18 October 2012

Hobbit Hill, my interpretation.

Well I'm still in Johannesburg, working hard to catch up on my outstanding rent and so on. Things are going to have to change in one way or the other, my poor little animals, all alone on the farm without Dad to show them lovies. Anyway, I thought you may like to see a little project I'm working on for my niece, Hobbit Hill.
playing with wood, Yay!

This is what I prefer doing when it comes to carpentry. A bit of creative licence and  making  things.
When you have access to a whole woodworking factory that specializes in creativity and apply your own artistic skills, something pretty cool has to come out of it and, with today's access to pictorial references, anything is possible. This is our interpretation of Hobbit Hill. (Hobbiton from Lord of the rings by J.R. Tolkien, another South African.)
Rough drawings
These are only facades at this stage which must still have the return walls added with roofs and then soil over them. It's going to take quite a bit of spade work to get them to fit properly but I think it's going to be amazing. Each little house will, of course, have a garden with picket fence, paving stones and things like benches and other interesting garden features, all in miniature. Most of the work I do nowadays is pretty much high end corporate and marketing orientated, so this is really fun to do.
We are using waterproof shutter ply for the main structure and some of the features such as the door surrounds and window bezels while the bricks are made from 6 mil pine ply, painted, spattered and then mixed up so they become random when applied.
fitting bricks.

For the plaster and pointing between the bricks we went with tile adhesive mixed with wood glue and bonding liquid. Plastering around the woodwork and in the tight little places was quite challenging because of how difficult it is to remove this mix once it dries just a little bit. We landed up using wet cloths to clean up the bricks and wood, very carefully so as not to damage the plaster where we wanted it to stay.
Cleaning up the pointing and plaster work.
 A little paint work to finish off the plaster and stain for the woodwork and we're almost there.
With the door I routed a few lines into the backboard to make it look like planking, then painted with a dark green gloss enamel paint and then an aqua marine blue acrylic over the top while the enamel was still wet. This forces the acrylic paint to crack and pull apart in places leaving an aged and weathered effect. The door was finished before the woodwork was applied, very nice.
To complete the first facade I needed to age it a bit. I don't want the whole thing to look brand new, it is a Hobbit house after all. The ageing was done with a rag, spritzer bottle and some raw umber tint which I mixed with bonding liquid to make it last.
One Hobbit house in the making.
How cool is that?
I will be posting about the rest of the process as we go along. Right now it's time for me to do some serious work for the South African exhibition industry.
God bless, I'll be back, Geoff.


  1. I love this Geoff! Will follow your progress. I am making a Cat Condo for my son's cat following Martha Stewart's directions after her article on stimulating and making life more interesting for our indoor pets, but this is just from three boxes, not as intricate as your project.

  2. Looks amazing! I love the Lord of the Rings, such a good series.


  3. Oh Geoff the Hobbit house is going to be amazing when finished! You do great work my friend, you are blessed with a talent to be sure!
    Love Di ♥

  4. Geoff, What fun! God has given you some very creative talents.

    Thank you for sharing the photos. I love to see what you are working on.

    Many blessings.