Telephone box, Market Cross and Trees .
The most commonly seen accessory to the cottage collection is the red Phone box. These can be bought from time to time on
on-line auction sites and have achieved various prices. It was produced from a two piece mould and the red was an enamel paint rather than a coloured slip.
Another accessory produced was a Market Cross, based upon the one standing in the market square in Lavenham, Suffolk.
As with the phone box it was cast in a mould and was rather brittle and time consuming to produce.
When fired in the kiln it was hit and miss as to whether they would remain straight, and more were discarded because of this than were actually produced. Even when they made it to the finished product they were extremely fragile and it can only a point of speculation as to how many are around today. I recall trying, very gently, to cut away the excess clay from the casting and as gentle as I was I threw away far more than I successfully finished.
3 styles of trees were also produced but these were made by a different method. Mr Hart would cut into a slab of plaster of paris
the ‘negative’ of the tree, and clay was rolled into the cutting, allowed to dry, then released. This was then mounted onto
a flat round base shaped from a small ball of clay, the base was textured with the bristles of a brush.
In some cases a quarter of the base was cut away, this allowed the tree to fit around the corner of a cottage.
Once again the trees are very delicate and how many are still surviving would be unknown. The trees and market cross were not glazed and have a matt finish, the phone box is shiny due to the enamel paint used.
The idea to make trees most probably came after the “Great Storm” models were produced when one was mounted on the plynth in front of the house.
Below are photos of the originals of my fathers, and the reproductions that I have produced.
Here is a photograph of a tree cutting, cut into the back of a cottage mould.