Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Expeditionary campaign desk & chair set

Once again, time gets away from me. But I have a good excuse -- I've been working on a commission.

I spend most of my time designing clothes, but about a year ago I started making low prim furniture. At first I was just doing this for personal use -- I was having trouble finding Victorian era low prim furnishings for my shops, as well as for my apartment and the hotel I own in a western RP sim.

Now I completely admire (and envy) those with the skill to make the amazing Victorian furniture I've seen out there -- unfortunately, when you have a 100 prim allowance for your residence or shop, you have to come up with creative ways to cut corners in order to have a realistic looking interior.

So I began photographing furniture textures from my own house, the houses of friends and family and a friend's antique shop. I started simple by building basic one prim items like armoires, dressers, bookcases, etc.

Slowly over time my skills have improved slightly, and I've made fireplaces, china cabinets and other Victorian era furnishings. Nothing fancy, but they are functional.

So it took me by surprise when I was asked to make an item I only had a passing knowledge of -- a campaign desk and chair set.

What is a campaign desk, you ask? Historically, officers on battlefields (hence the term "campaign"), as well as scientists, explorers and well-to-do tourists on safari or expedition, brought along a portable field desk to use for correspondence, sketching and journals.

Such a desk would typically have a hinged writing surface/lid that closed flush with the other edges of the desk box and was locked with a key. The edges traditionally featured brass hardware to protect the desk while transported, and had handles for carrying. The legs were often hinged or unscrewed and stored in a compartment under the desk box during travel.

My Second Life version was commissioned by a roleplayer who is a scientist on a paleontology expedition in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory, in the RP sim Deadwood. He had acquired the simple, one prim cherry wood map cabinet I'd recently released, but had trouble finding a portable desk to his liking. So I agreed to see what I could come up with.

And here it is: his desk, at 6 prims, features a "hinged" writing surface that can be opened by touch. The 5 prim chair was designed to look like a folding chair (though it does not actually fold) and includes writing animation. The inkwell, when touched, delivers a quill pen that will attach to your right hand when worn.

For more authenticity the set includes rolled and flat maps that depict the Black Hills in Dakota Territory, circa 1876 & 1878, and an 1874 map of the Rocky Mountain Territories: Colorado, Wyoming, Dakota and Montana.

I think it turned out rather well -- it's now got me thinking about other multi-prim furnishing projects.

If your interested in viewing it, it's on display in the 2nd floor at my Caledon Oxbridge Village shop shop, as well as on Xstreet.


Dio said...


really nice, set, Asto

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

Wonderful! I have been looking for some low-prim Victorian furniture myself - I shall pop along. Do you have a wash stand, by any chance?

Astolat Dufaux said...

I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond in a more timely manner -- I have had one hell of a time trying to post comments from home on my Mac.

Thank you both for the compliments, I am very flattered by your kind words. :)