Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #16--Cabin Lampshade

Moose Scene

For Challenge #16, we were asked to contribute to the Minnesota State Fair. After much internal debate (not), I knew that I wanted to enter the Decorative Crafts Division--Paper Cutting competition. Somehow, my eyes immediately locked to that entry in the official rules and divisions.

The only difficulty was deciding exactly what to enter. I knew that I wanted to do something from the area but didn't quite know what to do. I was planning on doing a cut out of a grizzly bear face. My motivation came from the theater once again. One of the actors was redecorating his dressing room and he wanted a Maine Cabin decor.

I decided to contribute a lampshade to his room. This actor is in love with moose (I didn't know the plural of moose was moose--why not mooses or meese?). I started with craft paper lampshade with black trim. I knew that I wanted to do a moose silhouette that would only appear when the light was turned on. I glued the silhouette to the interior of the shade. The shade has 8" slanted sides. The top opening is 5 inches in diameter. The bottom opening is about 9" in diameter.

I then had several options--to repeat the pattern or to create different silhouettes to fill the space. I made each silhouette 6" in height so that the images wouldn't be too close to the bulb. I  treated each of the silhouettes with a heat retardant spray so there wouldn't be any problems with the heat.

I decided to do three different scenes. The shade is an Empire shape with a slip UNO fitting. This means that the light bulb holds the lampshade in place. More importantly, it allows the shade to rotate easily. I chose the three different scenes so the actor could rotate the shade as his preferences changed.

Bear Scene
Elk Scene
 I am very happy with the way this turned out. Everyone that has seen it seems to be pleased as well.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Iron Craft 2015 Challenge #15--Paper Suncatcher

Paper Suncatcher
The challenge for Challenge #15 was wee (as in tiny). I took a little liberty with the challenge and designed something that was small-ER than normal. The tiny/wee part comes with some of the tiny/thin cuts that were required to create this project. The overall size of the project is 5.5 inches square.

On a previous challenge, I created a Paper Stained Glass. The difference with that project that it wasn't translucent because each of the pieces where filled in with card stock. For this project, I wanted light to pass through the cutouts so that it would appear like stained glass.

The first step was to cut the piece out of black card stock to simulate the lead lines. As you can see, I always work with wide borders. Not only does this give you someplace to put your hands but it actually reduces the tension when you work on the inner-most or tiny areas. Of course, you have to work from the middle to the sides. For this project, I worked on all of the tiny little (wee) rounded triangles (you see what I did there?).
I forgot to take a photo of the pre-painted image. I then mounted the black card stock to plain white tissue. I then mounted it to another piece of tissue. So there are two layers of tissue.

Painted, untrimmed project
I realized that I really needed two layers of tissue and that I would have to work with a relatively dry brush. I used a very small liner brush dipped in undiluted liquid water colors. The only problems that I had were two areas that bled through because I didn't wipe my brush dry after changing colors. The brush was too wet.

Here is the underside (backside)
of the project. The second layer of
tissue really helped.
I then trimmed the image with a half inch border on each side. Right now, I am calling these paper suncatchers because I have placed them in an acrylic sign holder and have placed it in my office window. The below image is the project in its holder with a light behind it. I might want to turn these into lampshades.

Backlit project.

I don't know why the image seems so stretched out--maybe it is just the angle that I took the picture but the image really is 5.5 inches square.

Waiting for the sun

I am really pleased with the way that this turned out. Once I figured out the bleeding issue, I really didn't have any other problems. I worked on a light box so I could see how the colors would change once dried. I see a lot more of these in my future.