Mirror, mirror on the wall?

Remember the wax carving I worked on for Jens Torp's class half a year ago?  Well here is a quick update...   After it was ca...





Remember the wax carving I worked on for Jens Torp's class half a year ago?  Well here is a quick update...   After it was cast in silver I worked on it for four more days and now it is nearly finished!

And yes it is a mirror.  I took the mirror 'glass' out temporarily so the wood you see now is the rosewood backing.  I still have to make the stand for it and little silver hinges.  

I will do a full post on the process of making mirror when I have it completely finished.  I will reveal one thing though....it was not easy!  It is far from perfect, but I am quite pleased with it.

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60 comments

  1. Perfect or not, I can't see any fault with it, sometimes I think we are way too critical of ourselves, we are working in miniature after all with our big hands and tools (speaking to self here as well ;-)

    In any case, the frame looks just wonderful, I love those vines(?) twirling around the frame, well done Josje, I am sure Jens is proud of his student.

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    1. Hi Elga, we all did very well in the class. The others also had beautiful mirrors, all very different of course as we all did our own design. But yes, I think Jens was proud of his students.

      The vines were supposed to be rose vines with roses on them, but the roses were too difficult to do in the wax so now there are just leaves ;-)

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  2. Wonderful! you are a clever student and Mr Thorpe must be overjoyed with you.
    Trust me, I didn't think for one second that it might be easy!
    Have a nice day, Rosanna

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    1. Mainly due to the teching of Jens of course! Thanks Rosanna. Good to hear from you again!

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  3. Hello Josje,
    I can't wait to read that post. The mirror is just spectacular. What counts is that it looks perfect!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac. I have to get some very thin sheet silver to make the hinges first, so I can finish the back. Then I will do the whole post.

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  4. What a great place it is, It's a thrill to finally see the whole of the carving, that we spoke about before. Your words made me think you would struggle, but you've conquered this challenge with 'vlag & wimpel' as we say in Dutch :) Jens can be proud of you! And, Yah, you're your own worst critic. But it's not a bad trait, as it is that unsatisfiable hunger for perfection that got you where you are now. Wonderful to see it now and i can't wait till you show us more of the preparation and building process as well. Well done!! Right up your sleeve!!

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    1. Trust me, it was a struggle! Mainly a struggle with myself as I didn't have the capabilities (yet) which I envisioned when I started, and a struggle with time which meant there are things I could have finished better had I had more time. On the other hand, it is good to have a time restraint as it forced me to make certain decisions.

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  5. too rapid typing on my behalf (blush); 'place' should be 'piece' of course

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  6. Your mirror is fabulous!
    Bye Faby

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  7. It is very beautiful, and in my opinion quite perfect, like everything else you're doing.
    Hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Thank you Wyrna! I only just found your comment (22 January 2013)in the Spam section of my Dashboard. I have no idea why it was in there! Obviously I had not checked the spam section for a while. Sorry about that!

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  8. I remember the first time I cast a carved piece of wax I worked on. It was such a thrill to get it out of the investment in metal. Suddenly you see things that weren't apparent in wax. And you think... Why didn't I do/see this or that. Then you realize metal is much more forgiving then you thought it might be. For me that first time was in my second year of high school. Oooh that was a loooooog time ago.

    You have done an absolutely BEAUTIFUL job and the design is lovely!!!! I am sure Jens was very impressed!!!

    You know you can send waxes off to casting houses. So I hope we will be seeing more metal work in the future from you. Maybe you might like to try turning some carving wax on a lathe someday and incorporating some carving on it. I am thinking about coffee pots/teapots, sugar bowls and creamers. :-)

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    1. Wow what wonderful art classes you had in high school! In Holland you only get some drawing and painting, and maybe some simple woodwork or simple pottery (I never did), but that's it. Never anything as wonderful as wax carving and casting metal! Is that when you became interested in metal work?

      It was an interesting experience to start from scratch and eventually end up with the mirror frame. I enjoyed it, but there is still so much I need to learn. One of the biggest problems I have when I want to make something myself in silver, is that I only have very basic tools like a few files, a drill and a saw. During the classes with Jens, we get to use all of his tools so we don't have to buy them (they can be very pricey!).

      I do like your idea of making something on a lathe (even though I hardly have any experience with that either). And when you mentioned teapots, sugar bowls and creamers, well that started me thinking...!! As you know I just love those!

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  9. Stop it! Just stop it. I'm tired of coming here and being convinced absolutely that you are showing pictures of your real size house! Only after reading the caption to be told that no, in fact these are miniatures that you've made and/or chosen perfectly. Ridiculous! Absurd talent.

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    1. Oh Shelley, too much praise! But thank you anyway ;-) Most of all I have a good teacher, who explains, helps and encourages.
      By the way, I have been dreaming of fishes. Absolutely true!

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  10. Congratulations for your work, the mirror is detailed and perfect.
    Hugs.
    Marisa

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  11. If it is not perfect you sure can't tell from where I sit! I would love to have this in my full sized house!

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    1. Ah, thank you! Well if I'd point them out to you (the mistakes and imperfections) you would see them, but maybe I shouldn't tell now ;-)

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  12. Ahhhh, my goodness! You are so talented! What beautiful work! I'm always so amazed at the things you do. Congratulations on a fantastic job!

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    1. Thank you Lucille! But it is not all my own merit of course, Jens Torp is a good teacher!

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  13. I can belive it was not easy!!
    It is beautiful!
    Mona

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    1. Thank you Mona! Well most things we make as miniaturists are not exactly easy to make, but this was quite a challenge!

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  14. Just to say that you will be the only one to know of any imperfections, to us it is just perfect and I think that items that take a long time to make are even more satisfying- every time you look at them again and think: I made that!

    Congratulations on finishing a beautiful piece!

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    1. That is so true Idske! I may not point out the imperfections now, just keep them to myself , haha!

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  15. It is beautiful, you should be very proud of it and no one else can spot any "imperfections", truly.

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    1. Yes you are right, and I should look at what I did manage to do and not so much at what went wrong. Thanks!

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  16. es precioso, estoy deseando ver el proceso que as seguido
    un abrazo

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    1. Thank you Contar. I will try to be quick about it ;-)

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  17. I can't believe you MADE that gorgeous frame, Josje! I am very curious to learn how on Earth you did it!

    XO,
    John

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    1. It was fun to do John. It is one of those things which I would never have attempted without the classes Jens taught.

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  18. Het is verre van perfect schrijf je.... Ben benieuwd wat je er dan niet goed aan vind. Ik vind hem in ieder geval prachtig je antieke zilveren spiegel.

    Groeten Xandra

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    1. Nou ik vind 'm ook mooi hoor Xandra ;-) Maar de eerste keer dat je zoiets doet zou het natuurlijk heel bijzonder zijn als het meteen perfect was. Ik moet misschien niet zo streng voor mezelf zijn, maar ja, er zitten toch een aantal 'fouten' in die ik liever niet had gezien.

      Hij staat nu een paar dagen op mijn kastje en elke keer als ik er langs loop word ik er blij van. Goed toch ? ;-)

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  19. It's quite incredible Josie, you should feel very proud of it.

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    1. Hi Norma! Well I am happy with it. I just mentioned in the reply above that for the past few days it has been sitting on my cabinet and each time I see it I feel happy. So that's good! ;-)

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  20. Incredible work Josje, it looks so detailed I'm not surprised it was difficult, it really is lovely!

    Fi xx

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    1. Thanks Fi! I really enjoyed working on it!

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  21. It's so beautiful and perfect! It will be interesting to see your post of the process.

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    1. Thank you Minna. I will try to get it finished quickly ;-)

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  22. Oh it's so beautiful! You've sure done a great job---

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    1. Thank you Linda! With your incredible carving skills I could see you doing some amazing work with this process as well. Yes, the wax and silver are very different from wood, but I think you'd quickly master that.

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  23. Very nice ..... so detailed it looks perfect to me.


    Mario

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    1. Thank you Mario. Like I said before, maybe I shouldn't point out the mistakes now and leave you all with the illusion it is perfect ;-)

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  24. You should be pleased with it. I have not tried to cast in silver yet...I haven't the nerve. I look forwards to hearing how you did this.
    -Lucy

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    1. Thank you Lucy, I am very pleased with it! The actual casting itself was done by a specialized company, so we sent of our wax carvings and got the cast silver piece back which then still needs a lot of finishing. The wax piece is lost in the casting process. With so much work we did on the wax pieces, it would be awful to loose a carving while trying to do the casting ourselves. That's why a specialized company is used.

      Do you know how to cast in silver? Why not try a few simple pieces first? You can reuse the silver so the cost would be minimal. When the castings come out satisfactory, you could start casting your more complicated wax carvings.

      I must say though, I spent so much time on the wax carving, I would have been sooooo disappointed if the casting had gone wrong!

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  25. wow Josje, you've done an AMAZING job.. I love it! Far from perfect?? Haha, you're a funny gal... it's pretty perfect to me! You should be very proud, and I'm sure it was very hard, the more reason to be (even more) proud of this fantastic result!

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    1. Thank you Monique! Well I am very happy with it. I think it will look rather nice in one of the bedrooms in my new house.

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  26. Josje, I love it! It is so detailed and intricate!Just a masterpiece!

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  27. De spiegel is fantastisch! Maarruh... wat is er niet perfect aan? Ik vind hem echt heel erg mooi.

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    1. Hoi Hellie! Een beetje laat maar goed... Nou ja, niet perfect, je kent dat wel, er zitten nog allerlei verbeterpunten aan. Ik weet ook wel dat met maar ongeveer drie weken ervaring in het zilverwerk over de jaren, ik niet moet zeuren ;-) Maar ik vergelijk toch altijd met de standaard die Jens heeft. Moet ik niet doen natuurlijk, haha!
      Weet je al wat je gaat doen in C.? Of weet je dat pas in januari?

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  28. Oh, now that is some silverware! Congratulations, you did a fantastic job. I can't see any mistakes at all, it looks perfect!

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    1. Thank you Jonquil! Well, you know how it is, you can always see all of the faults in your own work.

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  29. I really love the process and detail achieved, the vine screams PATIENCE at me, you must be so pleased with it. Did you remember to put your initials on it?

    I love your sofa, and the feet, it was the feet I noticed first, I knew what they were, but they work so well. I think putting a modern sofa in a period room works very well. It somehow makes the all the little details clearer.

    The gilding tutorial was well worth the technical effort, but I am still not ready to open my "flying" copper leaf book again, you make it look easy, but I am tempted to try again, I think the fan paintbrush is what I need, and to stop breathing :D I also have the correct reading voice for your blog now, which is a funny little bonus :D

    Regards,
    Sarah.

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    1. Hello Sarah, Thank you for your kind comments! I don't think I have put my initials in the mirror frame. I had wanted to put them on the wax carving so they would be cast into the silver, but I forgot. I can stil carve my initials into the silver at the back. I should do that, shouldn't I?

      Have another go at gilding! I think the key to it all is to do it slowly and calmly. It really isn't difficult!

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