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Construction of Dioramas

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The artisans of the Guernsey and Pitman studio were justifiably proud of their creations and produced a final diorama documenting the techniques that they had developed to make the remarkably realistic models. Four sections from left to right illustrate initial construction through finished model.

The construction of the trees is most remarkable. Each small branch is represented by a thin strand of copper wire. These wires were brought together and wrapped around each other to form progressively larger branches and eventually the trunk. This technique captured both the unique branching pattern of the individual tree species and the correct proportions of the branches to the stem. To model pines, clusters of "needles" were etched from very thin sheets of copper and then soldered to the tips of the wire "branches." Figures, animals, rocks, etc. were sculpted from a mixture of clay and wax.

The resulting dioramas represent an outstanding artistic and educational achievement.