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Class outside Paris, July 17-19?

Wm. R. Robertson

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As you know it has been many years since I last taught a class in Paris, way too long. I would like to come to Paris after teaching in Tune, Denmark this year, I will then plan to travel to the south of France and visit Pierre Mourey and on to Spain. I would most likely get to Paris in time for Bastille Day and stay through the weekend, maybe longer?

Here is one idea for a class, 2 to 3 days, 3 is better especially with the lock. This can be done in a small space around a table. I would guess depending on number of students, time, location this could be 250 to 300 euros per person. As always the person who hosts the class in not charged. If you want to host the class or have other ideas for a type of class you would like please let me know. Below are photos of the prototype, the miniatures in two sizes and a description.

Let me know what you think of this idea and if there is any interest. I am sorry to have to write this in English but the little French I know would make it impossible to understand if I tried to write in French. All ready I have heard from 2-3 people that are interested so we are almost half way there….. if interested send me a message (from up at the top under messenger) or a email at wmrrob at GEEEE mail dot com….. sorry to write it that way be keeps down on the spam robots.



Proposed Class/Workshop in Paris, July 17, 18 & 19, 2015

Bone and Iron Chest


This project is based on a French reliquary chest dating from about 1400. These were small chests, actually miniature copies of larger chests, used to hold highly valued objects. In our modern world of miniatures they can be found in early dollhouses such as Titania’s Palace, the inspiration for Queen Mary’s Dollhouse. The chests are made from six pieces of bone held together by dovetailed corners and iron straps riveted in place. Students will have a choice in the size of the chest they want to make, either 25 or 35 mm wide.

When this class was taught in Castine Maine, USA and Ursem, NL. students cut their own pieces of bone. However due to a shorter class and lack of machines the pieces of bone from my local butcher shop will be pre-cut so we can start with the dovetail corners.

The steel and iron corner brackets and strap hinges will be cut out with a jeweler’s saw to the proper shape. Students will then file and forge them to fit in their proper positions. These can also be given a more three dimensional texture by stamping, grinding and filing. There will be options on the designs at the ends of each iron bracket such as a rose or Fleur-de-lis and if time permits students can engrave simple designs on the plain surfaces.

Depending on how long we plan the class and how fast the students work may be possible to fit a working lock with a key to the chest. This would be made from machined out parts and mounted to the front of the chest.

The finished chest can be left in “new” condition or be worn and aged to look more like the original.

This is a perfect class for those that just love little boxes and chests which the instructor certainly does. It is mostly delicate work done with hand tools and can be done sitting around a table. It will be a fun class and can be as simple or as complex as the student wishes.

Here is the prototype...


​and the miniature….



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  • 4 weeks later...

It looks like this is a go! We have a number of students signed up and a place to hold the class. It will be 35 minutes by train from Paris in Rambouillet, this is between Versailles and Chartes so there are too must see places in France.

We are still working on the details but if you are interested contact me to get on the list, space will be limited, but I don't just know for how many yet.

I'm just thinking of the wine, cheese, bread and all the wonderful foods in France......

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  • 4 months later...

Well this class finished over the weekend, what a wonderful time. It was taught in a home around the dining room table with plenty of room for all. Here is a look.....


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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a link to Muriel's blog about the class...... It really was a lot of fun and it seems she photographed the few times over three days when someone dropped a part on the floor....


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I can remember diving down quite a few times in Castine looking for tiny pieces of metal :-), a world wide occupational hazard for miniaturists I guess...and sometimes those tiny pieces can fall a lot farther away than what you would expect.

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