The Godzilla Factor developed as a further aspect of the miniature Greene & Greene/Gamble House interpretation saga—the monster/s (reincarnated as the architect/designers Charles & Henry Greene) that held us in their thrall, nibbling away at our sleep, our lives, our very souls.
We repeatedly cancelled social engagements. I blinded myself to the accumulating household beach sand, and dog and cat hair, and decided to take piano lessons. Noel disappeared into our captors’ brains, sitting up until the small hours, absorbing. We were also committed to design and teach workshops, for which we had to escape the monster and re-focus on smaller pieces. Our life morphed into a juggling act. In ways we looked forward to escaping the grip of the big house, in others we regretted losing the thread of concentration—it always took time to retrace the threads back into the main work and re-fire our passion. Plus, each incursion meant our finish date was pushed back one more time.
There were nights we’d worked so long we’d get slap-happy and take on the roles of Charles–Noel/Charles the dreamer/designer and crazier of the two, and Pat/Henry, the more business side of the duo.
We’d argue along in that vein, sometimes feeling as if we were, actually, them. We’d work and blather until we couldn’t see. Both our progress and frustrations are reflected in my work notes: “Dining room light fixture, even sitting on the floor, shows how the Greene’s textural designs all fit together; woodwork, metalwork, glass, tiles all complementing each other”…Can we finish by June/July for the NAME National Show?…”Were aging as rapidly as the house.”
It wasn’t until July 4 that we admitted to ourselves we couldn’t make the show, 3 weeks away.
1988 marked the beginning of the “last” phase of construction on the 1909 Greene & Greene/Gamble House interpretation. The deadline for completion was again extended into the unforeseeable future. It also marked the time when we admitted we were over our heads financially on the project—we needed our classes to support the balance of the work, which would prolong the project even more. As fate would have it, one more time, we got a break in the form of an invitation to join a miniatures group on a cruise as their guests of honor. The Arnells, the ever-flexible commissioners of the house, were among our shipmates. Their encouragement and excitement for the work-in-progress rekindled our fervor for the job ahead, as well as making it possible for us to continue at the snail’s pace we deemed necessary. Once we knew we wouldn’t go into debt on the project, we enjoyed the sun, the beaches, life-jacket drills, and the labors of all those who cooked and served us fine food, and made our beds. Our dreams again filled with “what next?” and returning (willingly) to Godzilla. We returned to seeing life through Charles & Henry’s eyes.
Note: A more detailed record of the project and how we did it is available in reprints of January, February and March issues of Nutshell News, where I wrote extensively about the project. If they aren’t available through the Dollhouse Miniatures archives, mini people on chat lines like The Camp, and Small Stuff may have copies they’d be willing to copy for you.
Each blog entry leaves me more speechless—I sound like a broken record every time I comment but WOW!
Nice broken record–thank you, as always.
Wow! That’s such a ‘good’ monster! Its ‘tyranny’ helped you guys create something wonderful, after all… 🙂
It did! Thanks.
Those lighting fixtures are wonderful! I am so envious. I used to own an Arts and Crafts home and subscribed to Bungalow Magazine. There is a large following of the Bungalow movement! Congratulations for capturing it so beautifully! Susan Morris
Thank you–bungalows are my favorites for a home, and the Greenes’ were the best.
I just saw this wonderful house of yours at the Tucson Mini Time Machine Museum! It is truly beautiful! Wonderful work as usual! Anyone who loves minis needs to visit that museum too, they have done a great job displaying many interesting and beautiful doll houses and minis.
Thank you. We’re happy it lives where so many can enjoy it.
I thought for sure my heart would stop when I saw the picture of the handful of lights. They are small jewels; breathtakingly beautiful. Every aspect of the house is that beautiful. I’m speechless (no one who knows me would believe that could happen to me). I’d like to go on and on about how I feel about what I’m seeing but each of the adjectives seems too banal. The house is a treasure.
Thanks so much–we’re glad we made you happy.