Okay, I decided to go ahead and do some more work on the hotplate top.
First of all I finished the bricking (it actually took a full package of mini bricks -- 50 of them) then painted the individual bricks to give them more character. I mixed the acrylic artist's paint with a medium lustre acrylic medium, so I sealed them as I painted them.
Then I mixed down some Poly Fix -- a fairly fine crack filler -- with water to make it the consistency of thick glue. I tinted it a little, but could have tinted it more. (As it is, I'll have to go over the grout and "age' it.)
I then loaded up the tool on the right of the photo, above -- it's a "Monoject" syringe used for gluing, and I happened to have a spare one. It worked just fine, once I trimmed a little off the tip (making the opening big enough for whatever particles are in the Poly Fix.)
I grouted the bricks, then cleaned them off (I used baby wipes, because I always have them around for polymer clay work). I left the piece then for about three hours, and when I came back, the grout had very politely sunk more deeply into the lines, and I applied a second layer of the stuff, and cleaned it off again.
I think it'll look quite good when I "dirty" it up a little with paint and it's set in place! I'm already looking for mini cauldrons and such to put on the hot plate when it's done :)
UPDATED: just had to add these two photos of the finished work. I'll add some more soot when the thing is in situ.
One Year Later! - Well, "Hello, Everyone!" I am so sorry for the terribly long absence - a whole year! So much has been happening over the past 12 months so lets cut to the ...
17 hours ago