If you could see me now

“One of the main reasons why poisoning became such a common means of murder in the Victorian era was, quite simply, ease of access…”

From Arsenic, Cyanide and Strychnine – The Golden Age of Victorian Poisoners, British Library:

https://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2014/09/arsenic-cyanide-and-strychnine-the-golden-age-of-victorian-poisoners.html

Handtinted wetplate by Julie Loen.

The Bad Mice…

My favorite book as a child was The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. I was very fascinated by the delicious food those mice found in the dollhouse, and how terribly angry they got when they realized they couldn’t eat it…

Much of my inspiration for making this kitchen and pantry diorama was the wish to create this kind of food!

 

 

The stove

The stove was the first thing I made for the kitchen. It’s sculpted from Supersculpey, then painted and stained.

 

Making the cook

The fabric I chose for the apron, was very old and delicate. It is from a child’s garment, with a tag sewn inside.

 

The cupboard and dishes

I built the cupboard from old pieces of wood.

I wanted to fill it up with a nice set of dishes, inspired by the ones my great grandparents had. I sculpted in Supersculpey, a very fine polymer clay that you bake in a regular stove. I then painted them and finished with a few coats of varnish.

Making the Pantry

Using an old cigar-box , cardboard, coffee-sticks, I created a pantry that would look about the same as I remember my great-grandmothers pantry,  where she would take me for cookies and candy.

 

The Murderess…

 Filling up the pantry

Sculpting and painting all sorts of jars, bowls and trays was a week of intense work .

Homage to Beatrix Potter

When making the pantry, I wanted to include something from The Tale of Two Bad Mice, one of the two Potter-books I owned as a child.

I created  copies of her jars of rice, sago, current and tapioca.

 

Wetplates by Julie Loen

 Details

I made a lot of things for this diorama. Sculpted from Supersculpey, or made with a combination of bits and pieces after my grandparents… An old lightbulb becomes a lantern. Buttons can be used for lids.

The coffee-grinder

A piece of broken jewellery, a metal button, old pieces of wood painted and stained, a little sculpting.

Inspiration images for house servants’ uniforms

I always do a lot of research.  Clothes, food, furniture, colors, habits… It is something I am very used to, because of my work as a costume designer.

It’s a big part of the fun.

The sketches

I usually make a few simple sketches when starting when staring on a new scene.

 If You Could See Me Now

The title for this diorama is an homage to one of my favorite writers, Peter Straub, and his excellent ghost-story If You Could See Me Now, 1977.