I want to show you something handmade that’s exquisitely beautiful, even though it has nothing to do with yarn. It’s a perfect replica of our brewery home, made with paper by the artist-craftswoman, Silvina De Vita, aka My Papercut Forest. There’s even a light inside, too!
How stunningly beautiful is this piece? I’ll scatter photos of it lit and unlit throughout this post, but first, a bit of backstory…
A year(ish) ago, I went to London to be filmed for an episode of the BBC television programme, ‘Make’. (Here’s my post about the experience.) Whilst there, I met some brilliant creative folk, including Silvina, whose papercutting took my breath away. Amongst other pieces, she’d made a model of the place where she lives, on a hill in Brighton. She doesn’t just do houses. Her flowers and foliage are just perfect, too, and are often in miniature.
We got on from the moment that we met, in part because we both understand the need to drive ourselves mad creating crazy, ambitious, projects that take ludicrous amounts of time to finish. So after filming, we kept in touch.
Having admired her model houses so much, I started pondering… and then – short-story-shorter – I commissioned her to make an illuminated paper model of our wonky old home.
Silvina, if you’re reading this, may I please just say publicly that I am truly sorry for all the hair-tearing stress that went in to rendering our ludicrously-shaped house in paper. OK, not sorry enough to have asked you to stop at any point, but at least a bit sorry. But just look at the result:-
Yesterday, I took a day’s leave from work and drove down to Brighton to see Silvina and to collect the finished piece. It’s fair to say that I was a bit excited.
Now, as everyone knows, when somebody makes a model of your house, it’s traditional to give them ornamental cabbages in a bouquet. (What? You didn’t even know this? Are you trying to suggest that this rule exists only in my head?) Anyway, I took ornamental cabbages.
It was good to see Silvina at her beautiful home. This isn’t a replica: this is really her, in her real home… I think…
And man, can we talk when we get together! ????
She showed me her studio, too, where the magic happens.
And I finally got to see her model of my home. She’d even included the twinnage, much to the boys’ delight when they – later – got to see it.
With the precious cargo loaded into my car, I drove home very carefully.* I couldn’t wait to get it home, and to show the Stoic Spouse and the twinnage. Predictably, my family adored it. Here it is in its new home, on my late grandmother’s table. A house within a house.
I love it. I really, really, love it.
Silvina sells her work through her Etsy shop, and she takes commissions. I know that most of you are reading this from outside the UK but don’t worry, she ships internationally. I promise I have no financial incentive for saying all this, although she did bake some biscuits for when I visited, and I’m a bit of a sucker for a tasty biscuit…
And seriously, I highly recommend her work.
∗ Not that I usually drive like a maniac.