29 July 2009

One Small Step

We have had some intense electrical storms the past two days -- this afternoon I got to drive the kids up the mountain through a totally cool 360-degree lightning show -- so I wisely kept the computer off and have been occupying my time with various mosaic-related tasks and experiments. Basic tasks (power tools again - RAWR): drill holes through Hardibacker for hangers, and sand edges for a more finished look. But my most pressing task is to figure out how to make my own word tiles. The Sculpey tiles I made a few weeks ago worked okay but were fairly labor-intensive and probably are not durable enough for outdoor or heavy use. I'll save that technique for ceramics or Precious Metal Clay, which will be kiln-fired and thus truly durable.

So here's my current, affordable and time-efficient idea: print (or hand-write, for a really personal look) some words on paper, glue the paper to the back of a clear glass tile or shard with a clear-drying clue, shellac the paper side (once completely dry) to make it waterproof, and use the tile as I would any other glass fragment in my mosaic. Seems way too simple to really work, doesn't it? Well, I'll put these rough trials to the test later this week. The cool part is that I can make any words I want, on any paper I want, any time I want, essentially for free. Come to think of it, this technique might also work for photos, pressed flowers and leaves, fabric scraps, bugs...

My other main experiment tonight: making hand-wrought copper hooks for my key holders. I used 12-gauge copper wire from my dad's workbench (I'll replace it, I promise) and my metal hammer and bench block. This was a definite success; pictures at 11 (tomorrow, if my lapidary day doesn't wear me out). (What a life, huh?)

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