Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Angela Murray 

BA [Hons] 3D Design Modelmaking + Digital Art

I have had a varied career, from office administration to the motor trade, but the one thing that has been consistent has been creativity. I have painted for many years and I have done needlecraft, papercraft, and semi-professional cake decorating, for example. Modelmaking is something that fascinates me, especially miniatures. The challenge of creating something on a small scale is captivating. However, I also enjoy creating on a larger scale and I love a challenge. I have enjoyed prop making, and I intend to continue this and develop my skills further. The future looks interesting right now!

Project Description

The project is to make a working model of a windmill based on the Four Sail Windmill in Skerries Mills Industrial Heritage Museum. It will be an educational prop to increase the understanding of how windmills operate, to be used in conjunction with the guided tours and film demonstration. The exterior is based on the actual Four Sail Windmill, but the inside is a simplified mechanism which will show how a mill uses wind power to turn grain into flour. It sits on a wooden box which contains a winding mechanism. When the handle is turned, the sails rotate, and so do the shafts and millstones. Hoppers on the top and middle floors move the grain down to the millstones; two chutes take the flour to the sacks on the ground floor. I landscaped the box top to look like the park around Skerries Mills.

Dolls’ Houses and the Fascination of Tiny Things

What is the relevance of dolls’ houses and tiny things today? My thesis examined their place in the modern era and what their enduring attraction is. It looked at dolls’ houses for display and dolls' houses for play, the differences, the similarities and how they compare to their origins. Why are people drawn to them and to creating tiny versions of objects?

I conducted extensive print and online research to evaluate the relevance of dolls’ houses and tiny things. I have examined their history, the place these objects occupied in the past and what their role was through reading and image analysis. I looked at the psychology of attraction and the physical responses of the body and what role they play in their existence. Attraction in people has been widely studied, however, it has only recently research has been expanded to take in objects.

Dolls’ Houses are the best-known example of miniature and have been in existence since the earliest times. Far from being a child’s toy, originally they were the preserve of adults and usually just the wealthy. It is only from the end of the 18th Century that they became toys.

Dolls’ houses have evolved and have gone from adult treasures to playthings for children, however, dolls’ houses are still popular today among adults. I believe the attraction to dolls’ houses and tiny things is that we are in control. We can create a world of our own only limited by our imaginations.