St David's Day: Leeks!
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This is quite a tricky way to make leeks, but very effective. You can also use a shorter leek cane to make spring onions. This extension to the Skinner shade technique shows how to incorporate a third colour into a single, shaded strip.
You will need:
White and translucent mix (1:1)
Leeks come in all sizes so even in 1/12 scale 1in (2.5cm) is not too large even for a trimmed leek.
They can even be much larger.
1 To make a shaded strip, first put together three triangles of clay. One white and translucent mix, one spring green and one leaf green. Those familiar with the Skinner shade technique might be surprised by the third colour used here. This is because a shade from dark green through white produces a rather strange and unrealistic light green in the middle (a).
2 The ‘shade’ is produced by folding and rolling, always in the same direction until you have achieved a gradual shade throughout. When you have your shaded strip, fold it up and cut to let the air bubbles out. Carefully squeeze and press the resulting piece to narrow it (b).
3 Pass the narrowed piece through the pasta machine (or roll out) again to produce a very long thin strip (c). Then cut it into pieces and stack up these pieces one on top of the other, deliberately misaligning each alternate piece (d).
4 Cut and press together several times. As you can see, this produces a combination of shading and stripes (e–f). Just like a real leek!
5 You will probably need to add a little extra white to the bottom and green to the top of this stack. Squeeze and lengthen the strip. Thin the resulting rectangular cane enough to produce the right size for individual leaves. That means the end would measure around 1in x 1/4in (2.5cm x 0.5cm) (g).
6 You can then cut into strips (h). Normally you’ll cut them as thin as you possibly can but for the centre of the leeks cut a thicker piece and then cut that into three or four pieces for the centres. Roll one centre piece to take off the edges and make it cylindrical and cut into the top to simulate individual leaves. You can then add extra single pieces to the outside and wrap them round (i). I then pinch each leaf in to fold like a trimmed leek. Two extra leaves can be enough, but you could use four or more.
7 Tap the bottom of the leek on a piece of very coarse sandpaper (j). You could brush the very end with brown powder to simulate mud on the root part.
Project taken from Miniature Food Masterclass by Angie Scarr, published by GMC (£16.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)