Sea House Warming Hut: Ferns and Rocks

Constructed a pair of wee potted ferns with the laser-cut leaf set from The Miniature Garden (made by Jeannetta Kendall) that I had painted last week. These are in scant half-inch (12 mm) clay pots, topped with a very fine Earl Grey tea :) The root structure is formed with torn pieces of thin rice paper, bundling groups of two or three fronds. The one on the right is still drying before I can shape it.

Then there were the rocks.

Here you can see my palette of washes. I painted in successive layers, with the darkest last, knowing I would rub most of it off. I had high hopes for the salt-on-wet-paint technique.

Regrettably, it worked less well than I had envisioned. They kind of look like unwell alien sea mammals (that’s a thing around here).

And then it was my husband’s birthday and work deadlines and houseguests and sick baby girls and a cocktail party and a long weekend… and so the rocks languish in limbo fugue until I have the creative problem-solving state of mind to assess what wants to be done with them.

Also, Grimm.

8 thoughts on “Sea House Warming Hut: Ferns and Rocks

  1. Barbara W. says:

    The ferns are lovely – such clever details!
    It’s probably not the look you’re going for, but I quite like the very dark rocks. They remind me of the soapstone used for carving in these parts.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Barbara. Making tiny plants is kind of mesmerizing.
      The gravel I’ve gathered is from one of our local black sand beaches, so I’m thinking it will look all of a piece with darker boulders.

  2. Kat says:

    I love the rocks. Your washes look great. I have 2 thoughts (it’s late so my brain can only think of 2 things). I can see the salts effect and it looks cool, would a larger or more coarse salt help the effect? And second, they all photograph very uniform (the sheen). Could scuffing some with a fine sand paper help to add effect? Wait, a third thought! I love the ferns!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Kat, I’m glad you like them. Curiously, I think *smaller* grains of salt might have given me more of the effect I was going for (I used coarse Kosher). Also the acrylic washes are thicker than watercolor, and allow less of the crystalline bloom I was looking for. As for the sheen, I might resort to a matte spray to dull them down. I tried some light sandpaper scuffing, and too quickly got spots of the white airdry clay :(

  3. Bennie says:

    I love the idea of using loose tea for dirt/potting soil. I’ve been trying to think of some worn in dirt/tire tracks for my travel trailer at a campground. Maybe I’ll use some with sand I bought at Michael’s. Years ago (I’m talking 20-30) I remember taking a class at a miniature show and we made ferns out of wire and floral tape. We made a fold on the wire and then delicately snipped the tape for the leaves. At the time it looks pretty cool and you could use different colored tape or add some paint. I hadn’t thought of that class in years!. :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Wow, Bennie, please tell us more about your miniature experience! I’ve tried the floral tape method as well as painted masking tape, for snake plants and ferns. Using these laser cut leaves almost seems like cheating, but it makes it so easy to get pretty results :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s