I’m sometimes asked “how on earth did you make that?” when people see my miniatures for the first time. So, I thought I’d show a few photos with a brief description of the process.
Even though it’s so tiny, it helps to think how ‘real’ food is made. Sometimes the best inspirations come from cookbooks, pinterest, or food blogs. This is where I came across a lovely recipe that inspired me online. What caught my eye this time, was Nigella Lawson’s Lemon-thyme cake, which this blogger wrote about. If you want to make the real deal, follow along in Simone’s blog, insimoneskitchen.com . I know I plan to make the real cake this weekend! Thank you, Simone, whom I do not know. She certainly takes lovely food photos!
*I have to make real desserts on occasion, or my family grows frustrated every time they see a new sculpt!* I lost count of how many times I have said, “I think I’ll make a cake”, just to hear them all groan – “REAL or fake??”
Whenever I see something that I have to sculpt, I prepare the clay (batter), then the garnishments/sauces/icing etc. Just like in real cooking, I line up all my ‘ingredients’. In this case, I started by cutting out thyme leaves from painted parchment paper.
After forming my clay into my desire shape, I begin the basic texturing. For this I use a foil ball, ball stylus tools, and dental tools. This is where I spend most of my time in every project, and the result is well worth it.
I then set down an initial colour base with soft pastels, starting with the lighter colours first. Think how real food cooks or bakes, with the light golden progressing to charing if your dish calls for it. The more variations of colour you use, the more realistic.
Sharp blades are used to cut out servings, which then requires more texturing. I prebake after this, before adding any icing/sauces/garnishes. This protects the details of all that texturing I did!
Once cool to the touch, I finish adding the pretty touches. I had planned on making more sprigs of thyme with the many leaves I cut out, but chose keeping my sanity in the end. Yes, I actually do grow impatient sometimes with this process!
My favourite part is the end result and getting to take photos of my creation. The real challenge is not to rush it. However, sometimes there is only so much time in the day to make use of natural light.
So before the last of the light slipped away from me, I barely got this scene set up. I didn’t manage to complete the scene backdrop. I did manage to find my kitchen Island that I made. I hope you enjoy my photos and can appreciate the process. If you stumbled upon this post and ever wanted to try making miniature food, but felt intimidated, please don’t! Polymer clay is a forgiving medium. It also does not dry out like air dry clays. You can buy a 2 ounce bar of polymer clay for under $3 at just about any craft store. Give it a go!