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LILLIPUT LANE.Colourful Collectable Cottages
Penrith in General
Member Name: ray1952
Penrith in General
Date: 30/11/02, updated on 17/06/05 (1571 review reads)
Advantages: Well made miniatures, Reasonable prices, Made from real cottages
The first question I can hear many of you say is, what is Lilliput Lane?
Lilliput Lane is a collection of handcrafted cottages and buildings based on actual properties throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, although most are from the UK.
The Lilliput Lane Company was founded in 1982 by David Tate (now MBE), his wife and 2 daughters. This is based at Skirsgill, Penrith, Cumbria, England.
He originates from his native Yorkshire. From there, during his childhood he visited many places of interest in the countryside. This interest has inspired him to carry out a self-taught craft of making the buildings he visited into magnificent works of art in glorious miniature.
All the pieces go through lots of processes before being sent to shops for us to buy as collectors. Over the 20 years the company has been operating countless techniques have been developed in-house to capture all the detail we see on the buildings.
To begin with I will endeavour to go through some of the operations needed to produce the cottages/shops/buildings etc.
Firstly - Research
All cottages start out as sketches. These are created from hundreds of photographs taken by the people who will make the cottage. The photos are usually taken from all angles to capture the character of the property. If a photo is needed from an angle within the gardens, then permission is sought from the property?s owner.
Secondly - Sculpting
From the sketches, a very detailed wax original is made. This actually becomes the master. A sculpture may take several weeks to create, as each and every tile, slate and flower is individually put onto the model.
Thus, when you see the finished product you can marvel at the individuality of it, and note that the roofs are not scraped or scored as could be easily thought of being done.
Thirdly - Casting
From this wax original, many moulds are created to cast ?real? replicas. The
material used is Amorphite (which is licensed to Lilliput Lane), and comes from the Nottingham area of England.
This casting is actually done by hand. The method used is hand pouring the liquid Amorphite into the moulds. Just as a note: no machines are used in any of the processes of making the cottages.
Fourthly - Dipping
This process enables the cottages to be painted correctly by applying the relevant coating to show the real texture of building materials the actual cottages are made out of.
Lastly - Painting
The highly trained painters are capable of all aspects of painting, whether this is a plain white building or an intricate pattern of colours for flowerbeds and trees. Only one person paints all of one cottage and then signs the base.
After painting, the finished model has a green baize placed on the bottom and labelled before a final check is made. It is then boxed and shipped to shops.
All the boxes and packaging are made on site at Skirsgill. This enables each cottage to reach us in perfect condition. No seconds of Lilliput Lane are sold.
One of the best things about Lilliput Lane is that you can become a member of their club. My wife joined about three years ago. When you join at £16.50GBP per year you will receive a cottage each year as a favour from the company. You will also get the membership handbook, regular club mailings and the club magazine.
Another feature of membership is the special privileges. These can include offers on cottages not available to the general public.
We have recently visited the Lilliput Lane Visitor Centre at Skirsgill. There you can have a guided tour of the factory and purchase goods from the shop. We found the tour extremely informative.
For more information about the visitor centre you can ring 01768 212692 (+44 1768 212692 from outside UK), or visit the web site at www.lilliputlane.co.uk
There are literally hundreds
s that you can buy, ranging in price from £9.99GBP to £650.00GBP.
One of the favourite cottages we have bought is PEN PALS. This is based on a post office.
I can certainly recommend Lilliput Lane to anyone wishing to collect these wonderful models. I can also highly recommend a visit to their Visitor Centre and factory.