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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mini Strawberries

Watch this week's video here

This week I decided to show you how to make some farm fresh mini
strawberries. Since strawberries are one of my favorite summertime
treats I am not really sure why I put them off for so long. I had
intended to make them in June but somehow forgot. Thankfully a viewer
reminded me this week that I hadn't done them yet.

Strawberries are really fairly simple. I think the two most important
pointers I can give is to be careful on the size and to work with a
firm clay. A soft clay is not going to work well for this project so
dig out your Classic Fimo instead of the Soft variety this week. I
found that Carmine Red was a good match for the real strawberries that
I had in my kitchen so that is the clay of choice this week. The firm
clay is a lot more resistant to fingerprints so that works in our
favor. The texturing is relatively simple with a toothbrush. I have
tried for a long time to figure out a way to give the texture a hint
of color (like the real seeds on the real berry) but so far all my
efforts have come out way too heavy so I am leaving them plain. If you
really want to add the hint of color you might try a very watered down
yellow paint but my experiments came out looking painted. Let me know
it you solve this issue. The trick will be to just get the color inside the texture and not on the surface of the berries.

The basic shape of our berries is very similar to the basic shape of
the mini peppers we made a few weeks ago. The berries are just smaller
and a little more pointed. If you look at real fruits and vegetables
you will start to identify that most of them are really just
variations on similar shapes. The size and color is what really sets
each apart from the others.

Be prepared and have some wet wipes or a damp towel handy because the
red clay (and the red chalk for the un-ripe berries) will stain your
hands really quickly. It also stains clothes and just about all other
surfaces so try to be neat and clean up as you go.

Another caution with red clay is that I find it to be the color that
seems to shift the most when baked. If you over bake these they will
turn really dark on you so watch them carefully and under-bake if need
be. Also be sure to double check the recommended oven temperature for
your clay. I sometimes bake at slightly under the recommended
temperature to avoid the color shift with the red. Baking at 5 degrees
cooler won't hurt and it may save your project. We are baking these a
total of 3 times if you are using TLS to adhere your berries to
whatever container you going to display them in. I used a time of 5
minutes for each of these bakings (for a total of 15 minutes) so I
know my berries are baked through.

On to the pictures: 
 Mrs Doll is coming in the box of fresh berries. Don't they look yummy?

The display is really filling out quickly for me. I really hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. 


An close up of the berry box. The TLS really shows up in the photo but in person is not really noticeable even with a magnifying glass. I'm not sure why it shows so much in this picture. 

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