For the September issue of Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine I worked on a mini pear pie tutorial! A delicious homemade looking pie with a beautiful golden braid crust that goes not only all around the edge, but also through the lattice pattern (if you look closely) to create that extra sense of cosiness perfect for autumn days.
I wouldn't say this is a quick tutorial, as there's a lot of crust texturing involved, so if you like taking your time texturing every single bit of pastry, this is the tutorial for you. I personally love texturing pies and cakes and can lose track of time following the needle across the clay.
The tutorial for the dish is summarised in one step in the magazine because of limited space, which is why I will run you through the steps here:
To make the dish pie you will need:
Scrap polymer clay
Polymer clay in any colour you like for the dish
Tile to work and bake the dish on
Two part silicone mould Putty
FIMO Liquid (or other liquid polymer clay)
Matte/Gloss water-based varnish
Pasta Machine/Rolling pin
To make the pie dish:
After conditioning some scrap clay, put it through the thickest setting of your pasta machine, cut it into section and stack two/three sheets together. These can be two thick ones and one from setting #5 for example, so to get your desired height.
Take a small round cutter and cut out the shape. Remove the excess clay and bake for 10 minutes.
Once the main part of the pie dish is baked and cool, take some more scrap clay and put it through your pasta machine again, through a setting slightly thicker than you'd like the handles to be.
Cut a strip as wide as you'd like the handles and then cut 2 sections across the strips, as thick as you'd like.
Dab a little FIMO Liquid where the handles would go on the pie dish and attach the sections of clay, carefully pushing the clay into the dish.
Blend the handles to the dish and trim the excess. You can also flatten them if they're too thick and angle them slightly, trimming the the clay as you go.
Bake the pie dish one last time for at least 30 minutes.
Once baked and cool, make a mould with silicone mould putty. Let set.
After conditioning clay in a colour of your choice, put it through a thin enough setting (but not too thin) of your pasta machine and cut out a circle big enough to fit in the pie mould.
Place the circle of clay in the mould and carefully push the clay into the corners and trim the excess with a blade. Add more clay on the handles and bake for at least 30 minutes.
Once baked and cool, you can sand away any imperfections and paint and/or varnish the pie dish. Let dry completely and your dish is ready to sculpt the pie in!
If you'd like to know how I sculpted the pear pie inside the dish and all the tools and materials I used, you can find the tutorial in the September issue of "Dolls House & Miniature Scene" Magazine by clicking here. The magazine is available in print or digital format so you can enjoy it on your favourite device and even zoom in where needed!
What else is in this issue?
Sadie Brown’s wonderful read welcomes in the harvest with Linda Cummings, Cristina Hampe and Kathleen Holmes. Follow their journey at this time of year. Straight after you’ll find Sadie’s project which will ensure you “branch out” in your mini makes! This issue has a real juxtaposition of new and old – modern and nostalgic – so there really is something for everyone. We simply adore the reader project from Joanne Pittaras on page 28, a beautiful modern make consisting of a Greek villa and a lake view home – so beautiful! On page 48 let Moi Ali take you down memory lane as she details the story of Hazel Wyle and how she reconnected with her childhood home – in miniature form! Such a touching story that I’m sure we can all relate too. There are projects a plenty too, including Moi’s quick tricks to give your 1930s house a period feel. Plus so much more!
New additions to my clay house collection include bakeries, patisseries, candy floss shops, ice-cream shops, chocolate shops, townhouses and a magic shop inspired by Willow's "The magic box" from Buffy the vampire slayer.
My little houses and shops are individually handmade from air dry clay and hand-painted with acrylics. Each one is a stand alone piece, with its own characteristics, details and measurements; therefore when ordering, the one listed and pictured in the first photograph is the one you will receive.
I was called to try air dry clay (again) last year as I find polymer clay restrictive at times. I'm not always the most patient person and baking a piece several times and letting it cool down means I can get bored easily. My attention span is non-existent sometimes, and this year has been declining! 😅 Sculpting with air dry clay has allowed me a little bit more freedom as I get to be more spontaneous both while I'm sculpting and while I'm painting.
Letting the clay dry (which takes about a week) isn't really a problem for me as I get to do other things or paint those I have previously made. In general, they're inspired by the countries I've lived in (Argentina, Italy and England) and places I'd like to visit. More specifically about little village shops like those in Cromer, Headcorn or Rochester with their wonky roofs, short little doors that seem to have been specifically designed for me, with lots of flower pots hanging about and colourful bunting adorning the facades.
In case you missed it, in October 2019 my first polymer clay book "Miniature Cake Creations" (about which you can read more here) was published. Until a week ago it was only available in print which meant it was available in a limited number of countries. I had received a lot of questions about this, especially from countries where Amazon and The Book Depository don't deliver, so I know many where looking forward to this.
So, I'm really pleased to inform you that my book is now available on Kindle, yay! Which means that you don't have to wait for it to be delivered to your door, the instant download is only one click away and you can buy it from anywhere; you can read it on your favourite device, it doesn't take space on your bookshelf and you can take it away on holiday with you (if you're like me and would take a suitcase just for books) and zoom in to either read better if you find the font a little small or if you'd like to see some steps in more detail. Win, win.
The book doesn't only cover specific projects, but it also has a wide section on techniques that I developed and use to make my miniature cakes.
Whether you prefer the paperback or the Kindle edition, you can get them here:
I really hope you enjoy the tutorial on the "Dolls House & Miniature Scene" Magazine and that you find it helpful to create your own mini pies, whichever fruit you choose. If you recreate the pie, even if it's a little different, don't forget to share it with me on Instagram, I love to see your work 💖
Thank you so much for reading, BIG virtual hug and I'll catch you next time,
Love and doves 💕🕊️ Mai