Time to think about the architecture enthusiasts on your gift list. Luckily I have some suggestions! In 2011 British brothers Robert and Gavin Paisley founded a business called Chisel and Mouse to make a few plaster models of significant buildings. Fast forward to today and the business has burgeoned so that now their offerings include a wonderfully wide range of designs, from Eliel Saarinen’s Helsinki train station to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House. My kind of company! Their architectural sculptures are made of plaster with fine details like window frames etched in metal. According to their website: “We combine traditional sculpting with CAD and 3D printing to produce our collection.” (Aha! This is the clue to the name of the company!) Models are priced around $215
apiece. And they can even model your own home! Frank Lloyd Wright’s Winslow house from 1893 caught my eye — an early example of his Prairie Style with hipped roof and recessed band around the eaves. The model is 4 inches high, 10 inches wide, 4 inches deep and weighs roughly 5 lbs. Something for your desk as
you plan your dream house! Or why not dream big — in a diminutive sort of way — and acquire a part of Buckingham Palace, at 10 inches high, 7 inches wide, and 4.5 lbs. I myself am rather partial to the house that modernist architect William
Lescaze — designer of the famous PSFS skyscraper in Philadelphia — built for himself in Manhattan in 1934. It’s probably a little too minimalist for me to live in but would be fun to live with!
If you’re not house-hunting but still a little hungry for something seasonal, how about building a gingerbread house. Houseplans.com CEO Jamie Roche and his two children found inspiration in our Plan 896-2 by Jay Shafer and his
Four Lights Tiny Houses, one of which is shown above, and made this version.
The gum for the roof is a good idea — otherwise known as a neoprene sealer — and the candy wheels make me hungry. The truck is extra and not edible. To follow the templates for building it click here.
Check out Jamie’s previous design based on a Sea Ranch cabin from last year. Or if you
are even more ambitious you can build the Beach House Plan 479-1 designed by Peter Brachvogel, AIA and Stella Carosso. Architectural designer and
Houseplans staffer Monika Strunk made this version. Delightful and delicious! Why not take yours to the Planning Department — maybe it will help expedite things!…You can follow her Templates and Directions on Time To Build. She also offers a few tips: The gingerbread house is drawn at 1/4″= 1’0″ scale, which in real life-scale will yield a 0.25-inch gingerbread wall. (Keeping the gingerbread thickness consistent while rolling out the dough was the biggest challenge). She used pre-made frosting that came with two different decorating nibs (star-shaped and basic); and 1.5 batches of gingerbread dough from a Martha Stewart recipe. It took approximately 2.5 hours to assemble and decorate — most of the time was spent baking and cutting.
So are you ready to fire up the workshop?! Maybe have a little rum-infused eggnog while waiting for the oven to pre-heat…that’s the spirit!