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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shop at Pennicott's

You already have the address,  now you know the name of the best (okay, only) ladies boutique on my worktable.  Pennicott's at 214 High Street is the place to go for sophisticated fashions and accessories.  The proprietor, A.L. Pennicott inheritted the business from her slightly eccentric spinster aunts and has since extensively modernised the shop's decor to be bang up to the minute.  The minute in this case is sometime in the mid 1950s.  Above each of the ground floor windows is a simple yet bold sign proclaiming the name of the establishment.  The signs are made from cardboard cut to fit in the purpose designed hollow above each window.  The card was painted deep green and foam letter stickers were painted gold and then pressed onto the cardboard.

With the 'bones' of the dowstairs sorted last week, this week I worked on the upper floor.  While the ground floor will concentrate on gowns, the upper floor will house all the accessories needed to accompany them.  A display counter runs along the left wall.  This is made of two parts, the first being a ready-made high counter that was hanging about and the second being made of balsa wood and a few tiny turnings.

In the middle of the floor is a round display stand.  This was made from chipboard scrapbooking swirls and circles cut from balsa wood.  A similar stand runs along the side of the stairwell, this one made with some jewellery findings in place of the balsa wood.  I raided my box of furniture and found some suitable display shelves to line the back wall and a seat to sit against the front wall.  This space still needs some extra shelves on the wall behind the counter and some stair rails, but like the downstairs, the basic 'bones' of the room are now in place.

Scattered around the shop are some polymer clay mannequins and busts.  For the most part these were made with the help of my full body female mould.  You can probably tell which ones were freehand without me needing to point them out.

With the shop progressing well, it was time to get back to the much ignored Apothecary.  This stalled at the start of the year when I decided to use clay to make the bricks.  This is a messy, time consuming task that can't be done in stinking hot weather so while we had a cooler change and a long weekend I got to and pulled out the clay and my impress moulds.

The air-dry clay was rolled into a thin sheet and glued onto the walls.  My brick impress mould (made by Malcom's Miniatures) is then press into the clay to create the brick pattern.  Doing this in tight corners and accross and over arched ceilings requires the skill of a contortionist to both reach in and still see what you are doing, but the frustration is worth it.  Short of buying real brick slips (which are expensive and probably just as frustrating) clay is the most effective way to produce a brick look finish that I have found.  Because I wanted the Apothecary's chamber to have a very aged, rustic effect I didn't fuss too much with getting the bricks even.  At this point the dried clay has been painted grey (for mortar) and had a couple of dry brushed coats of brickish red-brown but still needs a few more layers of paint before they are properly finished.

At the moment I am really pleased with how both projects are shaping up, if only I could stop the metallic stripe in Pennicott's wallpaper from reflecting the flash everytime I take a photo!


  1. You have done a great job with those stands, very inventive, and I think the bricks look nicely old and quite realistic.

  2. Your shop is shaping up really nicely! I LOVE those stands you made.... they do have a "Fifties" look to them! And your brick work looks very realistic! (I have been studying different brick making methods lately...!)

  3. the design of the stands are really good, and I loved your busts, looking forward to seeing this and its progress

  4. that brick work is wonderful!..both projects are very well done.

  5. Your new establishment is looking good and the central display stand sits there perfectly - what a great idea. What great fun you're going to have stocking this one!

    I am very impressed with your arched room - it adds such a different dimension to the space. 10/10 for having the patience to brick it!

  6. The round display stand is an original idea.
    Your brick work is fantastic and realistic.
    Bye Faby

  7. You have made a very special shop. It looks terrific!
    Greetings from Lil in Sweden

  8. Me gusta mucho como va progresando la tienda,el expositor que has creado me parece muy original y bonito!!!
    Los ladrillos se ven estupendos!!!

  9. J'ai passé un très bon moment à visiter votre Blog.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. So far everything looks really amazing! great work