Fancy Food Fully Finished Finally

I feel gratified to announce that I believe and declare all food for the film is now made. Today I finished the last few morsels.

I wouldn't have felt complete without an avocado for some reason, so, done. tremendous fun to make, I used 3 shades of green rubberized oven-fire clay with a seed sculpted over the right scale bead. The skin was textured with a piece of dried avocado skin before baking which looks utterly convincing in person. I love it when the props fool my own eye for a second. I'll pick one of them up and think it real--only 2/3 too small to be real.

The chunk of cheddar cheese, another blend of baked rubber clay, walnut ink, and clay crumbs added as patina after baking, looks for all the world like what it's supposed to. I took a bite of it upside down so my bottom teeth would scale for Rana's top teeth.

I hadn't planned on making a pumpkin almond pie but now that I wrangled fluffy air dry clay into the right scale mini tart tin I found this summer, on top of a painted air-dry earthen clay crust, and topped with little sculpted almonds, I'm glad I did it. It'll rest on the kitchen window sill to cool, of course.

Bottom right is the first of dessicated real flowers that will fill Rana's vases. I pick them on walks and park them in silica powder for a few days to dehydrate. Works well.

I improved the pomegranates. They had become too dark on their interiors to where the individual seeds weren't reading on camera. Being as it's now pomegranate season, Paul and I have been feasting on them. Looking more closely at a real seed (upper left) I thought it could be better replicated by using a white seed bead coated in a diamond clear gel that was tinted. I used an intensely rich fuschia silk dye to make a transparent coloring for a select number of accent seeds intended to break up the flatness of the darker beads. The result, finally arranged on a stained muslin tea bag lining my cake pedestal creation, made from metal odds and ends found at Canal Surplus in NYC, looks drastically more natural. yay.

It feels wonderful to have truly completed a big category of tasks for the project, especially since much of the food had begun 15 years ago (Paul did the math).

*There were a few fails today as well such as; an attempt to make the pink snail puppet ended up a sticky mess. I blended a lot of pink out of bake and bend clay (flexible oven-fired clay) pressed it over the ceramic snail sculpt that I'd made back in Ojai and baked it. It came off the sculpt nearly in one piece but the rubber clay wasn't flexible enough to animate as I'd hoped. I'll have to forget about the sculpt I'd made and try instead to make it as a build up puppet out of foam. I could always make a proper mold of the sculpt and cast the snail in latex, etc. but because it really is such a background character it doesn't seem that time would be well spent. Unless creating a build up puppet would take up the same amount of time. I'll find out.



  1. Spectacular food props!
    I'm just curious - What scale do you work in because your food looks kinda big. Maybe i'm just used to a smaller scale. Or is it that the cottage interior will be a bigger scale? Or maybe you have small hands??

  2. Such lovely pomegranates. :-)

  3. such detail!


  4. HA! no small hands, Michael, that's so funny, no! The scale in Halfland is HUGE! it's 1/3 scale. In other words, the 6' tall Answer Tree would be 18' tall in our world. Everything in Halfland is 1/3 scale, cottage, food, puppets, everything.

    Thanks, Sven and Justin!!

  5. Hey Shelley,

    I should have known! Geez...

    "I'll pick one of them up and think it real--only 2/3 too small to be real."

    I read that but it didn't really register, y'know? Well, thanks for your response I went over the post again and picked up on what I missed the first time.

    Now keep in mind i've only been following Halfland for a few weeks now so I don't know all the in's and out's of it yet...

  6. Goodnes, no problem, Michael! No reason why you should have known the size of things here. Thanks for the interest.

    I believe the 1/3 scale is what Corpse Bride and others, perhaps Coraline ?, are made in. It's large for a home production. My husband worries that if we have to move from here we wouldn't have room for the large set. I told him I'd do what I had to. Worst case, I'd build an enclosure for it out of doors.

    Fortunately, it looks as though we can stay for the time being. A positive result of the housing/banking crisis.

    Rock on.

  7. incredible Shelley!!!

    Good enough to et!!!

  8. You're Yuuummmmyyyy, Mike! xox

  9. persephone would have died for the seeds of those luscious-looking pomegranates. they're beautiful, shelley!

  10. Anonymous4:58 PM

    More yummy Thirdland food props!
    But what's with the avocado seed?
    All the avocados I've seen have a large round seed, but your seed looks pear-shaped. Great skin though!

    I'm a bit relieved to hear how big your gorgeous foodie props are - now I don't feel so bad about getting my propsmaking ass whupped, mine are half the size at 1:6 scale. But even life-size those pomegranates would be awesome - I agree gl., worth spending half the year in Hades for!

    What does your snail look like?

  11. Hi Nick! Well, that's how they grow 'em in .33% land! hee. I didn't look at any reference images, just made it from feel and went a bit too much on the pear shaped pip, but it's not too far off the variety I'm used to up here:


    Oh yeah, the props et al are huge here, huge. It's kind of nice to have the extree size to play with to be sure. Of course the set then requires a huge space too. We saw an artist warehouse space today that makes our place look like a closet! All of Halfland could fit into a tiny corner and the sky could soar to 30'! It was expansive to consider!

    The Pink Snail is featured in this button art (which you should have received last year?): (Let me know if you didn't and I'll mail you out one.)

    I'm thinking about using the rubber clay failure for the pupp, it kinda works, naaah, considering doing it only about 30% so I'll likely cast or build anew.

  12. Thank you so much, Gretchins, They are my favorite food, as I never tire of saying!


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