Behind Every Great Miniature House, Lies a Miniature Pond...
...In fact, according to Lou Vallas, your miniature house
is incomplete without a pond. And he should know. Lou has
spent the past 15 years building, and teaching others how
to build, natural-looking ponds and decks to add beauty to
their miniature houses.
And now, in less than an hour, you can learn his techniques
to create a miniature pond of your own. Lou reveals his secrets
in "Building Miniature Ponds With Lou Vallas," Volume 5 of
the multi-part Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series,
which offers expert instruction by some of the country's top
In this Volume, easy to follow demonstrations take you step-by-step
through the entire miniature pond building process; from forming
the base, creating the liner, pouring plaster, painting, and
landscaping, to pouring resin. You'll also find that Lou echoes
the advice given by his wife, Shirley, in "Flowers and Plants
with Shirley Vallas." "You have to be patient," he says. After
pouring the plaster of paris, for instance, he tells us, "Once
you reach this point, you might as well take a break because
you've got to wait at least 24 hours for it to dry before
you start detailing."
After the base is created and plaster has been poured, painting
is the most time consuming part of the process. When painting,
Lou recommends acrylic paint over watercolors because "it
just doesn't loosen up as much."
Furthermore, you have to decide what colors work best with
your entire color scheme, anticipate what colors you want
to end up with, and continually stop to check that you're
achieving the desired results. "Play around until you feel
comfortable with the color," Lou advises. "And keep in mind
that drying will lighten it."
Once the paint has dried, Lou turns the work over to his
wife, miniature flower and plant specialist Shirley Vallas.
You'll watch as Shirley applies the same techniques she revealed
in her "Flowers and Plants" video to dress up the miniature
pond with landscaping and detail. Continuing with her down-to-earth
approach, Shirley reminds us that sometimes the best materials
for miniature creations are in our own back yards... literally.
"You can find all kinds of goodies to use for your ponds just
walking around outdoors."
The final step in the process is the one that requires the
most care... not just for your pond and your work area, but
for your own safety as well. It's here Lou stresses the importance
of protecting your eyes and hands, as well as protecting your
work area. And he demonstrates the correct and safe way to
mix and pour resin to give your pond that finished look. "Resin
is workable for 5-7 minutes," he says. "That's why mixing
and pouring it correctly is such a critical part of the process."
Once you've followed Lou's detailed instructions, you'll
start building realistic looking ponds of your own that will
enhance the beauty of your miniature house. Then the hardest
part will be keeping the fish away.