Serene was created to evoke the idea of stepping away from the everyday life. This is my first large piece, sitting on 4 large base plates. I wanted to take the techniques and ideas I had around the waterfall piece and make it part of a larger landscape. The larger scale would draw people in and feel like they were pulled into the landscape. A single minifigure, a old Japanese man, is walking up the mountain to the house. The nearby water rushes out of the cave and falls into a small lake before becoming a stream down the mountain. This piece was inspired by anime scenery, and the quiet fields of Plano, IL.
The old man, after his busy life in the city, comes home to his traditional tea house. Tucked within the mountain, he has a long path to his home where he can enjoy the quiet life he leads. There are four lanterns to guide his way, with the last one illuminating the garden during nightfall. The waterfall, which the old man can faintly hear from his house is his favorite meditation spot. He spends many mornings meditating under the waterfall, before heading out to the busy city below.
The house is based on the Sukiya-zukuri style, from the Edo period in Japan. There are two buildings to this house, the main building and the smaller tea house building. The house have a covered patio like walkway that is the main thorough fair to the rooms. There are five rooms in the main building, with the most important one in the center. This room, the one with the dragon windows, has a small table inside, and looks out directly to the garden and pond. This style is referenced in many anime including Fruits Basket, and Ranma 1/2. The tea house, separate from the main house, is a one room building. This building is placed away from the main entrance to keep the atmosphere of a tea ceremony. Both buildings sit on wooden piers due to marsh like climate in Japan. The roof design is also designed for water to quickly get off the roof, using two different slopes to allow for faster water flow off the roof. The two buildings are in the same style, with their walkways aligned as to experience the garden while traveling between buildings, but not walking on it.
There are three different styles of how to portray water within the piece. The loose 1x1 rounds as seen in the Japanese garden, clear plates with a reflected image beneath, and the rushing waterfall using a mixture of 1x1 rounds and clear plates. The waterfall technique comes from my earlier piece "train tracks under a waterfall. Part of the project was to incorporate the water into the scenery, without making it the only focus within the piece. Overall, the water adds a tranquil feel to the piece and makes the entire mountain a scenic image.
Beautiful build. I like the mountain style. A little different than what you see out there, and the Asian-style architecture looks great. When one looks at this, one must ask oneself, "Where does he keep all of those bricks?" ;)