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Golden leaf and a fairy tale castle

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  • Golden leaf and a fairy tale castle

    This is a project that I started when my daughter was born. I made it for her crèche, which was in our marbling studio. I used to run a craft workshop and we used a large amount of 3 mm greyboard, this fairy tale castle was made from these off cuts.

    It had 16 different pathways that led from top to bottom, it was based on the idea of the old Victorian marble run, but our marble was a 1 inch diameter steel ball bearing.

    The castle had electricity; I had to have a transformer made for it as when on full load the castle drew 9 amps. It had lots of lighting in the form of bi metallic flashing lamps.

    It had 12 electric motors, these came on when the ball bearing turned a tight corner and was flung out to make contact with copper strips, these motors powered the lift mechanism which returned the ball bearings to the top once more, and a sort of windmill, as well as opening and closing windows in the turrets.

    Lastly around the topmost turret a golden dragon "flew" round and round (suspended on very thin piano wire).

    As I said it took 7 years to complete, I couldn't work on it 7 days a week of course, but I found several hours each week.

    Some way into the making of the castle I realised that it could never leave the room it was being built in, it was getting far too big, it ended up 11 feet high and took up 5 square yards of floor space.

    I "gilded" the tops of the turrets and the pathways themselves with a concoction of bronze powder in lacquer and imitation gold leaf, my golden leaf.

    Finally we made the decision to leave the UK and move over here to the South West of France, the castle could not come with us, indeed as I predicted it was far too big to leave the room.

    I broke it up myself and threw all the chunks out of the window into the yard below, I stacked it up and set fire to it, a sort of Viking burial, funnily enough it was not so hard to do.

    Eden, my now 13 year old daughter, grew up in a colourful creative atmosphere, the castle literally towered over her as she grew up, she has never forgot it, I doubt she ever will.

    For DIY gilding and antique finishes to gold leaf.
    For the esoteric & unusual in bookbinding

  • #2
    wow...that's truly a labour of love

    A mind is like a only functions when open


    • #3
      That's amazing, I would have loved to own such a castle when I was growing up. What a shame that it had to be broken up. So much love and work had obviously gone into it!

      Wood Tattoos
      Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)


      • #4
        Wow.. I think I would have had to abscond for the day whilst someone else dismantled and dispensed with it. I could not have put all those years into it and then destroyed it. These projects sometimes become your child, like your family, to be loved and nurtured don't they. I'll bet every kid in the neighbourhood knew of it.
        God helps them that help themselves.


        • #5
          Oh that sounded lovely. I would love to have seen it in all its glory!!!!! Pity you didn't try and sell it or give it to a good home!!!! Maybe a hospital. But how you have got it out of the house..................... Sue xx


          • #6
            wow that was amazing dont think i could of dismantled it after spending that much time on it.
            Jan xx



            • #7
              thats fantastic well done
              Tina xx
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              • #8
                Thats just amazing. It would have broken my heart to dismantle it and I could never have burned it.

                My son is now 17 years old and he still has some of his lego models on a shelf in his room although the huge box of loose lego has long gone. Don't know who is the worst hoarder - him or me.

                Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns

                ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~


                • #9
                  That is amazing - your daughter will have some wonderful memories of it to treasure!
                  Cathy xx
                  I don't have a short attention span, I ... Ooh look, there's a chicken!


                  • #10
                    BURT IT!!! you belong in france


                    • #11
                      Burt it?

                      Burt it?

                      Yes after 4 years here I know I belong in France

                      For DIY gilding and antique finishes to gold leaf.
                      For the esoteric & unusual in bookbinding


                      • #12
                        Hehe - that's wonderful!

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