It’s a pleasant Monday morning here, the suns out, it’s warm and I’m fortunate enough to be sitting outside and planning my next Shelfie 3 moves. This weekend just gone I was sitting at a mosaic table and chairs, the top made from many many glass sections, the workmanship and endeavour required to make it immediately struck a chord with both the artist and modeller in me.
It’s times like this I often think about how we as modellers join the dots, and using a wide range of material bring them together to make an ‘image’, our own form of mosaic. If we take the picture above, the lighting is from commercial cabinet lights, baseboard is a mix of Tim Horn picture frame boards, DIY store MDF, and timber supplies pine strip wood. The trees are plastic armatures, plugged into building insulation foam, the track Peco Bullhead, Signals from Ratio, and the DMU from Bachmann
Much as a traditional artist does with a mosaic of bringing together similar or different materials to make the image, we as modellers do the same thing. In the image above I’ve added more components, playing around and moving them, adding, subtracting pieces until the picture falls into place. I already have my framework of the image, the baseboards and physical dimensions, footprint, height and depth. I too have determined what the finished ‘piece’ will represent, but not necessarily how it will look in the final format. Much the same with Shelfie 4, Maple River illustrated below, the picture frame and concept is established, it’s now the ‘mind on’ and ‘hands on’ part of production.
Often people ask is our hobby an art form, I’ve always been of the opinion that it is. Art is sometimes viewed one dimensionally, that piece is just a drawing, painting or sculpture using one medium. But of course there’s other formats, installation immediately coming to the fore.
Then for us who exhibit, we take our artwork to exhibition, to show our contemporaries, and the general public our endeavours, sometimes to critical acclaim, sometimes to failure if the layout stops working for example. It’s all part of our journey.
Perhaps next time the question crops up, the answer is yes the hobby is an art. A layout can be argued to be a three dimensional mosaic, be it a line wolf modellers effort or a collaborative team.
So, looking at a coffee table. Odd isn’t it where our inspiration can come from?