Saturday, May 2, 2009


As promised in my last post, I am now going to post pictures and write about our attempt to do a 1/12th scale model of the Dubois Grocer's shop. It is a real shop and can be found on the Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg. The facade was completed in Peter Kendall's class so our first chore was to create the bare shelves and counters in the shop. Once those were done, we began to create the items that would fill the shop. Tom did so much lathe work creating items for the shelves. Many things which appear to be ceramic or glass are really wood which were then painted by me and often completed with labels from my computer searches. The internet was an invaluable source for me in doing this project because I found so many appropriate labels to use. Early on in this project, I saw Jane Graber at a Tom Bishop show in Ft. Lauderdale. I purchased a number of pieces from her incredible selection of pottery and ordered more. Her bird bottles are a familiar sight in Williamsburg and they are seen in most of the real shops in the town. Tom later tried his luck at making a bird bottle on the lathe and it turned out quite well. We used some of his lathe bottles to fill up a shelf or two. However, whenever we put a bird bottle, front and center, we used one of Jane's authentic ones. Some of Jane's Colonial mugs are shown in the first picture...the mugs are sitting of the floor awaiting a postion on a shelf. Many of the bottles in the shop are done on the lathe with labels from the computer. I have a number of catalogs from Colonial Williamsburg and that gave me more ideas of things to put on the shelves. I ordered blown glass Shrub glasses from Ferenc Albert. He calls his glasses 18th Century glasses and I suspect that is to ensure that he does not infringe on the actual terminology used by Williamsburg. The Colonial lady who runs our shop was made by the London Company and was purchased for me by my daughter at a shop in New York. This was a fun project. I was indebted to Peter Kendall for the class in which the idea was born and also for his help when I aked him for additional bricks to finish the bottom of the shop. Peter had used bricks from a source in England and I needed additional ones so that all along the bottom of the shop were the same. A few words about the pictures which I will add shortly: We tried as much as possible to keep everything as it was in the original shop and some details were available to us because of the pictures we took in Williamburg. The door to the shop was done with wood placed diagonally and we did the same with our door. We took a picture of the window display from outside the shop and duplicated the display in our shop. Tom made the chandelier as a copy of the original. Once again the lathe came in handy as he used it to do the wooden bulb at the bottom of the fixture. Now for some pictures.

As a final thought on this project, in retrospect, I wish we had checked to see what was behind the curtain in the shop. That is, what was upstairs, downstairs and in the back room? I think I would have liked to do an accurate duplication of the shop, not just the shop itself,but all of the building. There is a lovely old chimney that would have been interesting to recreate, but alas, we didn't do that so the shop is not a true duplication.

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