Jimmy Landers retired as a regional manager for an international environmental Corporation several years ago. Upon retirement, he designed and contracted his new home in Southern Indiana. He spent a lot of time in custom designing his stairway and entrance area and even more time to get the correct individuals to complete his pet project. When it was all completed, he found he had more time on his hands than he could stand and started looking for a hobby. On January 6th, 2006, Jimmy began construction of his Colonial Dollhouse. Having grown up in an area where there where lots of fancy, fashionable colonial houses and having been raised in one himself, Jimmy has always loved the design of the colonial and considers it his favorite. There was never a doubt that his first dollhouse would be a colonial in design. Having known very little about the miniature world at the time, it took awhile to find what was available and where to purchase materials. This is partly why most of his house is totally custom constructed using very few pre-constructed items. The fact that he never draws out any plans for his dollhouses is hard to believe but he manages to design and keep it all in his head. He says most of the design work comes about at night while laying in bed.
Shortly after finishing the Colonial (Brandywine) dollhouse, Jimmy started his second masterpiece. He named this one The Helmerich House and decided it should be a Victorian. The Helmerich is 7 feet - 5 inches of customized uniquely designed woodworking. Mr. Landers has cut no corners in making this dollhouse. If you missed seeing these two houses at the Tom Bishop Chicago International show you can take a more detailed look by clicking on the pictures above. The Colonial was sold at the Chicago show and is no longer available but the more
impressive Victorian house is still available for sale. The Helmerich can be seen by appointment only. For more information, one can contact me at:
Carl R Sahlberg
It took Jimmy just over two years to complete each of these two doll houses. Although he says he will not build another doll house of this magnitude, unless it is a commissioned work, he has switched to creating individual store fronts. He calls theses his 1900 series. He first started these new store fronts to be introduced at Tom Bishops International Show at Chicago in April of 2012. He introduced 4 different store fronts and sold all four 1900 series stores at Tom Bishops show. The 1900’s are Retail Store units that could have existed in your neighborhood in the 20th Century, or even today. The brick work is real brick ordered from England and is laid, one brick at a time. He also has some sandstone and limestone blocks being incorporated into these store fronts. In preparation for this years show, Jimmy has just completed his 1909 River Valley Hardware store. This store is very different from any of his other works. In addition to designing and constructing the store; Jimmy consigned a number of artisans to help furnish the old hardware store. All of these items are period correct and most are a one of a kind creation. The River Valley Hardware will be on display at this years Tom Bishop Show in Chicago on April 19th.
His newest adventure is in designing a three store unit. The center store will be titled “The Palace”. Jimmy will have this store ready for the Chicago show this April. You can see the front behind Jimmy’s shoulder in the picture above. The Victorian is getting an electrical upgrade in front and the Hardware store can be seen in the background. Not much room to work in his small shop.