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MM01: Faux Finishes

MM08: Working With Leather
Nutshell News Jan 1997

(now called Dollhouse Miniatures)

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Are you interested in learning how to put great finishes on your miniature furniture? Want to learn the same techniques used by the pros? Want to learn these skills right in the privacy of your own home? Then this video is worth a look.

Bluette Meloney, an award winning miniaturists, is the instructor for this video, volume 1 in the "Master Miniaturists" video series. her chatty, humorous style of teaching makes it feel as though she is sitting just across the table. She speaks clearly and concisely, and emphasizes important information without sounding repetitive.

The instructor beings by defining "faux finishing" as "making something look like it isn't." For example, faux techniques can make wood look like marble, or silk look like leather. The finishes demonstrated in the video are: marbleizing, making inlaid marble, crackle glazing and antiquing, metal leafing, leather crackling, and simulating cement blocks and stone floors.

The supplied needed for all these techniques are simple, inexpensive materials and products —such as paintbrushes, toothbrushes, glues, sponges, and bottle acrylic paints — that are available from most craft and hobby stores.

Each technique begins with an explanation of the needed supplies, along with instructions for their proper use and handling. Instructions are presented in a step-by-step manner, with tidbits of useful information sprinkled generously throughout. It is amazing to watch the wonderful effects come to life from just a few supplies! After watching just the first segment, we were inspired to try out the marbling technique, with surprisingly good results.

One of the points emphasized is that many of the products are used on several different projects, so frugal do-it-yourselfers don't need to spend a lot of money to achieve many different effects.

Another point (one that we especially took to heart!) is that it is nearly impossible to anything wrong with these techniques. The instructor talks about ways to "fix" what you don't like, and ways to work with projects — such as the French paver floor — until the desired effect is achieved.

The video is good quality; the images are well-lit and clear and the sound is clean and free of background noise. The price is right too, considering you'll want to watch this video over and over again.

Another title in the Master Miniaturists series is Working With Leather with Pat Tyler. Like other videos in the series, the information is shown in a friendly, comfortable manner. Easy to follow steps show students how to make luggage using scrap leather and tapestry cloth and how to upholster ottomans and sofas.