Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Making a sofa - Karen Benson Miniatures

Karen Benson Miniatures

Sleigh Sofa Kit

You might know Karen Benson through her Quarter Source site where she sells her own work and the  work of others.  She also has this site where she just sells her own creations.  This is the link I have attached to the heading.  You can easily find Quarter Source from there, if you want to, when you've finished browsing Karen's work.

Good clear packaging - all the information you could need (other than finished size - haven't found anyone doing that yet).  Her kits are also packed in lovely little boxes which I can't bear to throw away but I have no idea what I will do with them.

Such a wealth of information inside.  There is a strip of paper loaded with all kinds of tips about making her kits. There are extensive instructions and clear diagrams to help you identify the pieces being referred to.

Also, like yesterday's kit, these are all completely cut pieces, so no tabbing to do.

I fee very mean whining that I could have done with a couple of assembly diagrams during the 'build'; her instructions are crystal clear but I am such a visual person so I found I had to read very carefully several times and do a sort of mock up dry build to check I was going the right way.  I am sure she has written the instructions down to the lowest common denominator so I have no idea where that puts me in the pecking order of humanity.

The procedure wasn't a struggle but it was a nice challenge.

I am going to do a bit of an aside here as I have found a couple of useful implements as I have gone along.  I have always used a toothpick for fine lines of glue or paint or clearing up but then I began to wonder why I was preserving these tiny brushes other than they cost me 15p each.  Poor logic that - if I use them I won't have them and will have to spend £1.54 for a packet of ten.  So I tried one for applying glue and one for cleaning up excess - they are terrific.  They do wash afterwards so actually they will last a while.

The other useful bit of kit is a very small and fine palette knife for easing up (still wet) glued pieces away from the working surface or right-angled jig so they don't stick there permanently.  This isn't a dirty knife, it is reflecting something?

When it came to padding the seat and the back of the sofa I really did struggle.  Eventually I decided that the end result was too bulky using the wooden cut-outs and the padding supplied.  So I made a cardboard template, attached the padding to that and covered that.  (with very, very fine silk)

I also simplified the shape of the back piece as I couldn't manage to make the complex shape given.  I think this was a right decision although thicker card would probably have been better.

I am not thrilled with my end result, but this is all about learning right now.  I have two chairs to go with this sofa so I will either end up with three pieces of furniture I am not thrilled with or a not-great sofa and two wonderful chairs.  We shall see.

Sorry Karen not to do justice to your piece.  I think I should have picked a simpler shape at this stage.

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