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A co-worker asked me to make her a life-size trident because, as part of a PTA function, she was going to dress up like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.  Since I love a good challenge, I said let’s do it!  Considering they have a fabulous collection of medieval armor, the journey started at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  My BFA degree is in metals and metalsmithing and the proposition of making something look like metal and wood, even though I was going to use plastic, made me giddy… in that I’m a geek to the core sort of a way 🙂

I thought it was equally important not to lose the quality of the animation aspect of the trident and that lead me to more research on the movie as I had never seen it.

 

Based on this information, I created the vector designs in CorelDraw, to use the laser for cutting the acrylic.

 

 

 

The trident needed to be three dimensional and I decided that a ‘spreader’ component was necessary to achieve this.  I cut triangular shaped pieces out of 3/16″ acrylic to get the distance I thought was necessary between the flat trident shapes and also allow me to install the square dowel rod that was going to support the trident head when it was inserted into the PVC pipe.

 

These are the design pieces coming together.  Acrylic solvent was used to cement the two clear trident shaped pieces together, along with the triangular pieces to give the shape dimension.

To fill the gap between the trident shapes I used cold porcelain clay made from corn starch and glue.  I used baby oil in mine.  Here’s the link to a wonderful video tutorial to create your own: https://youtu.be/jC77TstFmFc

It took several days for the clay to dry!  Truth be told, I was coming up on a hard deadline with the event date and needed to paint the trident before all of the clay was completely dry.  If I make something like this in the future, dry time will be important.  I wanted to fill some of the divets in the clay to make the edges completely smooth but there wasn’t time for that!  Rust-Oleum is your best friend.  Their line of hammered metal and textured paints superbly took on the qualities I was trying to achieve to make this look like a real-life animated trident of metal and wood.  Great Stuff worked beautifully to fill the PVC pipe and add stability to the dowel rod, which was inserted into the pipe.  Once that set up, it wasn’t going anywhere.

 

I was really pleased with the interaction of the hammered metal paint on the acrylic surface.  Looking more like a real trident!

 

 

Getting down to the wire, the night before the event I made Ursula’s crown and necklace.  The crown was intended to be molded mirror gold acrylic but the time crunch got the best of me and I opted for sparkled gold foam from the craft store.  A couple holes on either end and some ribbons for tying did the trick!

 

I had a lot of fun working with polymer clay again.  In a former life I was the designer for a line of polymer clay dolls.  You never know where random expertise will come in handy. I blended two gold clays to get a seashell effect because, the real deal look and nothing else, will do for Ursula.  Additional clay was used to create the ring on the staff of the trident.

The final size of the staff is 6 feet tall with the trident measuring 19″ high and 15″ wide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You use a glass mirror to see your face;
you use works of art to see your soul.
~ George Bernard Shaw
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One man’s trash is another man’s art! 
Urban up-cycle this discarded mirror using a laser and spray paint!
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This mirror design was created using an Epilog laser.  The mirror finish was removed from the back by the raster function of the laser, then spray paint was applied to add color. 
Next the front of the mirror was etched with the laser to add depth to the piece. 
These effects can also be achieved using a sandblaster and masking film.
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Here’s some photos of the process.
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It all started with this discarded mirror.
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Then my design created in Corel Draw.
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A template was cut in cardboard to hold the mirror.
This insures that the mirror is placed into the laser in the exact place each time.
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The back of the mirror now complete with the raster removal of the mirror finish.
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Ta-da! 
The mirror finish has been removed via the raster function of the laser and the clear glass shows when viewed from the front.
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The front side of the mirror was etched with the laser.
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Cool technique spoiler alert! 
Use a combination of vector cutting, to achieve a hairline around the border frame image, then use the raster function to give the appearance of etched glass. 
The cut vector is sparkly… oohhh, aaaah!
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Final check inside the frame to view placement.
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Next, painting of the lattice frame.  Spray paint is your best friend! 
Two colors of paint for the frame. 
Lighter to the inside, darker to the outside.
I didn’t wait for dry time because I wanted the colors to mix, and they did, creating a really nice ombre transition.
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Bronze glaze after the paint dried worked like a champ to give the paint some depth.
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Paper tape is applied to cover the mirror surface so that the spray painting can be masked and done in stages to allow for different colors.
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The paper tape is peeled away to reveal the next part of the design to receive a different color of spray paint.
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Have I mentioned how difficult it is to get decent pictures of a mirrored surface? 
The colors are teal, black and brown.
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The final project!
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“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)

 

This is the last sale of the year and just in time for all of your holiday projects!

Use the Coupon Code woolofbat15 to save 30% off your order at

7 Yaks Design.

Expires October 31, 2015

Summer is perfect for getting your dye on!

sum dye

Materials List:

Black plastic garbage bags
Large mason jars (or gallon freezer Ziploc bags)
White vinegar
Acid dyes
Protein fibers, including silk

jar dye

Adding heat to your kitchen in the summer doesn’t make a lot of sense but that doesn’t mean you have to abstain from dyeing.  Summer sun, even on a mild day, is plenty hot for dyeing.  If a glass jar isn’t getting the temps you want then a black garbage bag will assist, or even putting the dye containers in a closed car in the sun will get the job done.  Some who use solar dyeing swear by leaving it out for a few days to get the maximum color possible.

I dye in bulk so my batches usually consist of 2 lbs of fiber per dye bath.  It’s also the maximum fiber weight for a 1/2 ounce of Jacquard dyes, and most other dye sources.  I co-mingle my fibers too, anything that will accept a dye with vinegar as the mordant can go in the same color dye.  It’s much more efficient when you desire to dye multiple fibers.

As a test to see if the dye bath is done, I always check to see if the water is clear in the container with the fiber.  If the fiber to dye ratio is appropriate, the dye bath will exhaust (meaning the dye absorbed completely into the fiber) and you will see clear water around the fiber.

bag dye

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

Macbeth (IV, i, 14-15)

 Halloween Sale - Blog big

This is the last sale of the year and just in time for all of your holiday projects!

Use the Coupon Code woolofbat to save 30% off your order at 7 Yaks Design.

Expires November 15, 2014

Create hats, bags, small baskets, hot-pads, wall art and more with this simple loom!

Loom - medium3

12″ Medium Size Loom

Made from durable yet lightweight acrylic, the loom is so easy to use, even beginners can be weaving in no time! If you have worked on larger looms, you know how much time and energy is devoted to dressing the loom. No need for that here! You will have the warp on in just minutes. The deeper grooves on this loom allow for a variety of yarn weights in the warp.

Loom - large3

Loom - large1

16″ Large Size Loom

The loom is perfect for using short lengths of yarn and left-overs from your stash. There are so many exciting possibilities for combing colors and textures with this weaving technique.

Loom - small2

7.5″ Small Size Loom

Get it for yourself or give this set as a gift to the crafts enthusiast you know!

The acrylic loom includes a PDF of easy-to-follow instructions along with knitting needle gauges in both US and metric needle sizes!

Loom - medium2

US & Metric Knitting Needle Gauges

7 Yaks Design has also created a very cool recycled vintage album loom!

Loom - album1

12″ Vintage Recycled Album Loom

You may have heard that Krystal Kraft discontinued their line of acrylic  blanks for altered art and stamping.  Blue Tatsu on Etsy rallied to the rescue and has created a line of products to fill the gap!

The shapes include dominos, hearts, starbursts, crosses and frame borders with more to come!

For expert instruction on how to decorate your acrylic blanks, be sure to visit The Enchanted Gallery.

 

Pinterest is an amazing source for inspiration!  Here are some of my favorites.

7 Yaks Design on Etsy

Pinterest

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