Friday, 14 October 2011

So What About Those Cauldrons?????!!!!!!

The last couple of days I have been playing with all sorts of different ways of making cauldrons.
This is the collection of shapes and sizes I have got together. It includes a range of lids, various mini glass bowls, some lovely cast iron cauldrons from Sussex Crafts and some bubble floats in different sizes (I was given this idea by Brea, whose blog is a must for us dabblers!!)
 Plus the water balloons for the paper mache idea.....Suffice to say Lily loves them!!
 I tore up lots of newspaper and made up a weak PVA mix just like on Blue Peter many, many years ago. 
Let me just say my preparations took longer than it took me to realise that my paper mache idea was not going to work. My balloons were too small and too slippery. My newspaper pieces were too big. My patience was running too thin......End of that plan.
 So, I covered all my shapes with foil and moved on to plan B and C, using Paperclay and Fimo. 
I would cover the shapes in my chosen material and the foil would stop any sticking.
I had some grey Fimo in the drawer so I started with that, thinking that if my first attempts by some miracle turned out fabulous I could always paint them.......Optimist is my middle name!
Here are my prototypes in the oven, no Nigella cup cakes for me!
 Only three survived the baking. The tiny one simply refused to be separated from its cap.
Whenever I get out the Fimo or clay I am further filled with admiration for all the wonderful clay artists who make the most wonderful tiny pieces. I just find it impossible to get a smooth, untainted finish.
Maybe I will be able to refine the finish but the shapes work. 
 Impatient as always I did try to remove the inners too quickly which resulted in some cracking. Must remember to let them get cold next time.
Here are my Paperclay efforts. Even got a little creative here, woooo hoooo, tried a little pumpkin thingy idea with one of them! Once again they are a little rough and ready, maybe I can tidy them up when they are fully dried? Maybe they will look better once they are painted?
It seems as if the foil idea is working and the clay hasn't stuck fast. 
I will be good with these and let them dry completely over night, and then sigh....
I have yet to try the ping pong balls. I might try cutting up the bubble floats and covering them completely in the clay or fimo, I might build a stack and then cover the whole stack in clay/fimo rather than build from individual cauldrons, I might.........
I know I'm burbling but maybe I'll get it right tomorrow!


  1. I had the same problems with my to do them, around and around I went wondering what to do, so don't despair! The paperclay ones look the best (you could keep making them until you get enough to work with) and they could be sanded to make them finer.

    Try the ping pong balls...and if they fail you could just keep buying cauldrons, there are loads on the market.

    I'm going to email you...give me a little time as I'm in the middle of another to Julia as we speak! :o))

    Michelle xxx

  2. Oh, learning by doing, thats very good.
    But perhaps you will find some more ideas on
    Somewhere I have seen a tutorial of a nice cauldron, but I don't remember where, sorry.

  3. These look really good :) Would greaseproof paper/baking parchment work?

  4. You are making me laugh Janice. I hate it when things go wrong and don't turn out as planned. We all have a box in the back of the closet with what we think are failures. Cauldrons are not easy to make but I know you are going to have success and we are going to be Wowed by your efforts.


  5. Im sure you will get there in the end Janice and it will look fab! Im impatent too, never like to wait for things to try! Id do it the lazy way and look for shop bought ones but with the amount you need i expect that would be pricey! xxx

  6. Hi Janice, just want to say thank you.
    I was searching for Cauldrons last night for a 1/24th scale project and had just about given up hope of finding something suitable, when I came across your blog. Then it clicked, make one rather than buying, of course.
    Inspired by your post, I found some suitable caps etc and set to with papier mache.
    The first was passable, but there was scope to improve. Adding a rim first from a thin strip of paper made a big improvement to the appearance. The experiments continue, but if you want to see progress so far, here is a link to a pic on photobucket:-
    The painted one in the centre was the first attempt, the others still work in progress. To gauge the size, the orange piece front right is half a Kinder Egg container. The black band is the paper rim stuck around it.
    Oh one thing I forgot to mention, with your balloons, rather than newspaper for the papier mache, try with kitchen roll or toilet paper, it's much more flexible. I used 3 to 4 sheets of cheap double ply toilet paper on each cauldron, though it does take a bit of practice as it dissolves when wet. Kitchen roll is a bit easier to use. but not as smooth.
    Anyway, thanks again for the idea and if you want any more details on how I did them, just ask.

  7. Hi Michelle, I am continuing to try but my efforts are a little feeble at the moment!
    I can't do much on the house at the moment as I am waiting for supplies. So annoying!

  8. Hi Nina and Faby, thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Hi "Wee Life..." , thanks for the tip for my next batch!

  10. Hi Kate, oooo I am so impatient and also I look at my efforts which seem to have taken ages and think "Why bother!?"
    But you are right I need lots and the cheap ones are pretty small and the better ones are not expensive but when you need 40 or so!!!
    I will have to keep at it!

  11. Hi Steve, thank you for your lovely comment and your cauldron looks a lot better than mine!!!
    This is what is so great about Blogland compared to Facebook, the sharing of ideas. I don't think I would have had the courage or ideas I now have without reading all the wondeful blogs there are.
    Good luck with the rest of your project

  12. hello Janice .
    I went to see your pots. I do not use the Fimo because the dough is too soft. I take the sculpey. I'm like you, I cover with a plastic lid of sculpey .Bake 10 minutes to remove the cover. Then I add the sausage in sculpey all around and i create my cauldron. If it is not smooth, I pumice with paper verre.After bake 20 minutes again .
    Try again !


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