Model Making - final cabinet and objects

Updated: Jan 19


Tutorial with Oscar – thinking of making my cabinet less objective and more subjective. How can I recreate or represent the childhood excitement and adrenaline created by opening the cabinet and handling the objects? I want to keep the cabinet structure the same – the most ingrained part of my memory is the dark wood and the floral wallpaper at the back, so will keep these fundamental elements. However, I can play around with the contents to see what would represent such a feeling.

Idea of miniature – the cabinet seemed huge when I was small, but now I’m big I want to make the cabinet miniature and switch things around.

Deconstructed my paper model to form a template (see image below) - used to cut the pieces out of foam board so that the cabinet holds its shape better.

The objects I put inside will be abstract, demonstrating that the contents of the cabinet weren’t important to me as a child, more the fragility and being banned from handling them. I don’t want the objects inside the cabinet to look perfect or pristinely made, the things kept inside were always old and chipped/scratched/tarnished, so I want the same organic feeling to the things I make. Although I might not recreate the same ‘aged’ look, the idea of decay through the fragility of the things will be present – if dropped or handled heavily, some of the made objects could be likely to break.

The objects will be made from inexpensive everyday materials – not only to lend itself to model making and thus the brief, but also demonstrating that the objects held by the cabinet were essentially worthless. They hold great sentimentality to my mum but mean nothing to anyone else. I think they are beautiful objects, but they don’t mean much to me, except in relation to the mystery of the cabinet.


Finished the making of the cabinet – happy with how it has turned out. Although it’s not a pristine model, I like some of the rough edges as the real cabinet is very old and has lots of dents and scrapes from over the years. The wallpaper at the back was made by using a patterned roller and acrylic paint. It's very effective and looks highly decorative, similar to the pattern I remember.

Objects to go inside cabinet:

Made a spherical form out of thin wire – the shape is very easy to distort when handled which I like. When handled the viewer is will be careful of squashing and distorting the shape, handling it with the delicacy of tissue paper. It has two spiral pieces hanging in the middle inspired by the light on a firefly, ‘illuminating’ the form and almost like two little eyes watching to make sure the object is handled delicately.

Object 2 – wanted to have the element of play represented within this piece. Although not like most toys, the cabinet was often something I incorporated into games as a child. Instead of making a physical toy, I wanted to play with materials to create the second object. I took some plastic tubing and fed through various embroidery threads, playing with the colours and knotting/plaiting the threads together.

Object 3 - I wanted to employ the element of play again with my third object. I also wanted to make something in metal/wire to represent all the silverware that my mum kept in the cabinet. This shape was created by intuitive making, using a combination of flat and round nose pliers and a thick wire. The shape and appearance changes depending on how the object is handled, allowing a childlike imaginative possibility. I really like this shape and it looks like something that would have caught my attention as a child.

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