Friday, March 4, 2011


~ Dollhouses ~

Vintage dollhouses have appeared all around the shop lately.  They are very old and full of character (broken boards and chipped paint).  They certainly amp up the rustic quality of our studio space but they also add to the idea of "play" and childhood that we really try to capture in all the things we make and display.  This red beauty is the centerpiece in our middle room and the facade is hinged to expose the interior rooms.

In the same room, directly under the table, sits this single story house with attached garage.  I believe it used to have fencing in the yard.  I have a strong personal connection to the "dollhouse".  As a child I remember that my sister had a simple wooden dollhouse and for some reason I thought the roof was too plane. I took it upon myself to hand cut little shingles and apply them to the roof.  It's no surprise I ended up the way I am. Coincidentally in my artwork I address the idea of "house" and "home" and often work in a miniature scale.  These are things that just happen sometimes without much if any intention, but are none the less very interesting to discover. 

A couple of years ago I was visiting a blog called the The Junior Society where I would often find new and interesting things that got me jazzed. Then I saw it. A story about a young artist from Saskatchewan by the name of Heather Benning who transformed an old abandoned farmhouse on the plains of Manitoba into a life size dollhouse. She removed the exterior walls on the backside of the house and restored and staged the rooms just as she imagined they may have appeared in the 1950's and 60's when the house was being lived in. Some things just get to me and this was one of those things.  For Heather the impetus for this amazing project was a childhood memory of playing house in an old structure similar to the one she used in her artwork.  I'm always thankful for artists like Heather that manage to blow my mind with their ideas and ambition.

The last dollhouse in the studio is the first one you see when you enter.  A crusty white patina on the exterior sets off the rich red roof.  The facade completely removes exposing many small rooms.  I forgot to mention that this house and the first one are wired for low voltage lighting.  How cool is that?  I think I need to make a video called "put a light in it".
Did you have a dollhouse when you were little?  What was it like?

Picture of Heather Benning's Dollhouse via Ohdeedoh


  1. I love doll's houses too, and the older the better. My father was a carpenter so I was lucky to have lots of handmade toys as a child. One Christmas he made me what seemed to be a huge doll's house that opened at the front and back, fully decorated and furnished 70's style. I loved it, played with it for years then gave it away to a Romanian charity when I was older.
    I wish I'd kept it now!

  2. Love your post! That real house designed to look like a dollhouse is really something to marvel! The closest thing to a dollhouse that I had was the Fischer Price house. I loved it though.

  3. That's a crazy idea about the old farmhouse! I love old dollhouses and have some for sale in my shop.

  4. Wonderful dollhouse. I love this dollhouse and you have great talent. I appreciate you for this. I like the these ideas. Keep sharing!
    Debt Help

  5. I love vintage as well as dollhouses so I got a double treat! Thanks for sharing


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