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MM22: Kitchen Miniatures in Polymer Clay

w/ Sue Heaser

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$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Teapot
Cup, Saucer, Bowl
Vases, Jugs
Painting Crockery
Pots
Spoons, Knives, Rolling Pin
Brushes & Brooms
Basket
Tile
Variations

Approx. Running Time: 90 minutes


In the Kitchen with Sue Heaser

English polymer clay artist Sue Heaser returns to MindStorm Productions with this video, "Kitchen Miniatures in Polymer Clay", the 22nd installment in MindStorm's Master Miniaturists series. Heaser, the author of three books including "Making Doll's House Miniatures with Polymer Clay", again shares a wealth of advice and step-by-step instructions.

Sue guides the viewer in making:

  • China and Cookware
  • Vases and Jugs
  • Baskets
  • Utensils
  • Brushes and Brooms
  • Pots and Pans
  • Tiles

The simple tools and materials include a razor blade, preferred by Sue over other blades for its thinness; an Xacto knife with special (slightly dull!) blade; glass marbles for forming bowls; and specially designed home-made tools. Sue provides many valuable tips and suggestions for ensuring that your tools work for you.

The first segment in this video explains how to create realistic china, cookware and vases. As with all projects in this video, the work is done in 1/12 scale, although the techniques can be applied to other scales as well. Beginning with a charming rounded teapot, Sue demonstrates basic techniques such as making perfectly smooth spheres, rolling uniformly thin clay snakes, and using tapestry needles to handle the clay. For tiny teacups, Sue shows how to open the interior of these containers without deforming the shape or proportions of the exterior. "China" bowls are formed over glass marbles (along with three variations for bases). Vases and jugs round out this section of the video, complete with variations of spouts and handles. Painting and varnishing are explained: what to use, what not to use, and application.

Moving to the cooking side of the kitchen, Sue now demonstrates the creation of miniature pots and pans. A cast iron saucepan with a long handle is the first and most detailed project in this section. All the basics are covered, from proper proportions to supporting the handle during baking. The same techniques are used to create copper kettles, with powders and varnishes providing various finishes. Sue reminds us that "imperfections are fine, as they replicate the rustic look".

In the third segment of the video Sue demonstrates "essential items"- utensils, brushes and brooms. After showing how to create imitation pinewood in polymer clay, she creates a wooden spoon and rolling pin, complete with finishing touches that add to the realism. Tiny knives are created in two steps: first, the blades are sliced from a specially formed and baked block of clay, and then "pine" handles are added. In making miniature brushes and brooms, which really work, for their intended purpose, Sue uses bristles from ordinary household paintbrushes. She demonstrates the use of glue to hold the bristles together and to attach them to their handles, and again shows how to add decorative accents to enhance the realistic appearance of these creations.

Next, Sue makes baskets. Tiny thread-like snakes of polymer clay are twisted to form weavers that are then coiled to form baskets. Variations include handle possibilities, basket sizes and shapes and color variations.

The look of ceramic tiles is masterfully recreated by Sue in the final project. After showing us examples of completed 9-tile to 16-tile panels, she begins by demonstrating how to make a custom stamp with which to decorate tiles. A sheet of polymer clay is marked off in 1/12 scale tiles, embossed with the stamp design, brushed with powdered artists' pastels for accent, and scored to create the illusion of individual tiles. After baking, the tiled panel can be varnished to imitate highly glazed ceramic. Throughout, Sue provides tips that ensure that the finished product is realistic.

Like other MindStorm videos, "Kitchen Miniatures in Polymer Clay" devotes time to variations on the projects. Here, we see different ways to paint china and cookware, with special attention paid to suggestions and tips for plate patterns. Mixing bowls, serving dishes and a large selection of jugs and vases also inspire, especially the containers made from polymer clay mixed with "tea dust". A wide range of shapes, sizes and glazes is presented along with brief comments about creating them. Mugs, buckets, cookware are also shown in great variety. Wall tile variations range from unglazed terra cotta to highly sophisticated Delft. Even true grouted tile panels are explained.

Throughout this video, Sue Heaser combines her 15 years of polymer clay experience with a very effective narrative style to share her creativity and enthusiasm for dollhouse kitchen miniatures. It is a fine example of the work that has earned Sue her worldwide reputation as a miniaturist.

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