b'colourf ul p eop lemodels of memoryMiniature houses are helping with grief. Right: Richard GardinerH ouses are repositories of memories. Christchurch working on a currentmodel-maker Richard Gardiner realises this commission, McLeansmore than most. He carefully fashionsfrom Mansion.photographs or architectural planshouses and Above: Some ofbuildings in miniature, as a precious and precise Richards past works. memento for his clients. Then he paints them with Resene testpots.Often there is an emotional response when people come to pick up the model of their house, Richard says. People may not realise how much of a memory-bank their house has been, until theyre confronted with the exact tiny replica. This is particularly so when theyveA current work that could be the most challenging lived there a long time and milestone family events haveyet is simply known to Cantabrians as McLeans happened there. Mansion in Manchester Street. Richard is as fascinated Buried or temporarily quashed griefsuch aswith the story of the place as he is with the intensive resulted from the Canterbury earthquakescan cometask of its tiny recreation.ooding back. These seismic disasters were, in fact, theIt goes like this: the mansion, still at 387 Manchester trigger to Richards career taking such a model-makingStreet, was designed in the 1850s by the England turn. Owners of condemned houses have made upBrothers for a 78-year-old bachelor Scotsman called much of his client listaround 55 models to date.Allan McLean, who lived there with just his housekeeper. Others are developers who want to show potentialWith an eccentrically eye-watering number of rooms, it clients scale models of imminent structures. was used as a private residence for 13 years. Richard retired from his Head of Art role at BurnsideAs with all of his miniature projects, Richard will High School at the end of 2010, between the two mostcomplete the house with the correct exterior paint devastating earthquakes, and took up his model-makingcolours and nishes, which he sources from Resene. I mantle. can get absolutely any colour or mix from Resene. If they Richards web address says it all; Scaled Down. Yourcant nd a particular shade then nobody else can. world in miniature. As well as the exacting work ofTheyll readily make the perfect mix. Resene reproducing every element of a structure and havingRichard plans to continue with his nely crafted, Seachange pieces laser-cut to achieve perfection, Richard documentsarchitecturally fascinating work for as long as the Resene each project online. demands there. In a very real way hes helping home-Half Athens Grey Because each model house takes several weeks orowners to unlock and preserve an important piece of months to complete, he likes to have a couple on thetheir personal histories. wordsLiesl Johnstone go at once. Its good for variety and interest to keep a portraitJuliet Nicholas couple progressing in tandem, he adds. For more, see www.scaleddown.co.nz. 36'