The Fiber Guild's Interview with Michael Smith

by Michael Groves

Michael joined the Fiber Guild interview schedule on Facebook providing a stimulating discussion of the history of the town he modeled where he  grew up.  He scratch built the houses down one street based on photos and direct measurements of those buildings still standing.  Of course he lit the buildings but of great interest was the corner pub / bar in which he used a green cellophane on the windows - a historic feature that prevented walkers by, particularly the wives, from seeing who was in the bar drinking!

 A novel feature was an old Gulf gas station.  The gas pumps were the old style based on a vertical cylinder with a section for the gauge and a top piece that indicated the fuel was flowing through into your car.  By simply running a fiber up through these he lit the gauge and the top.  The Gulf sign sat 3/4 of the way up a pole which was lit on top.  Once again, a single fiber was run up the pole providing a light fashioned out of a clear push pin.

Finally, Michael scratch built the round house which of course needed lighting.  He had lit it in the past but the lights had burnt out so he needed a better solution.  What he needed were some rafter lamps.  These were provided free of charge to Michael by Dwarvin Enterprises.  They consist of a stainless steel tube with a lamp shade attached.  

Michael inserted these into his rafters and added a 1mm  fiber.  They provided just the right amount of illumination inside the round house.


When you watch the video, here are some times for the specific sections mentioned above:

  • Historical Perspective:  0 to 20min
  • Main street diorama with lighting:  20 to 27min
  • Gas Pumps:  27 to 31:30min
  • Round house: 31:30 to 37:30min

Thank you Michael for taking the time to demonstrate your skills and imagination in creating this diorama, it is very much appreciated.  

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