Wednesday, October 14, 2009

100 Days: Got Cooking!

Continuing my long march toward s COMPLETING all main set props for the film, I've been building these kitchen utensil props slowly over the last few weeks, in between building other things.

I had the rolling pin for years and as such, it's the only prop that's slightly off-scale and too small. The way I'll place it on the table or hang it off the rack as part of the clump of cooking stuff, it won't matter. I filled the hole in the handle and stained, painted and sanded it for wear.

The masher was carved from a wooden candle cup shoved onto an old stripped paint brush handle and stained with raspberry juice.

The long blade whisk was bought in little Tokyo the other day, painted black to match the other pieces and wrapped with cord and stained. The wooden spoon and spatula and metal tongs were also found at that Little Tokyo shop (I think I squealed at my luck). The spoon and spatula only needed beating up and aging. The tongs were all metal so I made them more rustic by inserting the tips into balsa wood squares, filling in with a mixture of stainable wood glue and fine sawdust (to make fake wood), and then staining and charring the edges with black chalk.

I simply used our own wooden spatula's wear and char marks for natural use patterns. (My darling Paul doesn't understand yet that if he's grilling a steak and rests a wooden turning tool on the rim of a hot grill pan it will nearly burn. I like that real use detail.) The other tool I followed from a large one was the herb crusher stick. (There was no label on it in Little Tokyo and no one there spoke English so I don't know what it really is for) I just took a stick and whittled down the ends (including punching out faux branch nub holes. I stained the business end with greens as if it's used to crush fresh garden herbs for cooking.

The ladle took the longest to make. I kept scanning the house for what might be the right thin bowl to scale, finally landing on the white plastic cap of orange air spray. I marked the depth with tape and cut through with a blade all around to make it more shallow. At first I was sassy proud that I'd softened a plastic spoon handle to curve it to a hook at one end. But even after painting up in a metallic finish it wasn't reading right. I tried a twig on a whim and liked it better for this. I curved the end by slicing away segments and filling the seams with wood glue and sawdust. The bowl was ultimately sanded and painted with aluminum paint and attached to the handle through a drilled hole and wire coil through both parts. The ninth tool was made from coiled steel wire fastened to another twig. All utensil handles were waxed with natural beewax.


  1. They're perfect though they're not perfect! I mean this "unperfect" in the sense of non-industrial - I enjoy this handmade look and feel so much, I'm so tired of seeing smooth surfaces and glossy things sometimes... It's always a pleasure to come back to halfland and seeing in grow.

    I'm pretty sure that those tools'll match perfectly into your set!

  2. Thanks, Jessica. I know just what you mean. MUst main objective with the art direction of Halfland is that it feel very Folk and Rustic, like a fairy tale world.

  3. Anonymous2:40 AM

    Everything looks wonderful! And, I think the mystery of the original purpose of the herb mashing stick from Little Tokyo could be that it's meant to be a potato masher. I've not seen one with bark on it before... but I lived in a little fishing village in Japan for a while and, other than the bark, that's what their mashers looked like.

  4. I heart fairytale style implements and such-your work is exquisite!!

  5. Thank you Anonymous! I didn't even know they have potatoes in Japan!

    Thank you, Keke!

  6. Anonymous7:14 PM

    love, love, LOVE!

  7. Oh my gosh! this set is truly going to be amazing! Can I come visit you again when it's all completed?

  8. All looking wonderful as usual! My favorite is that little ladle made out of a cap of orange air spray.

  9. Thanks, Miss Peggy! xoxox

    Hi DJ! of course, you are welcome here anytime! Pity my scale is so much bigger than yours, otherwise we could be swapping props!

    Thanks, Yazzle! yeah, thinking of that cap took a while. That sort of figuring things out takes a lot of time that isn't really thought of as being part of building. At least I never thought of how much that sort of problem solving takes.

    I always thought of building stuff taking as long as it takes to do the building not taking into account how long it takes to figure out how!

  10. "...not taking into account how long it takes to figure out how!" Yep, I know you do! Something about not being a slave of time. Bravo!!!

  11. Thank you, In my Sepia Studio! Somehow I hadn't caught your comment here!


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