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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Passion for Plates

Hi again, I couldn't last the month without doing some mini-ing and plates are an excellent 'front of the TV at night' project.


After books I have a passion for china. I have no idea how much I own - it hangs on walls, fills cupboards, overflows into the bathroom and laundry and garden. 


I am strict about not getting more (40 or so trios is already probably more than I will ever use) and as most of my love is china from the 1930s, my dolls house was the obvious place to keep 'collecting'.

Willow from dinner size to dollshouse size

Given my lack of control when faced with china, I decided to make my own for the cottage so I could have whatever I wanted ...and lots of it! Some of these I could never dream of owning in real life but Mr and Mrs Hollyhock Cottage (they will have a name one day) were lucky enough to number among their wedding gifts Clarice Cliff and Royal Doulton 'Pansies' sandwich sets, a Grindley dinner set, Art Deco display plates and  Royal Winton chintz. This in addition to inherited Victorian transferware and flow blue pieces and oddments from Mrs HC's 'bottom drawer'.

  Some bits have even inspired me to think about a second cottage! Something pretty and shabby...


The history behind the much loved English china we treasure today is fascinating and when you realise the human cost behind it, it becomes much more precious. Child labour (15 hour days), plumbism (lead poisoning), potter's rot (silicosis) along with immorality and drunkeness were commonplace. Even those locals not working in the industry had a shortened life expectancy as they breathed the poisonous air belching from the approximately 4000 kilns of the Potteries. Interesting reading is The 1840 Scriven Report on Child Labour in The Potteries

If you have a china obsession that you need therapy for, follow these steps:
1. Fill a page of Word with clear images of your desired pieces. You can format them to the size you want here and adjust brightness and colour. I usually copy 2 of each plate as my printer is prone to adding stripes or splodges and it doubles my chance of getting a good copy. Print out a sample page to double check and then print again onto light card - photo paper is fine but not necessary - my printer objected to it.Spray with a matt paper sealer and allow to dry.
For inspiration you can visit online gift stores or museums.



2. If you want round plates, scrapbooking punches are wonderful but if you don't have any, curved nail scissors used carefully will give you a lovely scalloped edge. The joy of these plates is that you can have whatever shape you want! Cut a coloured copy of each plate and a plain copy from light card.

If you are not using a punch, it is easiest to glue the cut coloured top onto the uncut plain card then cut the plain back carefully around the coloured top. If you are really inspired you can print a page of backstamps to cut your backs from! Glue the front and back together with a dry glue stick and tuck under a heavy phone book while you cut some more out.



When dry enough not to separate, but not entirely dry, pop the plate on top of plastic circle template choosing a circle size to form the indented centre of the plate. With the rounded polished end of a paintbrush or a large embossing tool (mine came from the markets and I think may have started it's life in millinery) carefully push the ball point around the circle to give the plate shape. You can do this under the plastic circle template onto a foam mat, but I found the first method more effective (if you need an irregular shape, a mat is excellent without a template). The sides may crinkle as you go - just push them back flat with your embossing tool. Don't worry if it isn't looking exciting yet.

Now for the part reminiscent of Victorian pottery hazards. Open all windows and give the top of your plates a coat of nail varnish. When dry, varnish the back. Repeat until you have a lovely gloss level, I found 3 front coats and 2 back coats to be effective. When the varnish has hardened run along the edge with a gold paint pen and you are finished!

It is very addictive!

Cups and saucers are metal from Phoenix Model Developments I did try a quilled cup but wasn't thrilled with it- maybe someone else can perfect it and share the technique. Mugs were rolled paper and need a bit more work too.


While I have been 'away' a few people have called by and added their names to my followers list, so Welcome:

Leny at lediteds who, as you may have guessed, makes and loves bears and other lovable soft toys. While her bears are adorable, I am taken with her dogs which are really cute and different.

Miniami keeps a running blog of the projects she works on herself and at her club and inspirational they are too! Go and browse Mirels blog and come out feeling like creating.

Tonight is one of those nights when google translate pushes my poor computer to the edge of crashing so while I can see the most wonderful pictures of food on Il CucchiainoMagico I don't know the stories behind it so will have to call by again.

Mieke's petite victorian rose is full of beautiful Victorian minis which would be wonderful in a modern shabby cottage. I just love looking at the pretty things others make so I loved this blog.

Astrid's blog is a feast of delightful and romantic bear themed  pictures - what a winning combination!

I doubt that Caterina  needs any introduction as she is seen everywhere, inspiring and encouraging. Sadly, her blog is another I love but doesn't love my computer so to get in is a special treat and I was smiled on the other day when I finally was able to add myself to her followers list and see her amazing BOOKS! Wow!

After many varied careers Kathy at Wee Little West has settled down o maing mini cakes and looking at them I think it is what she was born to do. They would be stunning in 1:1 scale - shrink them to 1:12 and they are amazing. As a bonus Kathy has a giveaway for her followers ending on Saturday so head over to visit.

Thank you for following me and I hope you enjoy what you read here.

61 comments:

  1. I am very grateful for your plate tutorial. Thank you. Your plates are just great!

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  2. Thanks for that - I will need to visit again to read it again - love your plates!

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  3. Thank you for that tutorial Christine. I am inspired to try again as I never could get the template embossig quite right. Both you miniature and rl collections are beautiful!

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  4. Cristine hello! Thanks for following my blog, and thanks for your warm welcome!
    I'm glad you like my books!
    your tutorial of dishes is amazing, it seems so easy to do ...
    :))
    kisses from the "far Italy!!!
    Caterina

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  5. Thank you, I hope you all enjoy making your own sets.

    Cheryl, the embossing part is the hardest bit but once you master it - which shouldn't take long - you are right for a factory's worth of production!

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  6. Great tutorial Christine, thanks!

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  7. Wow, Christine! Your China collection is DIVINE! And thanks for showing us how! I will have to master it right from the printing stage.... being a NOVICE in this department! But your plates are very inspiring!

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  8. omg!!!! this is fabulous!!! i love china too :D i will definately give this a try...thank you!!! :D Linda x

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  9. Thank you :D

    You will be fine wih it Daydreamer. :)

    I'll look forward to seeing what plates you choose Linda. :D

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  10. Christine, Your china is so wonderful! I have always had a big weakness for good china too. I love how smooth quality porcelain feels and some of the patterns are fab. Your tutorial is one to have!!! Thanks for sharing with us!!

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  11. This is a great tutorial! I love front of TV projects and China! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Thank you MiniMaker and Heather. :)

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  13. Your plates are gorgeous and I'm coming back when I have more time to take a good look at your instructions.

    Thanks for your note on my blog, fortunately all of our friends and relatives living in Christchurch are well but some have property damage, a small problem compared to the injuries and loss of life.

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  14. Enhorabuena por el tutorial, tus platos son preciosos se ven tan bonitos.
    Siento todo lo que ha pasado.
    Gracias por el comentario.
    besitos ascension

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  15. hi christine, your plates are beautiful!! i can't master my printer.. it rules me.. when i can, i definitely want to try this.. you make it look so easy, but, i think that you are really clever!!

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  16. I love plates too.
    Your plates for your dollhouse are really beautiful!
    I would like a few in my dollhouse.Lovely

    I have my first give away on my blog....
    Greetings, Diny

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  17. I love your plate tutorial. I will have to look at it again when I feel better. I am very thankful that this tooth problem didn't happen while I was away. Thanks for coming by.

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  18. Your plate collections are amazing!! Thanks for the wonderful hints of the plate tutorial!

    Oiseau

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  19. Thank you for your instructions for making small plates. I love some paterns and will give it a go! But I'm a little afraid I will get hooked!

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  20. Ha! Someone else who can't make one of anything and makes mountains! Thanks for sharing your project, it's a method new to me - I can feel 50 plates coming on..... Gill x

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  21. Hello, I've just stumbled upon your blog and I'm very glad I did! Wonderful post and I look forward to reading more.

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  22. I'm so glad people are enjoying these plates. :) Be very afraid Kleine Vingers because they are very addictive and there is always another pattern you want out there.

    I'm taking a break from blogging and hope to be back with renewed inspiration soon.

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  23. Wonderful wonderful tut !! I'd love a lot of china but the price and the space forbid to give way to this inclination.But now ?! there are no limits !!! Thankyou very much, Rosanna

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  24. WOW! GREAT tutorial!! I thought your plates were made from clay and painted or decoupaged!!! I am a big plate collector in "real" life....have over 30 hanging in my kitchen from all over the world!!! That's what I'll do in my dollhouse kitchens!!!! This is good work for in front of the TV. Only one question? WHERE do I find the darling colored prints to put on the "plates"??? Thank you, Maria Paolone

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  25. Hi Maria, you can find pictures of plates in all kinds of places. Take photos of the plates on your wall then go visit your friends and take photos of their china, save pictures online (keeping aware of copyrights) there are 2 links in the tutorial, scan pictures from books and magazines... Have fun!

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  26. This sounds like a lot of fun.
    Do you get the pictures and then print them off.
    I may have missed some of the steps. I can't wait to try this. Thank you so much
    Carolyn

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  27. I found it! :) Excellent tutorial, thank you, have book marked for a rainy day.

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  28. I'll look forward to seeing an antique shop full of china!

    Hi Carolyn, I fill up a page with images from photos I have taken as well as pictures downloaded from the net - there should be 2 links for real life china sites, then print and seal. Have fun!

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  29. WOW, what an obsession! You have a gorgeous collection of China! Thank you for a beautiful tutorial and resources. Mini hugs, Natalia

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  30. I just found you! Were we separated at birth??? I am also a confessed plate addict and that addiction is spilling over into a dollhouse too. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. I am your newest follower and will be back often to visit you. Stop by and visit my cottage sometime too.

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  31. Hi, I just joined and I already love your space. I am looking forward to many mini fun years and to more great tuts.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I will be back! :)

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  32. Hi just love your post its great to look at others mini makes
    Thank you
    Tina

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  33. Hi, I'm so new to this and was so amazed to see what you've done with paper, just wonderful. What I don't understand is how you get the shape(dent) in middle of plate so that it isn't just flat. Also, where did you get the template with all the different shapes on it?

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    1. You've probably found it by now but my template for shaping is readily available where stationery is sold. Otherwise a few other replies show me that jigs are available which would be even easier. Have fun.

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  34. I designed a jig on my 3D printer that I think makes this process a little easier. You can see a video of the process on youtube. http://youtu.be/ymxcQ4mlaT8

    I'm not trying to spam your tutorial, but if you wanted to give it a try, I'd send you one as a demo. I'm just finishing up on several more sizes as people wanted a variety for different scales. I originally designed this for my daughter who only does 1/12 (7/8") and 1/6th (1 3/4) scales.

    I've just completed printing literally 30 seconds ago, a 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and 1" size.

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  35. I designed a jig on my 3D printer that I think makes this process a little easier. You can see a video of the process on youtube. http://youtu.be/ymxcQ4mlaT8

    I'm not trying to spam your tutorial, but if you wanted to give it a try, I'd send you one as a demo. I'm just finishing up on several more sizes as people wanted a variety for different scales. I originally designed this for my daughter who only does 1/12 (7/8") and 1/6th (1 3/4) scales.

    I've just completed printing literally 30 seconds ago, a 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and 1" size.

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  36. I've designed a little jig and printed it on my 3D printer that I think makes this process a little easier. I'm not trying to spam your tutorial, so I'll leave the link to the youtube video: http://youtu.be/ymxcQ4mlaT8 and say that if you were interested in giving it a try, I'd send you one as a demo.

    I started with just the size that my daughter used 1/12 (7/8") and 1/6th (1 3/4) scale. I've recently had people ask for other scales, so I just right now finished printing 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and 1" jigs.

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    1. Hi Kirk, how clever! I'm not making any more plates at the moment - dollshousing generally is slow as real life takes over but it's a brilliant use of modern technology.

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  37. This is such a great idea! Are they just for display or would they be sturdy enough for an older child to play tea party with her doll?

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  38. Hi, Thank you for your tutorial - I just bought jigs in 5 sizes from eBay which were made on a 3d printer. I bought the paper punches in corresponding sizes, and am waiting on the jigs in the mail. The jigs let you put the punched plate into the jig, push down, and gives it the right shape. Voila! I am going to experiment with satin gloss paper to minimize the nail polish, but I have used satin spray with some success. Good luck with your cottage - you should have a miniature CHINA SHOP! :o) Re the bowls - there is another jig on eBay I'm going to try for that. I plan to use wine glasses with the china settings. Also, I'm looking for Aynsley Pembroke. Have you seen and/or made a picture of that? (It's my personal china.)

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  39. If you have cut yourself off of more real life china, you can do what my sister does when she feels like some of the things that she is holding on to for sentimental reasons only...She takes a picture! She keeps all those pics in a special folder (make sure to back it up) and then she doesn't feel bad about throwing out or giving away the item. She gets all the same nostalgic feelings from the image alone that she only has kept the most most favourite keepsakes from her kids and has room in her closets to boot! Nice Blog :)

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    1. That is so wise. Thank you for sharing the idea. I'm merrily decluttering at the moment to make more time and space and finding I'm getting a lot if enjoyment from Instagram too.

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  40. Hello Christine,
    I am the new Editor for American Miniaturist Magazine and Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine and was wondering if you would like to feature your plate tutorial and a feature showcasing your plates in our magazine. I would love to share your work with our readers if you would be interested. It's a great way to reach many people who have a passion for miniatures. You can email me at auralea@ashdown.co.uk if you are interested.
    Thanks and have a lovely day,
    ~Auralea

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  41. I know this is an old post, but I just used this tutorial to make a handful of darling little plates for my daughter's surprise dollhouse. I'm amazed at how real they look! Thank you so much!

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    1. I'm so glad you are pleased with your work!

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  42. This is fantastic!! I love the simplicity of the work and how beautiful it appears!! Thanks a lot! My kid will really love these plates when I make them.........

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  43. Wow! This will be perfect for the dollhouse I am working on with my cousin! Thanks for posting!

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  44. Why are Mr & Mrs Hollyhock Cottage not named Clarice and Cliff? Or perhaps Clarice and Doulton? lol
    Great tutorial... thank you so much for sharing. I just can't figure why I never found these a long time ago!

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  45. Thank you I am redoing my childhood doll house and was trying to figure out how to do dishes this was a great help.

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  46. Thank you I am redoing my childhood doll house and was trying to figure out how to do dishes this was a great help.

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  47. Where can you get mat paper sealer?

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    1. Hi Lucy, I used a matte spray varnish which I found at a newsagency but it should be available anywhere art supplies are sold as well as hardware shops. It's useful for sealing painted and paper objects too such as the geraniums I have in another tutorial.

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  48. I forgot to thank you for the tute. Your plates look so real. My dolls would love for me to make them some.

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  50. Thank you for so many lovely comments, progress has been non existent so I haven't logged in and the years slipped by so quickly.

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