Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Contrast between Ivan ilych House design and an authentic russian farmhouse interior posted purely forcomparison in wealth and design.Description: A 19th century farmhouse of the Vladimir Province, Central Russia, at the Vladimir regional museum of 18th and 19th century wooden architecture and everyday peasant life.
This is a rough floor plan of out set build drawn on Auto cad by Sarah as you can see the furniture is not drawn to scale but the room is. The drawing room is 12x12
And the smaller room off the study is 12x10ft

Included in this Auto cad drawing is all the items of main furniture we hope to create a re-creat i will be posting links to interesting furniture designs and hisotrical furniture in the future.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Set designers

This post looks into how set designers create a working space that hopefully we can look at and learn from.

But What is a Set Designer ?

Set Designers or Production designers work with Directors to create the space for film,theatre and television production you will need to know everything about the scale of the design and the research including props. You are in charge of the overall look. and will have to have knowledge of many key skills as well as discussing ideas to the Directors and communicating with lighting designers, costume designers and set builders. You must understand the costs in order to create the set to budget and have a wide knowledge of historical context and futuristic ideas and be able to oversee the building and dressing of the rooms. This role best describes what are group have done with the exception of construction which we also had to learn, though some exceeded at the hands on construction better then others.

(the images above are sets from Eastenders
The first image shows an aerial shot of numerous rooms in a house in this case it was the Queen Vic Pub in Eastenders, in this photo you can See the 8ft flats that we will build at a later date.
In the second image you can see a fake staircase that doesn't lead anywhere the top of this staircase will be situated most likely in another situation.

Cabinet ideas


In the last half of the 18th century, cabinet makers such as Thomas Sheraton, Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite also published books of furniture forms. These books were compendiums of their designs and those of other cabinet makers.As you can see there is a wide variety of styles french baroque, Victorian mahogany any would fit in with Ivan Ilych as he did not necessarily have Russian furniture. The images show a variety of cabinets and my own sketches interpret these on the next post
images found

Other Furniture from the 18th / 19th century

image 1 Antique Russian Porcelain Urn C1780, Gardner Factory.
image 2 18th Century Chippendale Commode Carver Armchair

image 3
1840s Pair French Bronze Candlesticks
all images courtesy of

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wallpaper in the 19th century

With images from the Palace of Versailles you can see the Baroque era reflected into the interior these images were take on a recent trip to Paris allthough parisian and not russian like our set will be it shows the use of wallpaper and furniture. Images Above.

Thankfully Wallpaper was massive in the 19Th century thAdd Imageanks to print makers such as William Morris not William Wallace I always confuse the two !
(below is wallpaper designed by william morris in

1875 Marigold )

Designs often showed greenery such as ferns and vines and whole rooms could be covered entirely in the same wallpaper with matching fabric and drapery this can be seen in French interior mainly.

Looking into the interior of Ivan Ilych Home in the late 19Th century:

Design ideas using the inspiration of hands as candle holders:
a quick sketch showing two separate designs of candle holders
One is of two hand praying holding a candle in between
Could be made using polystyrene and paper mache ? Praying significant to death ?
the other shows hands clenching a candle ( i found similar designs that can be brought these are ceramic candle holders image above )

Friday, 18 March 2011

photo and my own sketches

Browsing the Internet I came across this photo of a 19th century inspired room though not what we may want i thought it shows alot of detail into the layout of the room.

I also sketched my own ideas of how the rooms would look the below images have been seen by the group and we tried to interpret each others designs in our set.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Presentationof Mood Boards

After meeting for a tutorial today we have decided to focus on specific areas in pairs in preparation for our presentation on Thursday 17th March.
Me and Nicola M have chosen to concentrate on Wall Decoration for example mirrors wallpaper ceiling imagery etc etc. We are both going to create a small mood board around A3 each these will be put together where we will discuss what we have discovered.
We discovered when in the library that the baroque era we believed to be in Russia was not so rich and gilded as first though there was no pattern on pattern and existing details such as ceiling roses were the only elaborate decor in Russian homes at this moment in time i can not remember the book but will post its title as soon as i know ( this should be an excellent reference book as it is specific to Russia in the 18th and 19th century) i also discovered William Morris was creating his wallpaper print at this time his designs are extremely common in richer homes like 'Ivans'Apologies for the poor quality photograph!
Below is an image of my mood board which will be shown in tomorrows presentation alongside Nicola's Mood board with the subject being wallpaper as you can see.
With 'borrowed' wallpaper samples from Homebase and a wallpaper design from the late 1800's.
I will add clearer photos tomorrow but am over all very happy with my Mood Board and mine and Nicolas seem to have very different representations of Wallpaper which is lucky as we didn't want to use the same images!


Wallpaper, using the printmaking technique of woodcut, gained popularity in Renaissance Europe amongst the elite of society. Large tapestries on the walls of their homes were a tradition past from the Middle Ages. These tapestries added color to the room as well as providing an insulation. Yet tapestries were extremely expensive and a cheaper option would of been wallpaper.
Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries, and large sheets of the paper were sometimes hung loose on the walls, in the style of tapestries.By the beginning of the 1700s, simple black and white papers had virtually disappeared in Europe. Colored papers were in vogue, especially imported paper from China
In the 19th century wallpaper was everywhere seen as a cheap and very effective way of brightening up cramped and dark rooms in working-class areas. By the early twentieth century, wallpaper had established itself as one of the most popular household items across the Western world.

Below is our groups Individual Mood Boards:

Mood boards in order of top to bottom
M Mood Board on fabrics and Nicola Mcque's
Nurias Mood board specifically architecture,
Nicky and Kirby's Mood board specific to sofas,
Callum, Robert and Sarah L mood boards focused on Death and medicine,
Rhyan, Jenny and Fiona's knick knacks and drapery Mood Board.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Our group was given the 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' by Leo Tolstoy. The whole project is based around 'Psychological Terror', and the aim is to construct sets that reflect the 'disturbances in the emotional field'. In the brief it tell us that the style of the rooms for 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' are to be Baroque and Expressionism. But what is Baroque and Expressionism ?

Baroque in Art

The word "baroque" was first applied to the art of period from the late 1500s to the late 1700s, by critics in the late nineteen century.It emerged in Europe around 1600, as a reaction against the Mannerist style that dominated the Late Renaissance Baroque covers a wide range of styles and artists.Baroque was primarily associated with the religious tensions within Western Christianity. This movement was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a return to tradition and spirituality. A sense of movement, energy, and tension are dominant impressions. Strong contrasts of light and shadow often enhance dramatic effects.This was the age of Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez and Vermeer. In the 18th century, Baroque Art was replaced by the more elegant and elaborate Rococo style which is more fitting to the era that the story is set to. The Painting below is by one of the most famous Italian Baroque painters Annibale Carracci. And an example of the Religion, the light and the shadows.
Annibale Carracci 1602 Domine, Quo Vadis ( Oil on canvas)


Expressionism was a modernist movement initially in poetry and painting in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or idea all though this is not relevant to the 19th century era it helps us to identify the moods evoked by Ivans mentality the best way to describe this movement is by showing the paintings.
The painting below is Scream by Edvard Munch and is one of my favourite paintings as simple brush strokes and warm colours of the sunset with a contrast of blue, grey and black foreground have such a terrifying reaction by using shadows in an unusual un conformed way.