A Castle in Miniature

   by Kathleen McCollum for Build A Dream (2014)

I used the kit's box top to make the base of my castle area. I cut forms from scrap paper to get the dimensions of the buildings I wanted to include in my space. I wanted the castle to look authentic, so I incorporated a huge stone that represented the rocks the castle was built on. Additionally, since there wasn't much clay to use, I wanted to incorporate an element that would take up some space on the castle walls so I wouldn't run out of clay. The materials I used most were: plaster of paris, clay, fabric, most of the wooden pieces, and the solder wire. I flattened the solder wire on an anvil with a hammer to make the door hinges, door handle and the metal bands around the barrels. I used the wood pieces for carving the handcart and thrones and I split some to make the wooden front door, the design elements on the stables and the banner pole and crosspiece for the flat on the tourney field. To make the fleur de lys above the main door, I pressed an earring into a ball of clay, mixed up the plaster dust that covered my workspace and tamped the dampened dust mixture into the form. I used a bit of the foam ear from the kit to cut the form of a traveler knocking on the castle door. The tree is piece of sponge we were given mounted on top of wooden dowel with a piece of the solder wire affixed for branches, covered with bits of remaining clay and painted with fall colors.

It was fun to work on and challenging to craft.