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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Interview with Builder/Designer marserena Sewell

There is one building that catches your eye in SL London, it’s a large structure with green shutters and overlaps both the Knightsbridge and Chelsea sims. I must admit I’ve been fascinated with it since I moved into SL Chelsea, the main body of the building has been there for some time, and in the last few days the inside has been lovingly finished. This elegant building is a replica of real life Harrods, the world famous ‘upper-crust’ store in Knightsbridge. The real Harrods had not always been in Knightsbridge, but was founded in 1834 by Charles Henry Harrod, who actually first opened the store in Stepney, in the East End of London. However in 1849 Charles took over a small shop in Knightsbridge (the sight of the existing store), using a single room and employing two assistants and one messenger boy. It was Charles’ son Charles Digby Harrod who built the business up into a thriving retail store, and by 1880 they had employed a hundred people to work there. At the present time the store is owned by Mohamed al-Fayed and still looked on as one of ‘the’ places to shop in London. I was delighted to meet avatar marserena Sewell, who built the SL version of the Harrods Building. It’s impossible to imagine how someone can plan, let alone get a scale copy of such an enterprise, but she has done a superb job and the SL version has captured all the essence of the original real life store. We were joined by marserena’s friend greyhat Newman, who is a Mentor and scriptor in SL. marserena first came into SL on 7 August 2007 and said that she had started to build virtually straight away. She said she spent a lot of time building things in a sandbox in the sky, where she wasn’t interrupted. She told me she had started out as an 'elf' avatar, making fantasy items. She showed me some pictures of beautiful castles and romantic buildings (see picture of the jelly castle above left). marserena, who is from Venezuela, is a very clever lady, she speaks four languages and says she has always been passionate about buildings, she told me she started designing them when she was just 8 years old. marserena, along with greyhat, is also an SL Mentor and she said that they consider helping people is the most important part of their SL lives. greyhat has another great string to his bow as well, although he is very modest, he owns the Freebie Dungeon, along with his friend quin, which is probably one of the best places for quality free and less expensive stuff in SL. marserena told me that she spends a lot of time in the London sims. She has built many other buildings there as well as SL Harrods. She said she actually comes to SL London to test the area for the building, using the floor space as a measurement, but then builds the structure at a sandbox before bringing it back and putting it in its place. greyhat pointed out how good the sim boarders were inside the Harrods build. Usually in SL there is a gap between sims where you can actually fall down in between them, even if you don’t disappear down the gap you are usually aware of a dip in the floor as you pass over it. However with marserena’s work you can cross from one sim to the other without any effects at all. She told me she had studied all about sim borders and learned all there is to know about overcoming the hazards. The outside of the SL Harrods building is a masterpiece with it’s strong lines and curves, plus it’s fantastic domed rooftop. The interior is elegant with beautiful stained glass windows and rich wooden panelling. The textures are all lovingly picked to add a feeling of class to the whole thing. marserena says she works with love and passion for building, and it shows! she is putting her stamp on SL London and visitors from all over the world will celebrate what a truly great builder/designer marserena Sewell is.

1 comment:

Hibiscus said...

What an interesting story. The SL Harrods building, like the RL one, is a landmark, one of the most outstanding buildings in the area. Congratulations to marserena, she has done a wonderful job! And thank you Janey for introducing us to her.