Chicago Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption

Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption was on display at Fourth Presbyterian January 2014. If you haven’t seen the model in person yet it will be on display at the Assumption’s 90th Anniversary Dinner Dance later this year 2015.

The beginning…

I eventually got hired and learned my first lesson and the most important one. Early on I had no idea how to make a model, yet use the correct tools and procedure.  I remember using a carpet knife with thick blades to cut out flat paper boards. Pressing hard and over cutting the rectangular pencil marks drawn on the  board was probably not the best idea. It was an accident waiting to happen.

In the back room off to the right of the entry of the studio was the room that housed all the power tools from Sears. A couple of table saws, drill press, vise, and painting booth. My experienced friends  were laughing having a great time cutting parts from Plexiglas and wood. I was in the other room trying to learn to cut paper. Paper is used loosely meaning paper products such as foam core, mat board, museum boards and basically learning how to handle the exacto knife properly.
Even though Plexiglas and wood were exotic materials it took much more time to make models out of these materials because they took much more time to cut, power tools were needed. Joining parts often use solvents that smelled and clamps needed to hold parts together while drying.  Coloring often required spray painting or mixing your own paints that led to more problems of where to paint.

All those reasons made me focus on making paper models.  Paper models would teach me patience as I learned to control the exacto blade while I learned HOW to put a model together. Paper models are easy to cut, easy to glue and easy to color. This is what I focused on and became a great model maker who learned how to put something together quickly and how to make it look good!

How I got started in model making….

Not sure what age I was but I do remember being home from school with nothing to do. At the time, our family shared a summer home with another Greek family in the sleepy town of Calistoga, CA. During that time I decided to build a model of that summer home. Gathered the line paper and started to draw a few drawings then got busy. I had no idea how to put something together but tired anyway. Popsicle sticks, white glue and ideas quickly faded with the realization set in that it’s much harder then it looks.

Many years later while taking classes at San Francisco City College and was enrolled in a free hand drawing class. It was near the end of the semester and somehow I got behind. The instructor a jolly fellow granted the extra time and asked me to pass by his studio to drop off the drawing. Finally found his studio on Illinois St. and walked in. Great light, airy, tall ceilings and there he was huddled around a model, his hand extended inside as he was trying to adjust something. At first he didn’t see me… but when I first saw what he was working on I heard my childhood voice that said, “That’s how your going to build your model (of the summer home). By that time we didn’t have that home anymore but, that was the spark that would excite the passion. 

Thank You


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