My passion is creating adult collectible dollhouses and teaching classes!
It seems that throughout my life I have always done art in one form or another! When I was a kid, times were hard with my Mom raising four kids, and I would make my own toys. As an adult, I shared my art through street shows and convention center events under the name of Frogmorton Studios. (As a side note, Frogmorton was the name of a village in the shire I had read about in the Lord of the Rings series.) I began by painting various styles of homes such as a Victorian home or an English Thatched Cottage home and had them matted in various decorative colors to be framed and displayed on the wall. Each house had a hanging sign displaced either on the mailbox or over the doorway, and I had my workspace set up at the shows to personalize this area on the spot with the new owner's name on the plaque.
I also created a solid brick village that was called Frogmorton Village. Using my diamond blade saw, the bricks became various dwellings of all kinds to add to the village scene. It seems that "Frogs" have always held a fascination for me and they also became a theme that I used for naming the cottages. For example they were called such names as Lily Pad Lane Bed & Breakfast, Cape Toad Lighthouse, Frog Creek Mill and The Frog & Whistle. Some had shingled roofs, others were faux slate or thatched. Marcia insisted that all shutters had to have hearts on them, and this really worked out quite well. They were greatly detailed and many had awnings to match the shutters and scenes paint on the window that gave the illusion of looking inside the home. The ladies seemed to love them and would add to their personal collection at the various shows they attended. Although this was many years ago, just last month a lady by the name of Alana Read in Australia who had purchased a copy of my new book, "The Magical World of Rik Pierce" e-mailed me to let me know she had just purchased my earlier Lily Pad Lane Bed and Breakfast brick cottage on E-bay. Small world, isn't it?!
In doing the street shows, I was literally carrying around a "ton of bricks" and my back started giving me a lot of grief. So I came home one day and told Marcia I was going to quit making brick cottages and start making dollhouses. She just stared at me in disbelief as we had never been to a dollhouse show in our lives and she didn't even know their was an actual dollhouse industry! But I had been discussing my ideas with Judy Lewen at Mill Creek Miniatures in Visalia, CA where we lived at the time, and she encouraged me to go for it and contact Tom Bishop to see if I could get into the Tom Bishop Chicago International Show. Fortunately Tom accepted me, and the rest is history! My dream of creating tudor style houses and fantasy and medieval structures became a reality that took over my life for the next twenty years!
At one of my very first shows, a cute blond named Shellie Kazan from Shellie's Miniature Mania in San Carlos CA stopped by our booth, liked my work and asked if I'd consider teaching a class in her shop. We were so green that we didn't even know anything about this idea, and we kind of wondered if it was true that people would pay to take a class. Then an attractive brunette showed by the name of Larrianne Hildich from Larrianne's Small Wonders in Ventura CA and made the same request. Marcia and I kind of looked at each other questioningly, and I decided, "Why not?" I'd never taught anything in my life, but it sounded like a great adventure and what did I have to lose (other than my dignity!). Since we lived in CA, it was the perfect place to start giving classes. I ended up absolutely loving to make new class projects and share them in classes, and the students were fantastic and seemed to enjoy the process, so this started my teaching career.
Due to a horrific car accident in Oct. 2014, my dollhouse construction has been put on hold, so to fill my time and keep me motivated, we have decide to offer several of my original castings of dollhouse windows, doors, archways, gargoyles, etc. thru Etsy. We attended the Chicago International Show in April 2015 to test the appeal of this idea by using a display board with the various castings attached to see if there was an interest in for this marketing tool. We were touched and overwhelmed with the positive response and came home with a long list of orders. These castings are now on our Etsy site under FrogmortonStudios for your viewing interest and available for you to purchase for your personal dollhouse. We hope you enjoy the site and wish you well in creating your own magical dollhouse. It is our hope that my castings will help make your dreams come true and add a special touch to your dollhouse.
Many thanks to all of you who have taken so many of my classes and who have supported me through the last two years of recovery from my accident. Your good wishes and prayers on my behalf were greatly appreciated. The miniature world is full of kind and caring people and all of you mean a great deal to both of us. Happy building and we hope you'll visit our site often!