Saturday, 31 March 2018


The alcove to the right of the fireplace is quite a large feature in the room and at the time Louisa lived in Orchard House displayed a bust of Socrates (though now contains a bust of Bronson, Louisa's father, sculpted by Daniel Chandler).

I started with reference pictures and measurements taken at Orchard House of the height, width, depth and height from the floor. The alcove in my set is 18cm high.

I decided to 3d print the form of the alcove so the first stage was to create a digital model of the shape. It didn't need to have a base as this could be added with MDF. I created the model in Sketchup.

The model was then cut into three pieces, one of the top curve and two sections that were identical for the middle and the base. 

The alcove was printed by Josh Sibley, a student at Staffordshire University using his personal 3d printer. It took approximately 15 hours to print.

As you can see the printed leaves the model with a number of lines and ridges so these were sanded smooth and then primed and resanded a number of times until smooth. I used both car primer (for the first coat) 

... and then followed this with artists gesso which is quite a thick primer and sands well. 

The border coving for the alcove was made from 2mm MDF, cut and sanded into shape and fixed onto the front edge of the 3d printed form with hi-tack glue. 

The alcove was then fitted into a hole made for it in the wall of the set. 

The alcove was painted with satin emulsion to match the door, door frame, skirting and coving in the room. 

This is how it looks as part of the finished set.

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