Monday, September 26, 2011

What is Next for Wes Christensen, architect and modern mini house pioneer.

The Christensen Family

"My lovely and very supportive wife has put up with all my hobbies since we met, she and my three children have really taken an interest in the Modern Miniature world since this endeavor began." Wes said.

 "My oldest daughter and I have been designing and re-designing an ultimate mini house for her, but she is a lot like her dad in that a design is never finished!!

                                       My shop

At this time we are living in Spanish Fork, Utah and I am working for a commercial Architectural firm in Provo Utah. I am designing and overseeing construction of large educational buildings, high schools, elementary and secondary schools and loving every bit of it. However, I love expressing a little creativity in the mini world to help give some variety in my life of design," he concludes.

Thank you, Wes for taking the time to tell us about your work and share your beautiful family with us. As a major "player" of dollhouses I can only underline how good the MH1 is to play in. I find it brings out the best creativity in my designs and I use it more than any other mini house I have. I am so happy to learn all this about it's background. Cheers, CM

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Modern Dollhouse: Creativity with the MH!

The MH1 is easy to play with. Not just for carrying around but for reconstructing any way you want! Above I added an antique Triang facade from #50 that had been ruined and I had spray painted stainless steel in 2009. Also a piece of glass and the top to a conservatory. I have more pictures on my modern design blog but for the moment will show a little more about the triang hack  than on the other blog.

               Before: ruined steel Triang facade, horribly over painted

                   During: sanding off old paint

After: in 2009 when I did this I thought it might be a shock to the Triang Neighborhood. (The house on the left with the apalled brunette neighbor is the actual replacement facade in better shape.) I have to explain because my sentiments on destroying, or making that change to any antique Triang requires explanation.

                       After, added to the MH1

I expanded the interior using vintage German linnoleum from a kitchen roombox, and a rug made from Silpat. Yes dear, that's why it disappeared...

Tomy vintage spraypainted sink
At times I filled in the open space out to the support and added a kitchen.
And the MH1 inspired this masterpiece from Pubdoll.

Made from Legos, no less!
She gave me permission to send you to her blog for more information about this structure and her work with legos.

So the MH1 leads to all kinds of creative formations! Thanks Wes, CM

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lil Wayne and our realities

So I do think it is funny when I google "Myrealitty" I get Lil Wayne, feat Gudda Gudda, Mack Maine- My reality.

Because my computer self corrects the spelling specificially the second "T" in my realiTTy. I wanted "itty" as in itty bitty, as in little. As in Lil'.

And I am just wondering if Lil Wayne ever gets me? Maybe he thinks oh cool design...

 Come on what a good mini blog name is "Lil"? oh yeah. Lil R E Bek ah, Lil Su.. Lil know?

I doubt he is into minis unless it it real mini Mansions... but I was just wondering if he Googled My reality and got Me?
Maybe he makes a typo? I'm just saying.
I won't even go into what I get for "Leftcoast Mini"...

More on the MH1 shortly, I'm just saying..

This is a little palate cleanser, a little "Amuse bouche" between courses.
Update: So Mini Dork said my background was making her crosseyed. Is this better? It is too tame I think? C

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wes Christensen's Modern House 2

all photographs in this post are by Wes Christensen

This is the beautiful MH2. It is 1/6 scale and one of a kind made for an artist at Disney Studios. That made me wonder how many
 MH1' s are out there. Mine is signed by Wes. He said he made 10, and one in 1/24 scale  That delights the collector's heart in me. And there is only 1 MH2!

Wes continues "As far as Miniature influences, I remember being very interested in small scale things. I loved small vehicles, houses, action figures, anything that was “real” or “everyday” but small. I would play for hours with toys called “Adventure people”. (fisher price made them in the late 70’s early 80’s) These were action figures and vehicles of everyday, real, people or occupations that were small. Forest rangers, construction workers, shark hunters, etc. I loved the small version of real things." he said

The importance of play can not be underated! Can it?

Wes says,"I build architectural models as part of my profession and was thinking what other avenues could this model making take me. So, I jumped online and looked up dollhouses and discovered an entire world of great people that collect, buy, decorate, furnish, and inhabit (with mini residents) dollhouses. However, I wasn’t really interested in building small traditional houses I wanted to go modern."

"Then, I thought, I have a design for an awesome house I did for a project in school and would love to implement as my own “big” house someday. So, I designed in the computer MiniHouse2 (MH2). This was a huge mini house that I built and will only build once. It was 36” square and pretty extensive to build. I do admit, it was freaking sweet, for lack of a better term and the buyer was awesome (A fine lady at Disney Toon Studios), however, I am sad to say the next MH2 I build will be full size"

                            I want one. Don't you... Full size!

See Wes Christensen's Flickr stream by clicking on the right of this blog post for more of "The Eye of the Architect" . CM

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eye of the Architect

Wesley Allen Christensen was born in Payson, Utah. He describes his parents as "my dad is an old cowboy and a Barber. He cuts hair at his original barber shop with the spinning pole and game mounts on the wall on Main Street in my home town, and my Mother is a wonderfully passionate woman that gave me my drive and desire to always create. Their talents along with the talents I picked up from my grandpas have formed my artistic creativity and that desire to build and construct".

architectural image by Wes Christensen
          The influence of the West is evident in his work.

 He had 3 brothers and no sisters.

 "As a boy" he continues, "I was always into art and drawing. I seemed to always have a sketch book that I would draw and put down ideas in. I remember being very interested in plastic models as a boy. Cars, Trucks, Planes, boats, anything. I remember my brothers and I would get plastic car models for Christmas and have them built the day they were given to us. A lot of times we would trade parts of our models or use the engine parts on the outside of the cars and come up with our own designs."

                      Digital model by Wes Christensen
                        Digital model by west Christensen
Isn't it amazing how realistic they can be made to look?
Wes explains. "My love for art, drawing, and building things naturally let me to Architecture. I love the design aspect of the profession. I was taught of the importance of a scale model to a design of a building. The real, tangible, aspect of a model can communicate a design or idea to people that aren’t a custom to looking at floor plans and flat elevations. I love building models for projects, if a picture or drawing is worth a thousand words, then a scale model is worth a million. Whenever I am around a model I pick it up, bring it close to my eye, and really “get into” the space. I think this is why so many Miniature collectors love their mini houses. They can decorate, furnish, and make the space their own, and with a camera or their own eye really get into the spaces they work with and bring others into their creations with photography"
architectural model by Wes Christensen

He expresses the intrigue of the model so well. I want to see this from every angle. Of course I want to live in it too... CM

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wes Christensen's Modern House 1

This modern house
model by architect Wes Christensen is my all time favorite house. And that includes my red roofed Gottschalk with the pull down garden and the German late 1800's house Ann Meehan told me is a Christian Hacker. (OK even the adorable Albin Schonherr puppenstuben, not to belabor the point) much.

It is so perfect for modern design. It showcases cutting edge mini furniture like the work of Paris Renfroe, Doris Nathansen of the incomparable minimodernistas, and the Peter Tucker and pinchofpepper I own.

Wes will be commenting each week as we explore this house and  his work and said today,

"I developed MH1 in 2009 in a response to the many requests from people in the Modern Mini world. There are so many choices for traditional or Victorian mini houses on the market and just a small few Modern houses available. When I read this I figured I could design a Mini house, especially a Modern one. So, I worked up a design that was clean and simple (being influenced by the shipping container module from a project I was working on building a guest house out of a shipping container) and MiniHouse1 was born. I posted some computer model images to the modern mini community and the response was wonderful, Wes"

original 1/1 structure
by Wes Christensen, landscape design by Greg Gorby, Tuscon, Arizona

Here is what the MH1 looks like in my house 1/12 scale


It is a sculpture. There must have been something about it being just the right house at the right time because I have really used it over and over again for scenes. It is not too heavy being made in two main parts and I have carried it all over my house, up and down stairs! I think it is the kind of mini house that frames the design and does not impose limits on what you can do in it. It is also not overwhelming. It is a 1/12 scale which is important as my favorite furniture is too. Don't even get me started on how my Paris Renfroe kitchen looks in it...
Since 2009 there has been great growth in mini houses. Yes we thank you pioneer bloggers Mini Modern, Oese, Pubdoll, Annina, Mini Dork etc. and the ancient historians like the Shopping Sherpa and Rebecca... (tongue firmly in cheek) and we are proud of the whole new crop of mini designers and our media darling Call Small who makes us all noticible. We've come a long way babies. (and I haven't even scratched the surface of all the new house designers out there, remember this was from way back in 2009)
but hey this is my original modern love. C