people's lives. 

 

I remember a hair dryer, "Max for Men", same as the one marketed to women but instead of yellow it was brown and had Max for Men stenciled in big white letters down the side. I guess by saying it was OK for guys to blow dry their hair they didn't have to feel guilty borrowing their sisters hair dryer.

I don't really remember being attracted to girls toys, I did like little buildings, miniature houses, etc. but I didn't feel a need to populate them with little people.

 

 The Great Escape, etc..... So it had a camp to escape from, a bridge that could blow up, big guns at the top of the hill etc....... Basically it was like a train set without the trains, just the parts I liked, the buildings.

 

 

Oh you bet! you know, the funny thing is, if you look back to the 19th century you will find a couple of interesting things most people don't seem to be aware of or give little thought to, one is little boys wore dresses up to, oh about age 5 or something like that- look at the old photos you almost can't tell the kid's gender because both wore dresses.

The other is today we associate pink with girls and blue with boys, back in the 19th century is was the opposite!

Somewhere along the road between then and what? the mid 1940s maybe... little boys were dressed in pants only, and the color pink became associated with girls, how, and why did that happen!

 

I was not  a huge train fan, I had some as a kid but it wasn't a WOW this is cool! thing, I was more into stationary steam engines, but as far as the trains went, I was like you- mostly interested in the buildings and scenery.

My wealthy late cousin had two very nice, antique, very expensive Victorian roomboxes I saw when I was about 7, she turned the lights on for me so I could see the furniture and all, they were really cool! She died a year or so later and all I ever knew of the disposition of the roomboxes was they were to a couple of girls in the family. These were certainly a "Thorne room" quality as cousin lived in a large estate house on long Island with servants- cook, secretary, gardener etc and she could afford the finest, the roomboxes probably came from an antique store in Europe but I wouldn't know.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Can you go through the family tree and ask everyone in the family if anyone knows what happened to them? 

 

I love returning to seeing the Thorne Rooms.  I'm sure that Mr. Kupjack was very famous for miniature rooms, during his lifetime, and I can imagine those rooms traveling around the US, and all those people thinking that Kupjack and team were incredible.  Except for the needlework and Mrs. Thorne, I do not believe the books mention any women working on the rooms.

 

Strange that I have never thought of stereotypes within our miniature world, as so many of our finest instructors and dealers are both men and women at the best miniature learning events, that it had not even crossed my mind.  Historically, when you read about the Thorne Rooms and other famous collectors/creators of historical important miniatures, they did not have figures in the rooms, they intended to make the rooms come alive by leading your mind that someone was in the room, living their lives, but you didn't see figures. 

 

When I look back at books printed in the 60s and 70s that I have purchased in the US, and then look at miniature magazines published in the 80s and 90s, miniature dolls and sculpting have dramatically improved- but furniture, roomboxes and structures have always been available at a very realistic amount of detail.

 

Tamra/Indiana

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Can you go through the family tree and ask everyone in the family if anyone knows what happened to them? 

 

I love returning to seeing the Thorne Rooms.  I'm sure that Mr. Kupjack was very famous for miniature rooms, during his lifetime, and I can imagine those rooms traveling around the US, and all those people thinking that Kupjack and team were incredible.  Except for the needlework and Mrs. Thorne, I do not believe the books mention any women working on the rooms.

 

Strange that I have never thought of stereotypes within our miniature world, as so many of our finest instructors and dealers are both men and women at the best miniature learning events, that it had not even crossed my mind.  Historically, when you read about the Thorne Rooms and other famous collectors/creators of historical important miniatures, they did not have figures in the rooms, they intended to make the rooms come alive by leading your mind that someone was in the room, living their lives, but you didn't see figures. 

 

When I look back at books printed in the 60s and 70s that I have purchased in the US, and then look at miniature magazines published in the 80s and 90s, miniature dolls and sculpting have dramatically improved- but furniture, roomboxes and structures have always been available at a very realistic amount of detail.

 

Tamra/Indiana

 

Pretty difficult to do, this was around 1967- over 45 years ago, most of my relatives are long deceased, the one who might have been able to find out- mother- died in 1992. It was a cousin who had the estate house and the roomboxes who died, her last name was Eden and the village  of King's Point when it was originally incorporated- one of the incorporators was John Eden, so I assume he was a relative of hers.

 

The house apears in a couple of photos in the NY Public Library archives:

 

http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-83ac-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

The Thorne rooms are fantastic, I personally however do not like figures incorporated into the scene, they just never look real to me and give the scene a fake look in my opinion. The best photos I've seen of really good roomboxes have no figures in them and if the photo was well done in lightly and angle you look and think  "is that a real room or is it a model??" in the end unless you examine it very closely you can't decide, with the fihgures in the scene you know immediately it's not real and that takes the mystery out of well taken photos.

In my own roomboxes it's highly unlikely I'll ever have any figures in them, the exception might be a well done dog sleeping or something- you would see a ball of fur and it would not register immediately as an artificial figure, it could still have that "is it real or not?" effect.

 

The steretypes are always out there on most everything and people know it still exists, that is one reason you never see men wearing a skirt or dress, the exception is, and this is a curious oddity too- no one seems to think twice about the bagpipe player wearing  a "kilt" we all know in America is really just a fancy womens' skirt.

If it wasn't for the accessories and the bagpipes and hat, along with the plaid colors people would be starting, pointing and giggling if they saw a man walking around in public in a skirt.

 

There is one small product line of mens' work pants being sold, "non bifurcated utility kilts" they call them, it's about as close to a mini skirt as you might find:

 

http://www.utilikilts.com/

 

And there's thought provoking articles on it such as this one:

 

http://www.menstuff.org/archives/menskirts.html

 

But even I wouldn't be caught dead walking around town in a SKIRT no matter what they call these. I think the stereotype is going to be with us for many years to come, we'll know it's gone away when men can go to the store and buy a  non plaid "kilt" (skirt) and put it on and walk around, shop, and dress that way at work and no one stares, points, laughs or asks stupid or rude questions, I don't see that happening anytime in the next 10-20 years.

So it will also go that men are going to be looked at differently if people think they are playing with "dolls" or "doll houses"

 

It used to be - up to the 60s women did the cooking  etc in the home, but these days men also cook, do laundry, child care, vaccum, garden etc.

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Bill Hudson

Hmmmnm! where to start.  Stereotypes are mostly in peoples heads. First of all I don't see a problem with the kilt thing.  I wear really wide leg short.  That coupled with my knee high stockings (I have to wear compression stockings so I wear as fancy ones as I can find). I sent Bonni a pair, that I really like for a contest at Castine. At that time my legs were too swollen to wear them. They were bright blue with racing stripes and I would have worn then if they had fit. With my long stockings and my shorts it looks like I am wearing a kilt at times. I have no problem with it. I go down town in my shorts and stockings, If it brothers any one else that is their problem.

 

I also don't see stereotype in miniatures. There again is what is in a person's mind. My first model was a rubber band model airplane that my mom helped me build when I was six.  I also learned to sew and embroider.  Sugar sacks were cloth and some had embroider stencils of little animals.I embroidered a dozen of them and my aunt put them to gather to make me a quilt, I was ten then. At the same time WWII was getting started and living on a farm out in the country we had no access to toys. I made forts and castles from cardboard boxes and houses for my sisters. I got a doll for Christmas because my sisters got mad at me for playing with theirs. I also was given hand me down kids tool kit from one of my older cousins. It had a coping saw, hand saw, hammer and a eggbeater drill. My dad gave me a Case knife with three blades and showed me how to sharpen the little blade to a point to carve with.  I would use old nails for drills; cut off the heads and flatten and sharpen the point.  I would make bull dozers from apple box wood with tobacco can lids for blades. Made all kinds of things from old crates. I was given an airplane identification book and using the silhouettes of the fuselage and wings I sawed and carved out  little model planes of each airplane and hung them up in my ceiling.

 

In my family the men were men and women were women but nether thought any thing of doing the work or the other when it was needed.  My mom and I took turns driving the tractor for baling hay. I could barely reach the brakes when on the seat so I stood up to drive. My mom got an evening job in town at the date packing plant so my dad did the cooking.

 

When I was twelve we moved to Oregon and agIn way out in the country. There I made model log trucks from cardboard tablet backs cut and shaped to form the cab. I used broom handles sections for wheels.  My log truck won a blue ribbon at the county fair.  At 15 I worked in the woods helping my dad buck logs with a cross cut saw and later I peeled bark off poles with a spud. My dad worked in a shingle mill and on weekends I would help him load bundles of shingles on trucks and in box cars.  When I started high school we moved in close to town. I had friend who's father owned a lumber company and my friend could buy any kind of model he wanted. He bought airplane kits and I built them for him. I took the money he gave me and bought some of my own kits; mostly wooden antique model cars. I soon learned from building them how to make my own from scratch.  I repaired a broken leg on my mom's doll that she was given to her on her 12th birthday (1921) It was a jointed, porcelain doll with sleepy eyes and about 5" tall. It was in bad repair clothing wise and wig wise.  In 1999 I got a new wig for her and made a dress and hat for her and gave her to my mom for her 89th birthday.  When she had to leave her home for a nursing  home she gave me the doll rather than my sisters.

 

There are fabulous doll/figure makers but I rarely see them that fit well into a miniature house. For some reason they look out of place.  I have had dolls made for some of my carriages when requested but myself do  not care to have them on my carriages.  Same thing for horses. I have had horses made for some of my carriages by very talented people, some have harnessed them for me and I have harnessed them too. But again I prefer not to have horses displayed with my carriages.

 

In 1958 when we got married we lived close to theUniversity of Oregon and I attended class there days and worked at the mill at nights. I met and became friends with Ivan Collins  a famous model carriage builder.  He got me started in high detailed and scale modeling. From there it just took off.  

 

I taught at the Guild school for fourteen years and shad a mix of men and women. Quite frankly I could not see much difference in their abilities.

 

No I don't think miniatures are separated in sexual stereotypes.  Guys can do fabrics etc. and girls can build furniture.so what is the problem? If it bother others that you like dolls or houses that is their problem.  :rolleyes:

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WeekendMiniaturist

I agree that we don't have a lot of stereotyping in our miniature world, but I think Artist's point is he may be experiencing stereotypes in his real life community.  I've been out of the miniature closet for a long time; my customers know that I travel a couple times a year to take classes, see friends and shop for miniatures, and many of them ask me about what I'm making currently.... (right now I'm working on mastering, making a mess!)

 

It is sad not to know where the roombox landed.  Have you tried knocking on the door of your cousin's (former?) home and introducing yourself and asking if it is still there?  While, it could be anywhere...it may still be in the home.  It could be in a musem, the hands of a private collector, etc, etc... but did you look through Flora Gill's books?  It would be pretty cool if she had acquired it for her museum out East.  You could write a letter to the people who own the home now.  You never know... if you don't try.... When we moved into our 1917 home, the children of a previous family did come by to visit.... it isn't that uncommon to go back to places that were important to you as a child.

 

When I first joined the miniature community, I didn't have time or money for miniature tourism, but I do think I remember that Flora Gills collection was sold at some point... but she published several books, and had a huge collection.  Look up the books on Amazon. 

 

 

Tamra/Indiana

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I agree that we don't have a lot of stereotyping in our miniature world, but I think Artist's point is he may be experiencing stereotypes in his real life community.  I've been out of the miniature closet for a long time; my customers know that I travel a couple times a year to take classes, see friends and shop for miniatures, and many of them ask me about what I'm making currently.... (right now I'm working on mastering, making a mess!)

 

It is sad not to know where the roombox landed.  Have you tried knocking on the door of your cousin's (former?) home and introducing yourself and asking if it is still there?  While, it could be anywhere...it may still be in the home.  It could be in a musem, the hands of a private collector, etc, etc... but did you look through Flora Gill's books?  It would be pretty cool if she had acquired it for her museum out East.  You could write a letter to the people who own the home now.  You never know... if you don't try.... When we moved into our 1917 home, the children of a previous family did come by to visit.... it isn't that uncommon to go back to places that were important to you as a child.

 

When I first joined the miniature community, I didn't have time or money for miniature tourism, but I do think I remember that Flora Gills collection was sold at some point... but she published several books, and had a huge collection.  Look up the books on Amazon. 

 

 

Tamra/Indiana

 

I'm  not sure there would be much stereotyping within the mini community itself, I'm speaking more about the general public- the one that has nothing to do with miniatures in any way shape or form. What we as miniaturists see would be similar to a community of bagpipe players not thinking twice about it if they saw a man in the park  wearing a skirt, utilikilt or a plaid kilt- because they are used to it.

 

The general public's exposure to miniatures is mainly from childhood memories of girls playing with toy dolls and toy doll houses, ads on TV showing girls playing with them etc. Remember the TV commercials back in the 70s and 80s? girls were always playing with dolls, dollhouses,  Barbie and EZ bake ovens, and boys would be shown racing model cars and playing war with "action figures" like GI Joe,  and Batman figures.

Those kinds of ads do create a stereotype and they were played over and over and over again.

Even today you see a lot of kids in school beat up on, or harass gay classmates in Jr or High School, imagine if one of the students brought a dollhouse to "show and tell" at school or something, I have  a pretty good idea how it would go.

 

Bill: that's an interesting story thanks for sharing it! we are roughly in a similar age group, but your childhood era at home with your parents definitely differed a lot from mine, you grew up on the farm basically and your dad got by with the family farm and then his labor to make ends meet, and your mom also worked so you had different experiences than I, including making your own toys.

In my case I was raised on Long Island, dad owned a famous, expensive steak house in NYC, the kind that patrons  who went to Lincoln Center to see the Opera or a concert dressed to the nines, would have dinner at my my dad's restaurant in the village.

He made enough income mom didn't work ever, and up to the age of 6 we lived in a big house with a real, live-in German nanny and a big built-in swimming pool,  we had new cars every year and pretty much everything else.

After that we moved a few times to other Long Island houses in  Sands Point, and Cold Spring Harbor and the nanny went away. I usually went to an expensive summer camp.

 

But after moving to Florida to open a restaurant that soon failed, dad lost all his money and the restaurant, and that was when we moved to a ONE bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village, NYC and I went to public schools after that instead of private ones.

Public schools in NYC are the pits and because of the way the system was designed even though we lived in beautiful Greenwich village overlooking the park my  high school was located by the worst drug and crime infested slum there was- over on the Lower East Side where the majority of the students were low income Puerto Rican, Hispanic and African-American, most of whom did drugs and crime. After one of them set off tear gas under his desk, and I was repeatedly robbed of my lunch money I stopped going to afternoon session and then I stopped going at all.

It took the system about 6 months to figure out I wasn't in school and send someone to our apartment.

I had skipped half the 9th grade and completely ditched the 10th grade and never went back.

 

Let me tell you, living in a one bedroom apartment in the big city with your parents from age 10 to age 21 is no picnic! I no longer had my own room as I always had, so I didn't have the space to have things like models and all that, even if I did I wouldn't have been able to use any kind of paints, stains or glues etc that had an odor- mom had athsma and allergies so that was out, power tools, dust etc were also out.

 

Living in a place like NYC you do not trust anyone, look at everyone with suspicion, talk to no one, it's a totally different life and lifestyle  than you had on the farm

 

 

It is sad not to know where the roombox landed.  Have you tried knocking on the door of your cousin's (former?) home and introducing yourself and asking if it is still there?  While, it could be anywhere...it may still be in the home.  It could be in a musem, the hands of a private collector, etc, etc... but did you look through Flora Gill's books?  It would be pretty cool if she had acquired it for her museum out East.  You could write a letter to the people who own the home now.  You never know... if you don't try.... When we moved into our 1917 home, the children of a previous family did come by to visit.... it isn't that uncommon to go back to places that were important to you as a child.

 

 

I have not, that house/estate was sold off when cousin Muriel died around 1967, I really hardly knew her since she died when I was about 7, I know where the house is now only after extensively searching and happening to find that picture in the library of her house. The land it was on appears to have been sub divided and at least one new home built near it according to Google satellite view.

I don't remember what the room boxes look like exactly (there were two, or at least two) I only remember one was larger than the other and had a dark wood box with glass, and that it was a scene with furniture that would be a livingroom and had lighting in it, along with at least one larger bulb such as a picture frame might have.

I doubt I'd even recognize it if I saw it today, I only saw it once and I was 7. Nothing I've found about cousin Muriel in newspaper archives mentioned very much of use.

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Bill Hudson

My father did not own either farm.  In Indio, Calif. my dad took care of the back 90 acres for my mom's brother. My dad, myself and my mom also worked there. Mother and I did not get pay that is why my mom got a job in town. Both my sisters were too young to work, they just kept the three room house sort of clean. And I had to go to school and work after classes. We worked hay at night because of the heat, usually 100-102F days. If the alfalfa was cut during the day it would dry out too quickly and loose the leaves.

 

In Oregon my dad worked for another uncle who was supposed to have the land and old house that was on a part of the property  (Daddy rebuilt and we lived in) deeded to us. The farm was not supporting both families and things were tough so my dad took work in town at the shingle mill, supporting both families (8 people).  A couple years after we moved to Oregon, my uncle sold the farm and our house and land out from under us.  We had to quickly salvage a fallen down log cabin my dad bought from one of his brothers to move in. See:   http://smallstuff-digest.com/an_oregon_cabin.htm

 

If you are finding no acceptance in your community you just have to find it in your own self.  If you wait for other people you will have a long lime to wait.  I remember going to a miniature show in Southern Oregon, very heavy with loggers and farmers. I was in a store with several of the ladies looking at lace and fabrics for future carriages. I got some strange looks while standing at the register with lace in my hands, but it did not bother me. I have a job to do and if it takes me into a ladies garment and undies department to find materials, that is

where I go.

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Bill Hudson

Pretty difficult to do, this was around 1967- over 45 years ago, most of my relatives are long deceased, the one who might have been able to find out- mother- died in 1992. It was a cousin who had the estate house and the roomboxes who died, her last name was Eden and the village  of King's Point when it was originally incorporated- one of the incorporators was John Eden, so I assume he was a relative of hers.

 

The house apears in a couple of photos in the NY Public Library archives:

 

http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-83ac-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

The Thorne rooms are fantastic, I personally however do not like figures incorporated into the scene, they just never look real to me and give the scene a fake look in my opinion. The best photos I've seen of really good roomboxes have no figures in them and if the photo was well done in lightly and angle you look and think  "is that a real room or is it a model??" in the end unless you examine it very closely you can't decide, with the fihgures in the scene you know immediately it's not real and that takes the mystery out of well taken photos.

In my own roomboxes it's highly unlikely I'll ever have any figures in them, the exception might be a well done dog sleeping or something- you would see a ball of fur and it would not register immediately as an artificial figure, it could still have that "is it real or not?" effect.

 

The steretypes are always out there on most everything and people know it still exists, that is one reason you never see men wearing a skirt or dress, the exception is, and this is a curious oddity too- no one seems to think twice about the bagpipe player wearing  a "kilt" we all know in America is really just a fancy womens' skirt.

If it wasn't for the accessories and the bagpipes and hat, along with the plaid colors people would be starting, pointing and giggling if they saw a man walking around in public in a skirt.

 

There is one small product line of mens' work pants being sold, "non bifurcated utility kilts" they call them, it's about as close to a mini skirt as you might find:

 

http://www.utilikilts.com/

 

And there's thought provoking articles on it such as this one:

 

http://www.menstuff.org/archives/menskirts.html

 

But even I wouldn't be caught dead walking around town in a SKIRT no matter what they call these. I think the stereotype is going to be with us for many years to come, we'll know it's gone away when men can go to the store and buy a  non plaid "kilt" (skirt) and put it on and walk around, shop, and dress that way at work and no one stares, points, laughs or asks stupid or rude questions, I don't see that happening anytime in the next 10-20 years.

So it will also go that men are going to be looked at differently if people think they are playing with "dolls" or "doll houses"

 

It used to be - up to the 60s women did the cooking  etc in the home, but these days men also cook, do laundry, child care, vaccum, garden etc.

Just for you Artist.   :rolleyes:  :)

 

http://www.jdez.com/men/11825.html

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  • 1 month later...
Bill Hudson

I have been meaning to get back to this subject.  This is my doll.  She is about 5"tall and has sleepy oyes and jointed at arms and legs. It belonged to my mom; she got it for her 13th birthday (1922).  When we moved to Oregon in 1945 her doll got broken; left leg.  The upper part was missing. About 1946 I carved an upper part of the leg from wood and put an eye loop in it and restrung the doll for her.  Over the years of banging around in a drawer her clothes were destroyed.  When they were having to down size to move in to an apartment she gave me the doll.  Later years I sewed a new dress and coat  - the hat is one my mom crocheted - for the doll and placed her in a glass dome. At the same time I had my dad's pocket watch restored to running and also put it in a dome and gave them to my mother and dad for Christmas. After my mom died I rescued the doll  from my niece - I was not able to rescue the watch.  I have had her this time since 1/2/2000.

 

 

post-35-0-97997300-1416287163_thumb.jpg

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Bill Hudson

I don't know if there are markings.  I After I made the dress and put it on her I sewed it up the back so I have no way to remove it and look. I copied the dress from an old catalog of that time. I had a sailor hat to go with the outfit it must of gotten lost. My mom crocheted the little hat she has now.

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  • 3 weeks later...
jackofalltrades

About 10 years ago I was looking for a miniature product to make and sell so considered "doll house stuff".     I also considered the implications of me making "doll house stuff" to my other male customers.   I looked around on the web and most of what I found didn't appeal to me being kind of cheap/shoddy and the prices were being driven down to oblivion so I moved on.    

 

Then one night I find this fancy site for miniatures or what I though would be just more "doll house stuff" via a post by Bill Hudson in the Horse Drawn Vehicle Model forum.   At first I wasn't too impressed but the more I looked the more I found and then I found the forum.  I'm cruising around the forum and found lots of scale models rather than the "doll house stuff" I expected .   So, I guess a lot of our perception is in our head and based on experience and peer pressure.  Names and labels can have different meanings.

 

My Dad who, much like my grand father was sort of an Archie Bunker type though to a lesser degree.    He grew up in the 1930s and had a DOLL which amazes me given the time.    Here is this Mr Tough guy who got into trouble in school and ran wild as a kid and he had a DOLL.   Go figure....       I have this doll and it is a Schoenhut boy about 14" tall. 

 

Jack

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Wm. R. Robertson

One of the annoying things about this business is the word dollhouse and what people THINK it means. Most think this me and little girls toys...... I sometime refer to it as toys for children over the age of 55 because they have to have saved that long to afford them...... The thing is you can buy a little desk for $5. Or upwards of $ 50,000........ I don't think most people that see these would think dollhouse, at least I hope not.

Yes there is cheap stuff out there (not much on this forum, see guidelines) but what we are interested in is fine scale models of Decorative Arts related objects. The higher quality the better. Where else can you take, for example my topic on making a ladies spinning wheel and drift off into19 th c. books on toolmaking that show the way metal chips are formed while cutting?

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  • 1 month later...
Darren Thomas

Thanks all - great thread!  

 

Like most everyone on this forum, for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with miniatures....I grew up in Brooklyn - - my dad was a stereotypically rough, tough and gruff Italian cabinet maker/carpenter - -  well, in 1973, at 8 years old, I asked him to make me a dollhouse.  You would have thought he'd hit the roof!  Grounded by his doting wife,  my stay at home mother, he went ahead and built me a house and had been supportive and encouraging ever since...

 

I was fortunate however - there are so many others who didn't have the same level of support, allowing them to be quite who they wanted to be....even today, while things have gotten much much better in terms of stereotypes, lots of people are compelled to adhere to social norms... I think these norms affect men and women alike who might be into miniatures  ...the general public see miniatures as "play things" and girly-girl toys perhaps holding some back from pursuing the discipline (or staying in the closet about it!)...

 

One of the objectives in opening my new shop was to show miniatures as an art form in an environment which captures these pieces in the very best light - - I deliberately stayed far away from the traditional "dollhouse" retail look and feel and avoided the indoor/outdoor carpeting, the institutional lighting and the jewelry cabinet fixtures.....I wanted to provide a bit more of an upscale (adult) environment giving folks the sense that these are not play things...ultimately giving them the "okay to play"  - I hope to attract a whole new audience to miniatures who may not have either seen them before, or seen them quite this way....

 

- Darren

www.dthomasfineminiatures.com

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  • 2 months later...
karincorbin

Let us have a gender neutral IGMA atmosphere and quit worrying about this male and female identity stuff. We should all have outgrown those attitudes ages ago.

 

It does not matter what sex you are or what your sexual orientation is or what toys you played with as a child. It does not matter what clothes you choose to wear. We are an international organization and clothing styles by country vary widely. Personal taste in clothing varies widely and fashion is constantly changing. One year when my 6"4", heterosexual son was in his twenties I invited him to go the Seattle miniature show with me. He showed up dressed in a Utilikilt,(http://www.utilikilts.com/) black army surplus boots, wearing a green pith helmet that had a large, brightly painted wooden parrot on it. He was mobbed by the women at the show coming up to him to pay him compliments on his outfit. I have no idea why he chose to dress up like that, typically he was in black jeans with T shirts, but obviously it was acceptable to do so judging by the response he got. Here is another one of his more recent event costumes to some convention or another. He just likes be silly now and again and to have a bit of fun with people's expectations and it always seems to work and get them smiling. https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/323140147/sig.GIF

 

What other people think about what you do is irrelevant as no matter what profession or hobby you chose there is always someone around who thinks it is a waste of time and money or not something suitable or find it totally incomprehensible to them why you would want to do it. So just ignore them and enjoy who you are and what you value.

 

It is your self esteem that is important and that is an internal development that has to withstand external influence. Developing good self esteem is irrelevant of gender or profession. Don't explain yourself and don't apologize for who you are to anyone if what you are doing is not harmful to others.

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