Sunday, September 9, 2012

17th Century embroidered casket

I have started on a project that I have wanted to do for a long time, Sundays are supposed to be my day off from working on commissions but not today, I started building a prototype of a 17th century embroidered casket. Because of copyright laws regarding photos I am sending you to a few websites to look at to see some original caskets.

I am planning on making two different caskets, one with a domed lid like this one in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and a flat lid one like this one in the Museum of Lancashire. One of the biggest charms of these caskets are all their secret drawers and you can see them in this casket at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

So how the heck does one fit in all those drawers into a piece that measures only 18 mm (11/16") high without the lid and feet and what wood does one use to get to more or less in scale caskets. I went to buy some plywood today for another project and then it hit me, plywood would be perfect, it is a lot stronger than normal wood. Hmm, but will it work???

And so I had to try it to see :-), hence the madness of working on my off day!

Here you can see the back, one side and shelves glued in with the other side next to it to show you that I actually cut grooves for the 0.4mm shelves, the sides and back are made from 0.8mm thick wood. The real caskets were papered on the inside and the drawers and top compartment lined with silk. Silk will be difficult to use in so small a piece but I do intend covering the pieces with paper before gluing them together.

Here you can see the casket with the 2 bottom rows where the drawers will fit in. The top panel is a false front and when you remove it......

there is place for another row of drawers.

This whole thing was done rather hastily to see if it would work, I am pretty pleased with it because it is quite sturdy. I will need to make a few special jigs to make sure that it will be glued perfectly square. As to hinges for the doors, I have a plan up my sleeve that will involve lots of gluing area and no nails, once the casket is covered with petit point, you won't see any hinges in any case.

Have a great week


latchkey and jonquil said...

Oh Elga, I can't wait to see this develop! It's going to be wonderful!


Sanschichis said...

Quel magnifique projet! Ce doit être effectivement très amusant de fabriquer tous ces tiroirs secrets!
Vite! Vite! La suite!!!

Catherine said...

How exciting. I also can't wait to see the progress. Though I know it is going to be a lot of work and a long time before we see it finished.

John said...

I have the distinct feeling that this is going to be spectacular!

Winnie said...

This is going to be one lovely casket! You are a wizard with wood!

otterine said...

Wow! What a project! I know they will turn out beautifully and look forward to seeing them come to life! :D

Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Elga,
I'm very curious.
Hugs Dorien

Fabiola said...

I'm curious to see it finished!
Kiss Faby

Jemma Lewis said...

This looks great, I look forward to seeing how your project progresses!

Giac said...

Hello Elga,
My fingers hurt just looking at the pictures! It amazes me that you get such good results...especially for a hasty set is going to be great!
Big hug,

Steinworks said...

that's going to be pretty when you finish it

Marisa :)

Irene said...

This is going to one very interesting project to follow. Im' keen to see the next stage already!

miraclechicken said...

Oh wow! This is going to be fabulous, can't wait to see more---

Mary Corbet said...

Oh, Elga! You are AMAZING. Too tiny, too cute! Too wonderful! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Sandie said...

Elga, your dollshouse is lovely, with all the perfect detail I would expect from you. Mini hugs, Sandie