Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Mad Hatter At Home

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end.  Then stop."  
Lewis Carroll

My favorite character in Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter.  Inspired by the fairly recent Alice movie starring be-still-my-heart Johnny Depp and made by the quirky Tim Burton my miniature motivation started brewing and an old clock case called to be put into use.
I envision the Mad Hatter to be a curious fellow, for whom it is always teatime. Of course, he is mad, which is his charm, but also creative, messy and he lives in clutter because imaginative and mad people really do not have time for tidying things up.  He's also absent minded and forgets where he left his tea.

Old clock case now a miniature diorama

" Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where -"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go."  LC

Sometimes you just have to start.  Jump in and go. There had to be the black and white checks but the rest was up for grabs and became purple.  Probably because I found scrap book paper with a Mad Hatter theme.  And that was the start.  I already had a tall chair I had made for a customer for whom it did not suit but I liked the chair and it looks like the Mad Hatter's chair so that became the first furnishing.  
Bit by bit it grew from there keeping in mind the Mad Hatter lives here.  But he is not here.  
And yet the Cheshire Cat, who can vanish at will, is.   
The amazing cat was made for me by Kerri Pajutee. 
How about that grin?

The Cheshire Cat made by Kerri Pajutee

Following is the stuff the Hatter needs in his room including all the tea things and those items he needs to design and make his mad hats. All messy.  When you can't figure out why a raven is like a writing desk you do the best you can.

"How do you know I'm Mad?"
"You must be or you wouldn't have come here".

The Hatter's work desk

Padded Bulletin Board

Mad Hatter Hat Making Supplies

 "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast"

There is an inherent weirdness in the Alice tale written nearly 150 years ago and it is as popular today as it ever was.  Wonderland finds itself the subject of many miniature translations and this is mine.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be at Oxford University and heard the history of the characters as they populated the school back in Lewis Carroll's day and the eccentric characters are as endearing as ever.  And everything about Alice in Wonderland translates very well into miniature.

 "Yes, that's it!, said the Hatter with a sigh, "it's always tea time"

There are lots of tottering tea things here that are certainly impossible. But without a doubt things like this happen in Wonderland every day.  Sometimes, I think it would be pleasant just to stay there.

Drink Me

Forgotten Hats

Sleeping Dormouse

Tea Cart

We all fall down the rabbit hole from time to time and being there need not always be tragic, however bizarre that journey might be.  This was a fun journey for me so I hope you like it.  Please tell me below what you think.
Furnished Room Box
Portrait is a watercolor from the J. Depp Hatter. Photo of the original Alice.


  1. Hi Patricia! I believe that things always work out just the way they are suppose to and the fact that your customer left you with the chair that features so prominently in this shadowbox is a wonderful blessing, in the end. The chair color is just made for this scene and the cheshire cat with that Wide Wicked grin and the pocket watch, is the perfect compliment to the scale of the chair! The details that you have incorporated into this display are Magical and you have handled the placement of the items in skillful and effective way. I love the stack of the assorted teacups! Wow! I also like the necklace of thread spools and how they are draped onto the floor leading the eye to the white rabbit off to the side. A psychedelic trip down the rabbit hole that has been lots of fun! Thanks for the journey and now "which way ought I to go from here?"


    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. It was fun to make and you are correct, things just seem to work out.

  2. Yes! This is indeed a magical scene. I love what you've done with this idea and yeah the chair is perfect :)

  3. Wow! I really love your scene, it is clear you have put a lot of time and hard work into it. A truly inspirational diorama :0)

  4. Hello Patricia,
    This is absolutely fantastic. I am a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan and I love your interpretation of the Hatter's room. You did a terrific job with the accessories and I love the way and colors you refinished the furniture in. the padded bulletin board is a wonderful idea.
    Big hug,

    1. Thanks, Giac. Glad you like it and glad you are an Alice fan.

  5. It is all fabulous right down to the tiny details! What a perfect chair for that setting. I saw that cat on Kerri's site and thought he was WONDERFUL. He has just the right amount of...(looking for a word)..... creepy.

    1. Yes, creepy is what we were going for. I love that cat, my favorite rendition of the Cheshire cat I think.

  6. This is so amazing. I love Wonderland and this just sums it all up for me. Adding the picture of Alice Liddell is a particularly nice touch!

  7. How absolutely delightful! There are so many wonderful details you could look over and over and always find something new! That Cheshire Cat is a treasure! :D

    1. Thanks, otterine. I love the things you do too.

  8. I loooooove that Cheshire cat! But the whole room is great, Patricia ! So many delightful details !