The Making of the Fair

The new Mouse Mansion book has been available in the Netherlands for one week, so we thought it would be nice to tell you something about ‘the making of’ the book.

As you might know, the original Mouse Mansion is on display at the Central Library in Amsterdam. It’s quite difficult to take the photographs for the books there! Before we take a photograph, we have to darken the entire workspace and then lighten the room in the Mansion with multiple flashlights. But the library has so many huge windows that it’s impossible to do this. That’s why we decided to build another Mouse Mansion. Easier said than done! It took us over a year to finish the new Mansion. But it's much easier to work with, because it’s right here in the studio!

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The new Mouse Mansion functions as the background for the fun fair. Most of the stories in the new book take place in the square in front of the Mouse Mansion. We didn’t want any ‘blue sky’ behind the attractions in the photographs, so we were luckily to have the new Mouse Mansion available!

Building the fair was a lot of fun. We wanted to make a rollercoaster, bumper cars, a haunted house and of course several carousels. Besides these attractions we needed candy shops and ticket booths. We started building step by step. Karina built the roller-coaster completely from popsicle sticks!

The cars were made from paper. The wheels came from curtain rods and the headlights are beads.

Next was the carousel. It was made from wood and cardboard. The animals got their shape from tin-foil and wire. They were covered in papier mache, which gave them a nice finish. After that, Karina painted them and glued them in the carousel. The seats of the other carousels were cut from soft wood and hung with a piece of chain.

The bumper cars were made by Tom. He used a tin can and clay to make the shape. The seats were made from popsicle sticks. He made a mould out of one car, and poured six replicas in gypsum.  He painted the cars different colours. The rods that are attached to the back of the cars were made from a skewer.

There is so much more to tell! Next week, we will post a sequel to this blog post, with, amongst other things, the candy shops, the haunted house and the photography!