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Topic: The Fountain of Mama's Anger (IMG HEAVY!)  (Read 11136 times)
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theatreorchid
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« on: October 07, 2010 08:21:19 PM »

1,575 hand-made-and-cut polymer clay tiles.  *falls over*  Just posting this finished shot reeeal quick to make sure I don't miss the deadline, more pics and details in just a little while!







I was going to write a big 'ol long post, but it was boring, and I banished it to my Crafty LJ.  All the pics (including many more progress shots, and many many views of the finished product can by found at my flickr.  I'm sure I forgot lots of interesting tidbits, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!  I'm also happy to create a tutorial if anyone's interested. Smiley  On to the pictures!


When I first plugged her in, tucked happily away in the bathtub.


This is my favorite shot!  I almost made my mosaic out of these glass globs, but quickly realized it would be far, far too big.  I like them in the pans though, they look nice and fire-y.


Each tile was individually cut with the square cutter...


And then quartered with the blade.


My totally awesome lazy way of emulating the stained glass I wish I had, using lots of translucent clay.  You'll see why in a bit...


My dry run, laying out the tiles on the acrylic frame I used as a base.


And then I realized that my pattern was far too small.  Oops!  So much for my attempt at math.


Halfway...


Finished!  Tiling, anyway.


Making a hole for the water.  I just realized I neglected to take pics of the sealing step.  Pretend I did!  I used Varathane.  Probably won't again, at least not the spray stuff.


From drab to fab! 


Grouting, sitting on the edge of the tub.  I managed to bruise my booty doing this, and I got to feel extra smart every time I sat down for a few days. Wink  Next time, I'll drag in a chair, or at least fold a towel.


All finished, view from the back.






This is why I used translucent clay.  She glows!  I couldn't manage a pic that really captures just how awesome this is.  I almost started bawling with pride (and relief!).  Have I mentioned that I've been staying up way too late to finish this lately?  Hehe.





Thanks for looking!  I had a lot of fun with this, even though there were plenty of times when I was pulling out my own hair from frustration.  I'm just glad that after all that crafty drama I ended with a piece that I'm really proud of. Smiley

« Last Edit: October 07, 2010 10:34:13 PM by theatreorchid - Reason: moar pics! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010 08:24:32 PM »

I can't wait to see the rest. Seems a very ingenious idea. Love pink.
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010 08:33:21 PM »

This just may be too cool!
Truly a wild project.  Kudos to you for all of those tiles - and then to create a fountain? wow.
Rocks!
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010 08:37:14 PM »

Shocked what?!?!  A fountain?!  Seriously?  Wow!  Shocked  Shocked  (yes, yes, yes.  can't wait to see more pictures!!  I hope you took progress shots!!)
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010 08:44:07 PM »

OH. MAN. I am almost happy I didn't kill myself finishing my entry, because I DO NOT think I would've won against this.  Grin Crazy! Mama can fill AND boil a pot of water with her anger!
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010 08:52:34 PM »

No way!! That is crazy cool. I love the pink pots and pans as the base!! I'm amazed.

More pics!!
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010 09:01:51 PM »

 Shocked  So many replies already!  Thank you so much for the nice comments, I'm seriously blushing over here. Cheesy  I'm uploading the rest of the pics right now. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010 10:44:56 PM »

What a cool idea! Very neat! This contest is gonna be hard to judge...
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010 05:03:43 AM »

That is really awesome and original. It took me a minute to realize it was a fountain (pardon me, I just woke up, and I'm not fully conscious yet.). Great job!
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010 05:07:03 AM »

OMG - this is stunningly fabtastic!!!! Absolutely love it and huge respect to you for completing it.
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010 06:34:47 AM »

Oh my goodness! This is so fantastic! The glowing is amazing.
You get my vote!
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010 06:45:39 AM »

now that's just to insane for words.  Well done!
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2010 08:08:49 AM »

So glad I came back to see all of the extra pictures you posted. I'm even more amazed now!! Wow - the glowing shots are incredible.

Marvelous job.
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010 09:43:59 AM »

Oh my gosh...This is an unbelievable idea!  I love everything about it!  The tile work is fantastic, and the pots are so clever!  It's terrific.
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2010 12:22:09 PM »

This is a gorgeous project, absolutely stunning and crafty for sure!  Plus it's usable!  Now you have a fabulous fountain for your kitchen, bathroom, whatever!

Awesome job.  Makes me want to try some clay crafting.
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2010 12:51:10 PM »

wow--the amount of effort you put into this is amazing!  And to turn it into a fountain...bonus!!

Wonderful job on this...you are a fine craftswoman!
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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2010 01:41:26 PM »

This is incredible !!!
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2010 02:53:17 PM »

Ooooohh, backlighting makes it look so pretty. Good job.  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2010 05:28:40 PM »

I don't really get this "Mama" thing but I am amazed by some of the projects on here, and FLOORED by yours. The glowing makes it look SO cool!!!!! I bet you now stay up late just staring at it and beaming hehe, I know I would!
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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2010 05:50:33 PM »

This is completely WONDERFUL! Wink
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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2010 06:40:12 PM »

Just had to vote for this because it is so well done, creative and not the ordinary. You rock.
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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2010 09:46:03 AM »

this is super awesome.!
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2010 11:01:30 AM »

What a wonderfull creation!! Enchanted! You must have taken so much time and energy for this. Really amazing...
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2010 11:56:01 AM »

Whoah.  I've been gone for a couple of days and...wow.  I am just completely blown away by all these comments.  Thank you so much, everyone!! Kiss  I'm so glad people seem to like it, I was really nervous about posting because I thought maybe it was too weird, but I put so much time and sanity into the silly thing I kind of had to put it up, hehe. 

Gosh.  Self-esteem boost much?  Thanks, Craftsters! <3
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2010 10:55:31 AM »

Really fabulous piece of work!  And your perseverance and problem-solving are totally admirable!! (and what it takes to really progress)

(I posted a link to this project over on the Polymer Clay completed projects board too.)

Wanted to ask what the problem was with using the polyurethane spray.  For grout that needs to be sealed, polyurethane is one possible sealer but sprays aren't always the same as their brush-on equivalents...what exactly was the problem?  And was the grout thoroughly dried/etc before applying the sealer?

There are other possibilities for "grout" that wouldn't need to be sealed though too, like solid polymer clay thinned down with liquid clay or other things, tinted liquid polymer clay, acrylic modeling paste, etc, and the tiles can also just be pressed down into a layer of soft raw clay to avoid grouting too.


In case you haven't run across them, there are also "quick" ways to make polymer clay tiles (especially when needing a lot of them like you did! Shocked) --using various gridded items (square-ice-cube trays, french fry cutters, etc), or scoring the lines in a raw clay sheet on a smooth baking surface then breaking them apart along the score lines after baking, or using cutting or dragging tools on raw clay sheets like rotary cutters, Xactos, single-edge razor blade tips, homemade rows of blades**, "spring dividers," etc...or even cutting the baked clay sheets with scissors*** (best while the sheet is still warm) as long as not using Sculpey/SuperSculpey/Sculpey III since they're more brittle than other clay lines.

There's more info about all those things on these pages if you're interested:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm (> Cutters >>Cutting Small Tiles)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/mosaics_inlay.htm (>Cutting the Tiles and Grouting & Bases)

You might also want to try some of the smaller clay mosaics too...lol...like doing them on frames, votive candle holders or nightlight screens, pocket mirror backs, box lids, etc., or even some of the really tiny ones on jewelry. 

** http://glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm (> Multiple-Blade Cutters)

*** these were cut with scissors by Kim Korringa (some from sheets of Skinner blends which is another way to get more colors for less work):
http://glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm

Make more mosaics!
Diane B.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2010 11:00:14 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2010 08:42:06 PM »

oh this is just tooo awesome!!!
so well done!!!
and your 'tutorial' is sooo funny Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2010 11:18:16 PM »

O

M

G

that is freaking INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I so need to make myself a fountain like this.  great job!!!
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2010 06:30:14 AM »

Congratulations on winning!  Enjoy the awesomness that is owning every Mama game!
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« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2010 11:30:40 AM »

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my crazy little fountain.  I can't believe all the nice things people have said to me- I really needed a pick-me-up and this has done it for sure! <3 

Wanted to ask what the problem was with using the polyurethane spray.  And was the grout thoroughly dried/etc before applying the sealer?

To be honest, I haven't sealed the grout yet, heh.  No water actually touches it when the fountain is going, so it became low-priority after I finished everything else.  I actually used the spray for the tiles, because I was worried about the grout scratching them up when I applied it.  The tiles were saved, but the grout peeled the Varathane right off.  I gave it about 30 hours to dry before grouting, but I guess it just couldn't stand up to the hard treatment it got.  I wasn't terribly surpised because it didn't go on smoothly to begin with- it may have just been too cold outside for the spray.  I'd have waited for a warmer day, but this time of year in Oregon it's just too unpredictable!  (Fun fact: the day after I did the sealing it was 80 f...go figure)  This is the site where I got the idea for Varathane, and they do say that in their experience the spray works just as well- which it probably does in the right conditions or on a smaller project.  I'll definitely try it on my other polyclay crafts (just to use up the can if nothing else) but not on my next mosaic.  It looked great until it got scratched off, and really made the tiles look like glass, which was what I was going for.

Quote
There are other possibilities for "grout" that wouldn't need to be sealed though too, like solid polymer clay thinned down with liquid clay or other things, tinted liquid polymer clay, acrylic modeling paste, etc, and the tiles can also just be pressed down into a layer of soft raw clay to avoid grouting too.

I looked into other ways to grout (I actually used your site a lot, so I've seen those links. Smiley ) but real grout was the look I was going for, and at $3.50 for a box of the unmixed kind, it was by far the most cost-effective option!  I have enough for about 3 more mosaics of this size (not that I'm doing anything this big anytime soon!). 

Quote
In case you haven't run across them, there are also "quick" ways to make polymer clay tiles (especially when needing a lot of them like you did! Shocked) --using various gridded items (square-ice-cube trays, french fry cutters, etc), or scoring the lines in a raw clay sheet on a smooth baking surface then breaking them apart along the score lines after baking, or using cutting or dragging tools on raw clay sheets like rotary cutters, Xactos, single-edge razor blade tips, homemade rows of blades**, "spring dividers," etc...or even cutting the baked clay sheets with scissors*** (best while the sheet is still warm) as long as not using Sculpey/SuperSculpey/Sculpey III since they're more brittle than other clay lines.

I thought about using quicker ways to cut the tiles too, but I liked the slight variations in shape/size my painfully slow method produced.   If the challenge hadn't been about the pixel look, I would have been using interesting shapes instead, that's the kind of mosaic I really like.  I'm already making plans for the next one. Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2010 12:25:55 PM »

I definitely voted for you!  and I'm so glad that you won!  congrats!!!  I seriously am considering making a fountain for myself, but maybe on a smaller scale.  Wink  now, let's see if I can decide on what character to use.  oh, and if I can find a website that shows me how to make the actual fountain part.  Cheesy
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« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2010 12:53:19 PM »

Ooooh, do make one!  It's so much fun, I love fountains.  (And thank you for the vote! <3)

Making a fountain is actually crazy easy.  You just have to make sure everything is waterproofed, no kinks in your tubing, that kind of thing.  I used this book- Tabletop Fountains: 40 Easy and Great Looking Projects to Make by Dawn Cusick (I bought mine, but check the library, ours has like 5 copies) for ideas and basics.  I've been waiting for an excuse to make one for a while, hehe.  I just put it off because finding the pump was more difficult than I anticipated (I bought a few from the Goodwill that turned out to be burned out, finally caved and got one at Home Depot for this project).

The hardest part is making sure your water flow goes where you want it.  I spent waaayyy too much time fussing with mine, I actually ended up using an elbow fitting and trying to get some water flow to go back underneath since the stream was so strong.  If I hadn't been under such a time crunch the messing-around part would have been a lot less stressful though, hehe.

If I can help in any way feel free to PM me!  And I definitely want to see the finished product if you decide to go for it! (I admit, I've had a sooper-sekrit Craftster crush on you for a while now, your cross-stitches are amazing!)

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« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2010 01:09:09 PM »

oooo!!!!  thanks for the info!!!  I'm going to have to bookmark this topic too.  Smiley  maybe I'll get lucky and find the book for sale at the library.  Grin  if not, I can look around at the used bookstores in town.  Smiley  then I'll just move down the list from there (Amazon & eBay.  I don't want to have to pay shipping if I don't need to).

another crush??  aww...you guys are making me blush!!!  you're the second person to tell me they have a Craftster Crush on me.  *^_^*  thank you so much!
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« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2010 03:33:26 PM »

No problem!  And I'm sure you can find a website with enough information to get you going.  The technical aspects are mind-blowingly simple, it's really all about being creative.  I'm all about the low-tech high-concept sort of crafts, heh.

Once you acquire your pump, just take the fitting with you when you go shopping to make sure things fit tightly (I just popped it in my pocket on my treks to Home Depot).  The tubing has some bizarre name that my husband knew for some reason but I promptly forgot (I'll ask him again when he gets home) or if your local petstores are better stocked than ours, you'll probably be able to find aquarium tubing.  The sprinkler section of home improvement stores is definitely going to be your new friend- that's where you find all the interesting things like elbows and T shaped thingies- I also picked up a couple of cheapo sprinkler heads that do very cool things with the water.  My next fountain will probably use one of them. Smiley

Also, I'm totally not surprised I'm not the first person to admit to crafty crushing on you, and I'm glad!  Grin
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2010 04:41:08 PM »

easy-to-do is my middle name when it comes to certain things.  Grin  thanks so much for all the info.

yay to crafty crushes!  Grin <3
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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2010 04:50:53 PM »

According to my husband if you walk into pretty much any hardware/home improvement store and ask for "surgical tubing" they will know exactly what you want.  Since that's such a weird thing to call it I have my doubts, but it did work for us!  Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2010 04:56:59 PM »

lol!  it's worth a shot at least.  Wink
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2010 05:34:18 AM »

THIS IS SO A M A Z I N G !!!  Cheesy
Awesome glowy, water goodness !!
Well done on doing such a brilliant job !!

*A P P L A U S E S*
 Grin
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2010 08:39:11 PM »

Wow, you must have a lot of patience! I would probably have given up after a few hours, hahah. Excellent work!
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« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2010 09:06:36 PM »

this is so cool.   I love it and I laughed at your bruised booty because I probably would have done the same thing.
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« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2011 06:27:39 PM »

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