I'm writing this from window seat 37A of Delta flight DL2288—nonstop service from New York City to San Diego, California. Up here, with Manhattan pinched between an index finger and thumb, one remembers forgotten perspectives.
Down there, Chisel & Mouse do something important; they digitize and 3D print our favorite architecture. They handcraft with moulding and plaster-casting the cities that we hold close to our hearts. Scaled to the nearest meter at 1:5000, Chisel & Mouse develops elegant shrinking machines for our fears and dreams. Chisel & Mouse is now offering three series' of precise 3D cityscapes—three also being the number of menu choices for 2288's in-flight breakfast.
Classic Series: nine precise cityscapes—London, Manhattan's southern tip, Venice's Canal Grande, Berlin, Los Angeles, Rome, Paris, Chicago, Boston, and Amsterdam. All Classic Series' models measure 30 cm x 30 cm, are enclosed by a removable perspex frame, and about half of them are 20 percent off.
Blue River Series: similar to the Classics, Chisel & Mouse adds confident strokes of a brilliant blue hue to highlight the waterways of each city in their Blue River Series—Amsterdam, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York, London, Venice, Rome.
Large Cityscape Series: London at 1:2500. New York at 1:5000. Both models, made in resin, measure 70 cm x 70 cm and are displayed via a wooden frame.
Three series, meticulous details — Chisel & Mouse truly captures the geography and presence of each grand, glorious, populated city, but looking out the window at an unrecognizable town topped with snow reminds me of Zimbabwe artist, Zayd Menk. Zayd spent 3 months supergluing a .0635:100 scale model of midtown Manhattan out of e-waste earlier this year. He wished to re-create a town, local to him in Zimbabwe, to shrink his world by the thousands, but there wasn't enough readily-accessible information online for him to do so. We don't all live in Paris, New York and Venice, and Zayd shouldn't have to be looking out the window of a Boeing to hold his world between his fingers.
On that note, a magic piece about Chisel & Mouse is that they offer a bespoke model making service. It doesn't come cheap, but the heavy research, the amount of work and the quality of the end product is well worth the priceless reminder of perspective.
To dreamers, these models are one thing, but to the people living inside of them every day, they are much different. Towers and rivers shrink. Crowded streets empty. We can hold our worlds in our hands. We can look down on our fears. We can hang our aspirations on the wall.
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