It used to worry me when people asked me if a handmade miniature item was a limited edition and then look disappointed when I said, “No”.
I finally came to the conclusion that, as there is a seemingly unlimited supply of Barbie dolls and Lego – not to mention Chinese manufactured miniatures – available, most of us have become used to the manufactured world in which we live and no longer realise that it actually takes time to make something by hand.
Think about it for a moment… there are 24 hours in a day, during which time the average person needs to sleep, eat, cook, shop, clean themselves and their home and earn a living.
Take me for example – I can, on a good day, work for 6 hours actually making something and will spend another 4 hours in thinking, researching and testing ideas… I will also have to find time to do accounts, go to the post office and order supplies etc…
Not much time left for anything else is there?
This week I made three theatres and I timed the process and then worked out how long it would take me to make one – which gives me a guideline as to how much I me going to have to charge for an item.
Now I knew these were complicated, but even I was surprised at the effort involved –
- 3 hours to cut out the (far too many) characters and mount them on card and wire
- 1 hour to cut out, reinforce and assemble the (10) wings – and check fit
- 1 hour to make the box (it is a NICE box) and cut out the (7 pieces) of background scenery – and check fit
- Approximately 2 and a half hours to cut out and make up the theatre – not counting drying time and there is a great deal of drying time involved
- Plus printing time – and it does take time to switch on the computer, find files and print
It therefore take approximately 1 day to make 1 theatre (working non-stop).
So if I worked non-stop for a year I could, in theory, make 365 and if I worked for 10 years (non-stop) that would be 3,650 theatres…
…and this is not going to happen…
Limited Edition, no – Limited Numbers, yes.
As a matter of interest the miniature version of this Victorian toy theatre started out with the same faults as the original would have had –
- The pediment was a bit to small for the top of the proscenium – I resized it and then learned that Mr Pollock had done exactly the same thing when he issued his own reprints of the original theatres
- The side wings always bent in full-size real life – it was the way they were constructed – and they bent in miniature too ( I wondered if they would as card can be incredibly tough in short lengths) – and although I have added a strengthening bar, they are still the most fragile part of the set.