Monday, 17 March 2014

The bricks are complete....Mrs Puddifoot's Tea Shop.

Just a tiny update! I've managed to complete all the brick work on the tea shop! Not before starting again on a segment though! I wasn't happy with how some turned I scratched them out and redid them (the row above the lintel was redone too, the row was too narrow!). I have areas of more distressed bricks...and some areas where they aren't so badly aged by the centuries of decay (a combination of the lighting and dry and wet bricks don't show the bricks as they really are). 

This brand of clay is a tad unpredictable...more on that in a minute! 
I didn't have enough Art Mache made up to complete the brick work for Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop (another reason  why I have stopped working on it for the moment). You buy it in dry powder paper pulp form and add water and PVA glue (white glue and my desired added option). It gives it added strength and I also think it makes less susceptible to cracking.
Anyhow, I made it up too wet (more often than not the pulp absorbs any excess moisture). I made this batch up last weekend and I keep it in an air tight container in a warm but airy place (near a radiator!) for a least 2 months so that the fibre's break down and become finer. I checked it this weekend, far too wet for rolling so I decided to add more dry pulp and PVA to the mix. So, now I have more made up clay than I need immediately...never mind I can use it elsewhere! lol   
Here is the other side of the tea shop completed. For some unknown but bizarre reason the top bricks (at the bottom of the photo) are larger in size! They all started off the same...I did notice some on the upper part do the same thing. I have never known clay do this, the clay seems to have swelled! I didn't add anymore water to my brush nor to my clay surface as I worked, and the top part was nearly all new clay from the pack! A friend said it's happened to them. :o/ I can't say I'm thrilled or pleased! I hope once it's painted it won't show as much!
 So, because the bricks below this top row were larger...I had to make these larger! :o/
 The finished front! 
 How I left it on Sunday night,  you can tell the difference between the drier clay from the wet clay.
 I think the top bricks did shrink down in size a bit as they not quite as erm big! lol
Photo taken today. I've primed all the shop, the only bits I haven't done are the ceilings and floors. I want to drill the holes in the ceilings for the lights and the floors will be painted/stained brown/black before I lay the floorboards.   
With the front door panel in (I wont' glue it in until it's all decorated etc.). I can't paint the bricks until the clay is completely dry, so I have been tidying up the paintwork and will first apply another coat of creamy yellow and then start on the brickwork.

The upper windows will be painted the same creamy-yellow as downstairs. 
I need to add some clay here....between the edge of the wall and the column. This side is bigger because the gap is bigger!
I have checked the windows etc., it couldn't have been put together any other I can't blame the person for dodgy glueing! lol The otherside is a tad bigger than this side...very strange indeedy! 
This an old shop, and I am guessing it was hand cut and no CAD technology way back then!? The reason I say this is because as I look at the door windows they seem to lean over to the right, or is that just me?! As if the door isn't hung straight, I believe it is correct and the door is okay (I will double check it), if it is wonky for whatever reason, not totally sure how I can somehow divert the eye, unless I somehow hang the door off to the left more?! lol

I will plaster this wall, if it's bricked I think it will look too much, so plain plaster will add a balance to the front to match the tiny plain plastered areas on the two sides.
Two chimney stacks! I will have the shorter one for the tea shop, the other one will be for another shop in Diagon Alley.  
Here they are with their tops on  and primed, ready to be bricked etc! 

I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx


  1. I LOVE reading your blog and seeing how you do things ♥

    1. Thank you Nicola for you kind words. :o))

      I was going to do a mini tutorial on paperclay and air dry clays...maybe I will do that next time. I hope in the fullness of time I can find out why this clay has swelled a tad! :o)

  2. The brickwork really makes this building look interesting. All the imperfections will add to the realism. I love what you have done so far.

    1. It does add something and maybe some quirkiness! I think once it's painted they won't show too much. I hope to brick the chimney stacks this week. :o))

  3. I think it looks awesome but I do wonder why the top swelled up like that? very strange but I agree that once you paint it no one will notice it. your shop is coming along well


    1. I've been trying to work out why. I thought at first it was because I tipped it upside down..but I didn't leave it like that to dry, so it's not that. I know this clay tends to stretch so maybe it's a combination of that and moisture, but then it would do it everywhere if that was the case. I have used many types of paperclay's and air dry clays and they all misbehave, but not like this! lol

      I checked it this afternoon and they have shrunk down a maybe as it continues to dry they may be more or less normal! lol It will be interesting to see if this clay reacts differently in hot and drier weather.

      I'm sure it will be fine when it's all painted and aged.
      Hugs! ;o)))

  4. The brickwork looks really nice so far....I am looking forward to see it painted. I guess it will become beautiful.

    1. I'm glad that you like it. ;o)) The paint will bring it to life...but first I have to do a bit more clay work. It's far better to wait until the clay is completely dry before you go anywhere near it with a brush. ;o))

  5. Beautiful brick work! Can't wait to see it painted! Bricks give a realistic look to the building already! Mini hugs, Natalia

    1. Aww thank you! I have been working on making the mortar lines better and I'm a bit happier with them overall! I've started painting it today...and I 'should' be able to add some ageing tomorrow or Tuesday. :o))

      Hugs! ;O)

  6. The brickwork looks good and I like that particular property too. Good luck with the painting and ageing!

    1. Thank you Irene. :o))) It's a lovely shop, one of the prettiest I think.

      I have now completed the painting (well almost), there's a newer post than this which shows the latest. :o))