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A Miniature Tea House in the Beginning

The facts about my miniature 1/12th TeaHouse:

  • I haven’t done a miniature project in 10 years.
  • I’ve dreamt about this project or one just like it for most of those years.
  • I’ve been slowly and diligently collecting small bits of tools or supplies from Toronto.
  • I recently met a Canadian architect and creative soul who’s encouraged me to follow my passion – after all this time.
  • In spite of the fact that there’s no Michael’s Craft Store or a hardware store like Home Depot, I have managed to begin the process of building a Chinese Tea House. The things that are underlined below are things that I have had to search high and low for because they are not sold where you would assume them to be sold.


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  • It all started a few weeks ago when I found a recipe for air-drying clay using cornstarch which turned out the be only moderately good for making tea cakes that are 7″ in diameter (less than 3/4″ in 1:12th). I need hundreds of them for a real tea shop and found artist’s air drying clay at an art store that I hope will turn out better. But yesterday was a water-shed day! I got my hands on (actually had to order it from Taobao.com because it’s not sold in any stores I went to) regular white craft glue and found a somewhat similar board to gator board to build the structure. That night I did a test of a small piece to see the board’s ability to accept the white glue and remain well glued together.
  • It worked after I tried again using a combo of white craft glue and super glue. I finally found a tough cutting knife and a large set square or whatever that long ruler that grabs onto the end of the board at right angles is called. So I’m on the way!
  • Now the box is built because I finally found a box of straight pins (also from Taobao.com to use to nail in all the pieces of gator board to make the room box shell very strong), and I’m making the window for a partition in the back of the tea house and the rest will slowly materialize.
    • Roombox ready to decorateAugust, 2015 – This week I finally got some knock-off Creative PaperClay to make the bricks for inside and outside.
    • Today I had time to make a sample of this knock-off air drying clay.
    • Rolling out the paper clay between two sticks

      Rolling out the paper clay between two sticks

      spread out the glue with a credit card

      spread out the glue with a credit card

      or glue to the PaperClay

      or glue to the PaperClay

      Score the brick lines with a credit card or metal ruler, and the short lines with a thin strip of credit card

      Score the brick lines with a credit card or metal ruler, and the short lines with a thin strip of credit card

      Use a stiff-bristle brush to age the surfaces

      Use a stiff-bristle brush to age the surfaces

      the finished sample

      the finished sample

      I’ll have to wait a day to see the results of the test. Does the clay adhere to the gatorboard? Will the clay crack when it dries? Is it really paintable?

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