This isn't quite as exciting as the vase, but I wanted to show what you could do with a wire form on a cookie sheet. In one of my other posts, I described using a piece of 8 Gauge Unshielded Copper Wire to create a form, to hold beads into place. The copper wire is relatively easy to bend and form, and the copper wire doesn't seem to stick to the beads, which makes it an ideal tool.
Anyway, here is a picture of the finished product and the wire form, which I used.
If you have been following posts about melted beads, you may have seen the FSU Seminole Head.
These will be hung in our extra bedroom, which we refer to as the Bobby Bowden suite. We call it the Bobby Bowden suite (named after the FSU Football Coach), because this is where people stay, when they come up for Florida State University football games.
Today, I wanted to try out a few things. The first thing was using 8 Gauge Uninsulated Copper Wire as a way to hold beads in place on a Cookie Sheet. Which worked out pretty well.
Another thing I wanted to try out was a new way to shape a flat disk of melted beads. This time I took a round cake pan and bamboo skewers. I was shooting for an organic looking flower like droop.
The last thing I wanted to try out was making a round base and attaching the base to the platter. To do this, I used a round steel form, which I picked up at the local Kitchen Ware store. I put the form in a small cake pan, and arranged beads in it, so that the beads were 1 bead thick in the middle, and 3 beads thick along the edge. This was meant to allow the base to be concave like the platter, and fit the platter tightly.
When all of the pieces were baked, it was time to attach the base to the platter. This was done using a blowtorch. Yes, a Blowtorch. Muahahaha. Just a word to note, blowtorching beads should be done outside, because this produces more fumes than baking the beads, and it is also a potential fire hazard.
I did a little more dabbling, and here is what I came up with.
After my experiment with trying to marble colors, by dragging them across each other while they were still hot, I began thinking about how to create cool shapes. Here is what I came up with...
First, I staged my beads in a round cake pan. I seem to have an affinity for concentric circles of colors. I tried to stage it so that the different colors seemed to run into each other. I baked it, waited for the disk to cool until it was hard, and removed it from the pan.
Then, I stacked a Coke Can (bottom side up) on top of a Tin Can, all of this back inside the cake pan. I then took the beaded disk, and centered it on top of the Coke Can. Once I was happy with the balance, I put the contraption back into the oven.
I let it melt, and form organically around the Coke Can. The Tin can provided extra height so that there wouldn't be any flat edges. I am thinking that you may take vase out of the oven earlier to get a more open Tulip effect, or leave the vase in the oven longer to get a tighter more uneven Tulip effect. I went for the tighter Tulip effect.
I let the vase cool to the point that I could handle it with bare hands. I then realized that with the Tight Tulip, the Coke Can was firmly embedded in the vase. I imagine that for the Open Tulip it will be easier to remove the Can. As it is, since Coke Cans are plentiful around the house, I took a pair of pliers, and start bending the can, and crushing it toward the middle. It took a minute or two to crush the can to the point where it just popped out. I chose a Coke Can for this reason, easy to crush.
Here are pictures of the end product:
I tested it for water tightness, and it leaks a little in a few spots. I am thinking that a coat of sealer on the inside might do the trick.
I was thinking to myself, "Why should I let Pinky have all of the fun?" Hehehe. I wanted a turn playing with toxic materials. No blow torch, yet. Muahahah
Besides, I wanted to test a theory. I tend to be anal about certain things, and I was trying to think about how to do a melted bead mosaic without all of the air bubbles. One thought was that if the beads are turned on their sides, when the beads collapse, they trap air bubbles, and they become a permanent feature of the work of art. So, for this attempt, I turned all the beads so that their holes were facing up. I have to say that the experiment was mostly a success. There is a single small air bubble on the bottom of the mosaic, for each bead that was used. I think if I turned it over, and cooked it again, then it might be mostly bubble free.
Another thing I tried, was using beads of varying sizes to try to get more detail. You will see in the picture with the pan, that there are small and big black beads. I have to admit that they worked out pretty well, together. There were a couple of small places where adjacent large beads ran over the smaller beads, just a little, when they melted.
Enough of about that. I wanted to make something practical, that would be decorative, and consistent with one of our Room Themes. So, I decided to make the Florida State University Seminole Head in a round form, so that it could be hung in our Bobby Bowden Suite.
Here are some pictures of the process and final product:
Where to begin... I wanted something unique, using the recommended supplies, and came up with this crazy idea. One summer, I helped my younger brother build a real working cedar strip canoe from scratch. I got to thinking that the cedar strips were very much like fettuccine. So, why not construct a model ship out of pasta. Muahahahaha.
I used an drawing program to create forms on paper, transfered them to cardboard, and cut out the forms. I hot glued the forms to a sheet of cardboard, which was roughly the size of the deck of the boat. Then, I started hot gluing fettuccine to the forms, to make the hull. The fettuccine was rather flexible, and took to the forms fairly well.
Once the hull was mostly intact, I proceeded to make decking out of Popsicle sticks. I trimmed the sticks, so that it had the appearance of woodflooring.
After I was happy with the hull and the decking, I spray painted the hull with a brown spray paint. I then took two wood dowels and hot glued them to the deck, making the two main masts. Once the masts were in place, I took some gimp, and started hot gluing the gimp to the masts, for the rigging.
I then fashioned more rigging out of gimp, a rudder out of Popsicle sticks, and sails out of muslin cloth. The piece de la resistance are the Pirate Flag on the main mast and the Figurehead on the bow of the boat. The end product, is what I call The Good Ship Ragu and the Pasta Pirates. I probably should have called them the Hot Glue Pirates since I used 5 small sticks of hot glue in the construction of the ship.
Here is a collection of pictures of the final product.
My wife is the crafter in the house, and I am more of an ideas/concepts person. I have aided her on some of her projects, but am not really into crafting. So, long story short, after seeing some examples from previous swaps, I had an idea for something unique, but my wife had other ideas. Hence, she forced me to do my own crafting. Hehehe.
The concept was to not necessarily alter the art, but turn the art into something functional. So, I found this print of a sea scape at one of our local thrift shops. It was a pretty good find, considering the thrift shops here don't have too much variety. Since the picture was a sea scape, I went to Michaels and bought some stickers, shells, and charms. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a small lamp shade. Here is a picture of my starting materials.
For the lamp shade, I peeled off the fabric, so that I would have a template to trace onto the picture for cutting the picture to fit the lamp shade. After cutting the picture to fit, I hot glued the picture to the bottom of the shade, pulled the picture taut, and hot glued the picture along the top of the shade.
Once the picture was affixed to the shade, I hot glued shells along the top and bottom of the shade, to give it some type of border. I had originally thought about beading, but decided against that, and kept with an ocean theme. At this point, I wasn't quite happy with the product because it was a little too plain. So, I went and bought some Sea Oat like plant from Joanne's. I trimmed the oats to size and hot glued them along the bottom of the shade. Then as a finishing touch, I took little charms (starfish, shells, seahorses, etc...) and hot glued them between the oats.
So, here is the finished product.
This first picture is with the camera flash on. This is so you can see the details.
The second picture is with the camera flash off. As you can see, it looks like a sunset, and you can still make out the landscape from the painting.