Sunday, 6 January 2013

Top eight life lessons I have learnt from making miniatures

In no particular order, here are the top eight life lessons I have learnt while making miniatures. There would have been ten, but I ran out of inspiration.

1. Patience is a virtue. I thought about this a lot while individually rolling out hundreds of tiny baked beans, but it didn't make it pass any faster.

No you can't have a second helping of beans!
2. Carpets are omnivores. At least my carpet is. I have stopped counting the number of tiny things that have disappeared from my work desk, into my carpet, never to be seen again. And the lesson I've learnt from this, never walk barefoot in your workspace, especially if your workspace involves pins and blades.

3. Read the instructions. If someone went to the trouble of writing them, it's because they're probably important. Don't just assume you know best simply because you've been at something a while, you're in a hurry, or you're just plain lazy. Who knew that different brands of polymer clay baked at different temperatures. Not me! I do now.

4. Just because it looks a mess, doesn't mean it isn't all part of a very complex, delicate and structured masterplan. I promise you I know where everything in my miniature making area is (well except anything that's been claimed by the carpet, see point 2). Please don't make me tidy up.

Not even that messy really!
5. Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. Or translated into miniaturist lingo, always condition your clay! It's the lamest part of playing with polymer clay as this is when I transfer my endless supply of fluff into my previously pristine clay, but it has to be done!

6. Never work with animals or children. Or other adults. Or anyone. Multi-tasking is not my strength at the best of times, but when I'm icing tiny cupcakes which would much rather stick to my pin/fingers/each other than just sit nicely where I put them, I can't even remember who I am, let alone hold a sensible conversation. So please leave me alone. I'll let you know when you can come back in. And close the door on your way out.

They look innocent enough now...
7. Don't forget to wash you hands. You don't want even more fluff in your clay. Besides, it's disgusting not to!

8. Practice makes perfect. It really, really does. Just check out some of my earliest pieces in my Etsy shop! And I'm still practising in hopes of improvement, you'll have to check back to see how I'm going with that.

My first attempt at a fruit tart...


and a later attempt at a fruit tart.

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