dolls house1In the month of April – Stress Awareness Month – Hive, the community arts centre based in the heart of Shipley, is continuing to support its community by easing the stress of modern life through providing a range of hands-on arts and crafts activities and courses.

It also has the facilities and equipment to enable participants to complete complex personal projects.

Such was the case with Peter Newby, a retired Mining Engineer, who decided to make a dolls’ house when he became a grandad back in 2012.
“I do like creating through use of wood,” said Peter. “I have a workshop area at home but a very limited selection of tools.”
So Peter came along to see us at Hive to discuss the project. He had used Hive’s digital facilities before but when he saw the full range of carpentry tools available he became a member at once and took the induction course for woodwork at the start of the autumn term.
“I gradually became familiar with the machinery,” said Peter, “such as circular saw, band saw, sander, etc. through practice and assistance from the instructor and fellow members.”
The dolls’ house design came from a library book: a Georgian house at a scale of 1:12 (an inch to a foot). Peter first made a prototype out of cardboard to plan the overall size and shape and then started work on the staircase at the centre of the house. Little did he know that from those small beginnings a work of art would eventually emerge!

dolls house

From recycling old English oak furniture for the minute parquet flooring and roof tiles, to creating all the tiny furniture, Peter made full use of the staff and facilities at Hive to complete his project.
“Simon [Simon Allan, Hive’s Woodwork Project Co-ordinator] proved a constant source of help and advice,” said Peter, “and I was able to keep the pace of work to one I was comfortable with, i.e. working when I was in the mood.
“I couldn’t have done it without Hive. To me Hive is unique in providing a number of craft facilities at a very low cost. I know of no other such organisation in the area. Without it there would be no dolls’ house or at best it would be much reduced in complexity and quality.”
Joy Hart, Hive’s Manager, said: “Peter has been attending Hive for about seven years. He has been working on elements of the dolls’ house for the whole time and regularly sends update photos of the house itself. I am always astounded by the skill, intricacy and care he has put into this project. He has handmade everything including individual pieces for the parquet flooring and tiles for the roof. I would be really proud if someone gave me that dolls’ house but think I would be too scared to play with it!”
Hive provides year-round courses in a variety of woodwork skills, from basic DIY to recycling old pallets to make useful household items. If you’d like to learn a new hobby or skill to relieve everyday stress or just for the pure joy of making, why not give us a call or drop in any time? You never know what the end result could be!

 For more info: http://www.hivebradford.org.uk

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