Real life, full-size fans come in all shapes and sizes and they are made from all sorts of materials. In fact, they vary tremendously.
There are, however, two important facts about miniature fans.
- They are very, very difficult to photograph – 63 photos and this was the best of them !
- It is very, very difficult to find a print of a fan that does not lose its detail in miniature.
Below are a couple of superb (professional) photographs of very beautifully decorated painted fans.
The smaller fan (top right in both photos) is 12th scale (on my computer) and look how the detail vanishes in miniature!
Some people prefer to use scraps, like the one below –
Scraps are often boldly designed and can work very well, but rather than using prints (of any sort), I find it much, much easier to design and paint my own fans.
If you would like to make a fan, you may well find this more satisfying too.
Which brings me to a third important point about miniature fans, and the question that I am most often asked –
Are they difficult to make?
The answer is yes, and no.
I make sure I have a good night’s sleep, a large breakfast, and lots of daylight, before I make them. (This is the truth)
I have learnt from bitter experience that I cannot answer the phone and paint them at the same time, that the paper I use makes a HUGE difference to the outcome, and that it is vitally important to let the glue and paint dry completely before attaching the tassels.
They take TIME, lots and lots of TIME.
In some ways it is easier to make a batch of several fans because then you can be working on one while another dries – I have had practice and I can make six printed fans in one day. (Wow !)
One painted fan takes me all day.
But, getting back to the matter in hand –
The fans that I put on Etsy are made from professionally produced prints, and the print quality is better than anything that I can manage at home.
I made the example in the slide show with a home produced print because I wanted to be fairly certain that if anyone wanted to make this particular fan for themselves they would have a decent image to use.
The original fan is French and the figures are supposed to be of Marie Antoinette, and her companions, walking in the grounds of the Trianon, but they are so very, very small that they really could be anyone at all.
I chose this fan because I liked the overall design and the rich colours. I also thought that the colour of the tassels could be varied to suit different needs.
Below is the pdf for image. If you decide to make it, I hope that it will work well for you.
A walkthrough for making the fan (with tassels) is in the slideshow below.
To escape from the slideshow at any time press the Esc key (usually top left) on your keyboard.
I think this blog entry should be called: “How to Make a (printed) Fan (but not take photographs)”