Jean of Emergent Dance

Here's again stuff from more of the archive side! This model, Jean of the Dance Eternal, was build to accompany a series of articles written for New Elementary last summer. It was recently published on the second part of it, so here's a bit closer look, with more photos. There isn't any genius groundbreaking idea behind the build; just a dancer on smart blue-and-yellow dress. Simple, elegant, flowing thing. The seed part for the article was Wedge 4 x 3 Open with Cutout and 4 Studs (47755), a veteran of many Samurai helmets and so on - here embedded on the sides of the torso, taking all out of it's myriad of curves. 1x2 curved slope - a baby bow -  even demonstrates the concave of it. Another, more usual seed part is 4x6 inverted wedge slope, nine of which make the hem. They're connected with Mixel ball joints. The stucture is suprisingly sturdy.

The arms were laboratory of joints. They use light bley 1x1 round plates with bar - I've later got plenty of tan ones and naturally changed them - and the joints are made with 1x2 round plates. Such usual stud-to-antistud connections are not the sturdiest possible, but bear the weight of arms just nicely. The legs are further developed from Magadril of Dandelions; the kneecap is sturcturally part of the lower leg, which make the leg flow better than usual separate knee unit solution. The interface of dark bley stocking and tan skin is hidden behind the boat studs. Mundane dark bley balanced the vibrant blue and bright light orange well.  

This MOC ended up having wonderful balance! There is not any loosely twisting and spinning bits, all the joints are tight and precise, and the arms have very natural range of movements - not to mention the long, simple ponytail, ideal for fine-tuning the balance, and showing the motion. It can be seen on the set of photos, but I promise it is not the last you will see of Jean the Emergent Dance. But that will be another story!

Next up, more architecture!



Villa Korpkuusi

 So it's March, once again. I'm sure that somewhere in the community these is a thing called "marchitecture" going on. I might center around mini-scale cool and polished models, but I wasn't distracted by that, so here's little woodland villa, designed as something like "dream vacation dwelling". This build was rather fast, with aim to create somewhat organic, expressive building, cozily crammed, rich in textures and weirdly constructed. 

What makes a dream cottage here? Steep roof makes homely feeling, according to Christopher Alexander, the author of pattern language. A tar-black shingle roof (using CCBS armour panels) can be made with local materials and has pleasant pattern. Low ceilings emphasize nest-like atmosphere and reduce the volume of heating (there is a fireplace inside - note also the beautiful smoke from the chimney). According to the universal laws of traditional building, there are units of different height and thus hierarchy (the tower being at the top, there had to be a tower). The hierarchy creates feeling of place and order without being too strict or authoritarian. The visible boulder masonary (cyclopic bond, fitting for this blog) is a concrete manifestation of real materials and natural forces.

That's it, philosophically speaking! It is inspired by sculptor Emil Wikström's atelier building Visavuori in Sääksmäki, Valkeakoski, not so far from where I live. The atelier, designed by Wikström himself, has a wonderful observatory tower and steep shingle roofs. Another inspiration was Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen's white, red-roofed villas from 1898-1904, including Miniato in Espoo and destroyed Suur-Merijoki near Vyborg. However, this is much smaller, with white plastered surface only in the tower and the rest built with natural stone and timber. I recently bought some 1x2x5 bricks in medium nougat, and they made such nice timbers laid horizontally. Actually, pretty much everything here is laid horizontally, except maybe the tower - and that made building quite challenging.  

The landscape was a result of fervent improvisation. I had bought plenty of dark orange bricks from LUGBULK, and wanted to try them to capture colour of dry forest bottom with lot of pine needles... I think it worked okay, not that realistic, but fitting for the bit twisted feel achieved with strange building techniques. The olive green moss patches and stones hide the flatness. The trees are very small, but there's lot of them. Some sort of absurdity and stylised-ness was the aim again. Actually, they are not that unrealistic for small young spruces; and somehow the make the house feel bigger. I chose this technique mostly because I had lot of those new bar-connecting grass stalks around.

The doors are very small, as entries for this sort of cottage doesn't have to be imposing. It is okay to bow a bit while entering! The main door is an old one pre-dating minifigures, while the balcony door and the door under the tower (mostly hidden on photos) are brick-build, and unable to open. There isn't many choices for beautiful and interesting door designs so I tend to brick-build them. Inside, there are mostly basic stuff - small table with candle, armchair, legless bed on the gallery, wood-powered stove, the fireplace... The stairs are presumably on the "other" side of this house, cut in half. Adding a ladder for the sake of it didn't feel interesting enough.

 And of course, the figs! This is the cottage of dreams, so on the balcony, enjoying the view and breating fresh air there are me (bearded and all) and my partner Pinja!

This is it for the Villa Korpkuusi! Next up a character, OR another, even bigger house!