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Topic: I need to make a puffer fish lantern  (Read 2638 times)
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brokenumbrella
« on: June 03, 2012 05:04:10 AM »

Hi everyone!

This is very weird, but I really need to make a lantern that's like a hollowed-out pufferfish. But obviously without using an actual pufferfish. It must look as similar as possible to the one pictured below, which I saw in a museum. Theoretically it should hold a small candle but that would probably be impractical due to fie risk so I was thinking some kind of tiny LED torch might be practical instead?

Thankyou to anyone who has any ideas, as I am stumped!

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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012 05:10:05 AM »

A clay pinch pot would be the way to go but you'd need access to a kiln.  How about making a small one out of polymer clay with an LED candle inside? 
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brokenumbrella
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012 05:19:46 AM »

Thankyou! I've not used polymer clay much - do you know if it can be worked thin enough to be translucent?

ETA I also wondered about paper mache-ing with very thin paper...but wasn't sure what kind of paste to use to make it really rigid?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012 05:21:53 AM by brokenumbrella » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012 05:54:51 AM »

They make translucent poly clay, you could mix it.  I've never done paper mache so can't help you there. 
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012 06:49:32 AM »

Paper-mache over a balloon to get the form is probably the way I would go...

That or hollowed out Styrofoam ball.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012 09:28:21 AM »

I was thinking paper mache too.  I would use tissue paper to keep it translucent, and a glue that is a bit more stable then Elmer's.  Weldbond, or or Crafter's Pick The Ultimate. Use a balloon as a support. You can shape the balloon a bit with masking tape, so it is not perfectly round. Don't just get one balloon to try it on though. The tape is hard to work with on balloons, and you might loose a few while trying to get the shape you want. Once you have it looking like you want, make sure the tissue is as dry as possible (I'd give it several days at least....probably 4)
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« Last Edit: June 03, 2012 09:37:05 AM by suereal » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012 11:45:57 AM »

I agree with the paper mache. I have used it for masks and costumes, banks and free standing mummies. My mixture is flour and water glue and news paper. However if you store this mice might eat the paper mache. Maybe you could make it more transparent by painting layers of polyurethane over the fish after it is painted. then more painting on top of that.

For the candle part you could possibly use a battery type candle. The come is sizes from tea candles to pillars.

Be sure to share the end product and let us know how you did it.
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012 11:55:05 AM »

OOO! Perhaps you could use some sort of loosly woven cotton fabric as a base layer to stiffen it.  Which brings up the stuff you can buy to stiffen fabric.  It might be interesting to use silk as the "paper".  I don't know what the stuff is called...I want to say I had some called "stiffie"....

I guess part of the reason I think of glue instead of traditional wheat and water is I have had trouble with wheat made ones going moldy.  But it's damp where I live, so it might not be an issue other places.
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2012 03:25:15 AM »

Brilliant ideas, thankyou so much - I knew I couldrely on craftster to help with any project, no matter how odd!

Tissue paper and glue it is. I will be back with photos in a few weeks (I hope!)
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012 06:33:08 AM »

What about using one of those paper lampshades with the wire in them (can't for the life of me remember what they're called - they look like a paper ball) and then fixing some papier mache bits on like fins and face?
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