The mouse makerHello, I'm Charlotte the mouse maker and I'm very glad you've taken the time to come and visit!
A bit about me
I'm from the UK but I moved to Germany in 2005. I spent four years renovating our 400-year-old house with my husband, Mark. Now we have a shop downstairs and live upstairs. We have two cats who enjoy trying to sit on whatever project we happen to be working on. I love drawing, painting and sculpting and making miniature buildings as well as making mice. If you'd asked me a few years ago whether I can sew, I would have said "no" but where there's a will, there's a way.
How it all began
Long, long ago, when I was a child I had a dolls’ house (or dollhouse if you are from the other side of the pond). Although our grandparents had given us a proper dolls’ house, the one I played with most was "two rooms" in a cupboard. I was particularly inspired by our visits to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood (now "V&A Museum of Childhood"). I did have a tiny felt mouse which lived in that house, pictured here held by Louise, along with a collection of dolls in various scales. The mice I make today came about because in the Autumn of 2012 I started making a shop window display for christmas with a row of shops in 1/12 scale and wanted it to be populated. However, I didn't want to use dolls, so inspired by childhood stories such as "The Tailor of Gloucester" by Beatrix Potter, I thought mice might be the ideal size to live in this little world. I made a couple of prototypes in felt and adjusted the pattern until I was happy.
The first mice
My first mouse was the proprietor of the bakery Maushart. He is beginning to feel his age and will be visiting the mouse hospital soon for some essential surgery. You can see him here along with the other early mice, Mark and Agatha, in various states of finish. I thought that would be it - enough mice for this one scene - but then I just had to keep making more and more...
The latest mice
My newer mice tend to be clothed although not all of them are. I love making clothes for the mice but sometimes it seems a shame to cover up that beautiful mohair and alpaca fabric! So I decide mouse by mouse. Some of the mice have cotter-jointed heads (like a teddy bear) so that they can look left and right. However these ones don't find it as easy to look up and down. The making is a constant experiment. One of my major quests is to find the perfect material for making hands. All the methods and materials I have tried so far have had pros and cons.