Top Secret Formula Sheds Its Cocoon
Patricia Snyder began making flowers over 20 years ago, using
wires and a top secret formula that she has never revealed...
until now. In "Patricia's Garden," Volume 14 of the multi-part
Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series, Patricia takes
you through a 7-step process that shows you how easy and inexpensive
it is to make cloisonne-like flowers and vines. Also included
are her instructions for creating her trademark miniature
After mastering the techniques on this video you'll understand
why Patricia says, "These flowers are going to be beautiful
for you to make. You're going to enjoy them, and they're going
to be food for your soul."
The tools and materials you'll need to get started will be
easy for you to find. They include tweezers, nails, toothpicks,
paper clips, wire, a series of brushes, and acrylic paints.
And you'll want to pay close attention because it's in this
section that Patricia reveals the top secret "ingredient"
she uses for making her flowers and butterflies.
Once you've gathered your tools and materials, your first
step will be to learn how to work with wire and mix your paints.
Using a pencil as your guide, you'll create a series of loops
with the wire to form three-petal flowers. Next you'll learn
how to make a stem for the leaves using wire and a pencil.
When the leaves are done, Patricia demonstrates how to use
tweezers to shape them and give them a realistic look. "The
important thing to remember when you're working with wire,"
she says, "is that you always twist it around the pencil in
the same direction."
After learning cutting and shaping techniques, Patricia demonstrates
her painting technique. And because paint tends to be a different
shade when it dries, she offers a couple of terrific tips
to ensure that you end up with the exact color which you intended.
Although she's partial to light lavender, dark purple, yellows,
and greens, Patricia encourages you to use your creativity
and pick colors and shades that you like best.
The first flower you'll make is an Iris. Using an on-screen
chart as her guideline, Patricia demonstrates the steps to
creating first the stem, then the petals, followed by the
feathers. She uses a different chart for each of the flowers
you'll be creating. And because this is a video, you can pause
the tape and go over the chart while you're making your own
flowers. Once the stem, petals, and feathers are assembled,
you'll add the leaves.
Throughout her demonstrations, Patricia is constantly revealing
secrets and techniques to make the process easier and more
enjoyable. For instance, while shaping the flowers she says,
"Wire is very forgiving... you can do anything with it." In
other words, if it doesn't come out right the first time,
don't worry. Just re-shape it to your satisfaction. Best of
all she reminds us, "Wire never argues with you."
Painting may create a scum build-up. "Move the build-up out
of the way and keep painting," says Patricia. "Just make sure
there are no bubbles." And since paint sometimes tends to
run as you apply it, she shares a technique for using this
to your advantage instead of fighting against it. After the
paint dries and you've applied the feathers, you'll learn
how to use the tops of a plastic yogurt container to form
leaves for your flowers, determine how many leaves each flower
should have, and how far apart they should be from one another.
Next comes the daffodil. Once again, the on-screen chart
helps you to know exactly what to do. The procedure for twisting
the wire is the same as the one you learned earlier. The difference
lies in the number of loops and twists required. But with
the on-screen charts as your guideline, you'll have no trouble
remembering how many loops and twists to make for each flower.
Camera close-ups and constant guidance from the instructor
show you each step in detail. If you don't understand something,
simply rewind the tape and play it again. Once you've created
an iris and a daffodil, you're ready to learn how to make
Patricia's trademark butterfly. "Butterflies like flowers,"
Patricia says. In fact, "Flowers like butterflies!"
After making single flowers and butterflies, you're ready
to graduate to rose vines... by far the most complicated piece
of all. Once again, just use the on-screen chart if you have
any doubts or questions along the way.
Wisteria adds a finishing touch to your flowers and your
garden. That's why a section of this video is dedicated to
showing you how to make it. "Wisteria is fun," says Patricia.
"Everybody loves to make it." Once you learn how, you can
put it around your miniature house, your gazebo, your fence,
and anywhere else you want. "Wisteria requires a little bit
more work than some of the other projects you'll learn on
this tape, but when you're finished it's such a reward. You're
going to love it."
The final step will be to use the flowers you've made to
convert what Patricia calls a "haunted" house into a beautiful
home. And you'll learn how to set up a beautiful garden around
"Patricia's Garden" ends with a series of helpful resources
where you'll find additional help, ideas, instructional books,
and supply kits. Patricia finishes her instructions with the
most comforting words of all... the words every student looks
forward to hearing from a teacher. "If you have a problem,
give me a call," she says. "I've done everything wrong at
one time or another, so I can help you. Happy gardening."