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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Cheese

This week we are going to make some cheese to go on that cheese board we are working on. This time we are making 4 of my favorites both in real life and to make in mini.

One of the beauties of making mini cheese is that the shapes are pretty simple so once you mix your colors of clay together the forming of the clay to get the end result it fairly easy.

Before we talk about the individual cheeses and what clays to use I want to say that I have been working on the color mixtures for a long time, I don't even remember where I got the clay “recipes” from in the first place. Depending on the brands of clay and the exact colors I use I almost always have to fiddle with the proportions each time. That is where baking off a sample of the clay mixtures will save you both clay and time in the long run. On the mixture I was using for the Swiss and Gouda cheeses I showed an example the value of this step. I do bake off samples on most of the projects I show you but I don't always tell you about it. This time I wanted to use it as a part of the tutorial.

Also before we get to the individual “recipes” for the cheeses I want to talk about the measuring system. You can make as much or as little of these mixtures as you want. Simply pick an amount to represent 1 part. For me this was based on how much clay I had left in a block of white clay I wanted to use up. I knew I needed 8 parts of white for two different mixtures today so I cut the amount I had in half and then one of those halves into 8 pieces. That amount became my “1 part” you could use any measurement you want as long as you keep the that measurement the same throughout the project.

First up is cheddar, I figured most of us are very familiar with this one so it is a good place to start. Now I know that cheddar from different areas can be vary a bit in color. This is the color that works for what I buy, you can add or subtract clay to get the color you want. My mix today was:
8 parts Fimo White
2 parts Fimo Sunflower yellow
1 part Tangerine orange

For my cheddar I just wanted to form a block or brick of the cheese and to make some slices for display.

Next we made a clay mixture for two varieties of cheese the Swiss and the Gouda. For this one my mix was (this is corrected one that I used in the end)
8 parts Premo Translucent
2 parts White (this one had no label it was another leftover bit)
1 part Fimo Sunflower yellow

Today I made the Swiss into a wheel shape but just as often I make a brick of it also. I used a ¾” round clay cutter for the wheel.

The Gouda uses some of the scraps of the clay left from the Swiss. Simply form some clay into a small ball and cover it with a very thin layer of red clay (I used Fimo Indian Red) You could also change out the color of this outer “wax” coating to fit your brand of cheese.

Lastly we made a round of Brie. Just form a slab of clay and cut it into a circle with another cutter, I used the 1” one.

Now before we can go on that clay needs to be firmer and to accomplish this we are going to freeze it. It doesn't hurt the clay to freeze it and it makes it a lot easier to work with. I wanted some of these pretty solid so I froze mine for 30 minutes. You want it firm but not totally frozen hard.

Once the clay is frozen to the point of being firm we can go ahead and do any cutting without worrying about distorting the shape of our cheese.

When you are happy with how you have cut the clay let it come back to room temperature and do the final work on shaping on the cheeses that need it.

For the Swiss we need to add the holes. Super simple to do with a ball stylus or two. Add as many holes as you want.

Since I like my Brie on the runny side that is how I make it in miniature too. For that just mix a bit of the clay that we cut out of the wedge with some TLS and add it to the cut edges.

When you are happy with the way your cheese looks go ahead and bake the cheese and allow to cool.

Now the only step left for today is to paint the rind onto the outside of the Brie. Just be careful not to get the paint on the cut area.

I hope you enjoyed today's project. I would love to see pictures if you make any on my projects. 

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