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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Magic Teapot

Take a look at what I just received in the mail!  I was lucky enough to win this set comprised of fireplace, dining table, dining chairs, sofa and armchairs on ebay from Linda of Linda's Miniature Musings.  They look quite big in the photo, but they are only 1/24th (or half) scale and they are tiny.  I've been thinking over the past few months that once the Castle and the Shop are finished perhaps I should try and do something in 1/24th scale.  If I was going to do this, I'd need to start with a reference for comparason to ensure I got things the right size and not only will this set do this, it also furnishes most of a room, or even the downstairs of a house.  Linda was gracious enough to include a few extra items in the box, the plant, saucepans, milk, butter and coffee you can see in the photo.  Thank you Linda.  If I am going to make use of these, I have to do something fairly modern, but the sofa is very Victorian looking. . . . . Well, at the rate I'm going it will be a long time before the Castle and the Shop are finished, so I'll have lots of time to come up with a brilliant idea for my 24th scale scene.  So for now they go into storage while I mull over the possiblities and get on with the projects I already have underway.

The work in progress

Have you seen pictures of "floating" teapots or potion bottles that pour liquid into cups or bowls with nothing but the "liquid" flowing out of them to hold them up?  Needless to say from the first time I saw a picture of such a thing I wanted one but never happened upon one for the right price, so I decided to try making my own.  Initially, I thought to use the pre-bought teapot I already had in the Reading Room, but discovered the spout didn't have a hole in it, which rather put a crimp in my plans.  Instead, I copied the teapot in polymer clay and made also made a cup and saucer.  As poor as my scuplting skills are, I thought that this would be the easy part and making it float would be harder.  Turns out making the teapot was the hard part.

The finished Teapot

To make the pot float, I cut a piece of heavy gauge wire a little over an inch long and carefully poked one end into the spout of the teapot until it felt firmly wedged.  The other end of the wire went into the cup and saucer and the wire was carfully bent so that the teapot sat at a nice angle when the cup was placed on a flat surface.  To keep it in position, I cut a scrap piece of balsa wood to support the base of the teapot.  I then carefully covered the wire in some "tea" coloured clay and put a little extra clay in the bottom of the cup.  Finally, right before I put the lot into the oven, I coated the pouring tea with liquid Fimo in the hopes it would give it a more liquid look and not have time to slide off the tea into the cup before it was baked into place.  This final step didn't quite work as all the liquid Fimo ended up in the teacup rather than on the tea and now it looks like there is coloured tea being poured into the cup that turns clear once it gets there.  It's also almost overflowing the cup.  So the moral of the story is either tint the liquid Fimo or skip it all together and put some gloss on later to get a liquid like shine.  Once baked I painted the teapot and cup and the bottom of the saucer was then glued onto a table and when dry, the support was removed from under the teapot.  The result was a floating magic teapot.  I was really surprised how easy it was to do this and for a first attempt I'm really pleased with the result.

Harry the Snake
While I had the polymer clay out, I made a few more little items for the shop and castle.  Harry the snake hangs from the ceiling beams.  Is he for sale or is he the shops "guard dog"?  I haven't quite decided yet.  You might also spot some small potion bottles hanging from the beams and a clawed "hand" emerging from the centre draw of the hat display stand.  The shop has also aquired a set of scales to weigh items sold by weight and a couple more small cauldrons.  For the castle kitchen there are four utencils and a pile of "wooden" spoons.  A silver bowl and small brazier are my as yet unfinished attempt to make to make a comfit maker like this one: Tudor Comfit Maker on ebay

The rest of the week's acomplishments were small bits and pieces.  The cupboard in the castle's centre/sitting room was repainted to a faux wood look and now looks much better.  I also made a floor standing candlearbrum for the room, the first form of lighting the castle has.  Outside the witches shop I cleaned up the garden area and made a start on it by laying some "turf" and adding a faux window next to the door on the back wall.  It looks pretty rough right now, but once it has a vine climbing around it and flowers in the window box it should blend in better.


  1. ooooooooooo glad you liked the ebay things :D and i'm loving the castle and witches shop!!!!! Fabulous!!! :D Linda x

  2. Your teapot is brilliant! It looks like you've had a very successful week with all your minis. :)

  3. Thank you Linda, Christine and Carmen. I do have so say there was one thing about the ebay things that disappointed me . . . when I saw Linda had reused a box from Nicky Cooper to send them I made sure to poke around and check if there were any stray dragons left forgotten in the bottom, but alas! no dragons.

  4. Alennka, me ha llegado tu regalo, puedes verlo en mi blog.
    Muchísimas gracias, todas las cositas preciosas !!!

  5. Love your teapot, I have been wanting to try that too. Everything is looking great.


  6. I thought the teapot was great! I also looked at your Flicker phota but wasn't able to leave a comment. The bedroom is wonderful.
    Could you also contact me by private email at dilar2stubbs@yahoo.com.

  7. Hi Carmen,

    Glad your prize arrived OK. Looks like you had some fun finding places for everything.

    Hi D.S. Victoria,

    As I said, making the teapot float was much easier than I'd been expecting so I'm sure you'll be able to do a great job of it when you try it.

    Hi Diane,

    I have sent you and email, can't wait to find out what's up.

  8. The teapot is very nice!!The bedroom, wonderful..!! Congratulations...Hugs

  9. Thanks Maria and welcome to the blog!