Chris and Joan Rouch work together in their workshop in the Scottish Borders where Chris creates individual dolls houses in Mackintosh, Art Deco and Scottish vernacular styles. He specialises in 1/24th and 1/48th scales but also builds in 1/12th if asked for it.
They particularly love the style and designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Chris explained why: “We have always admired his work which is truly unique both in architecture and furniture design. There are very few Mackintosh houses in existence so most of our work in his style is interpreted from publications which contain copies of his designs.”
Chris started making traditional wooden toys in 1993 when he was made redundant from work with Joan giving a helping hand. However, at that time the Chinese toy market was huge, which made it impossible to compete. Chris had originally trained as a shipwright so had all the necessary carpentry skills to transfer to miniatures.
Their first show was Glasgow Miniatura in 1994 – an eye-opening experience! In 1996 Joan had the opportunity to take early retirement from her work. Having experience of working with scales, she was able with Chris's encouragement and guidance to start making Mackintosh furniture in 1/24th and 1/12th scale.
Thereafter they attended shows in London, Germany and America. “At 1/24th scale you can carry your miniatures on a plane,” Chris said. However, these days we only do Miniatura in Spring and Autumn. Miniatura has always been the best show for our work.”