Fancy wrought iron door

by brae  

Backing up a little here for work previously started. After struggling to get my previous 2020 HBS Creatin' Contest entry beyond the parts, I finally threw in the towel and started working on a fresh contest kit. I loved the elements I created for the previous entry, but I could not get them to work together the way I wanted. So, those parts are shelved for now and I forge ahead to complete the new entry in time.

The door is a kit from Art of Mini.

I painted the door Lilac Love by Folk Art. The wrought iron is painted black brown.

I built a door frame from basswood since this was not included with the kit. This won't be a working door. I added rippled water sheet as windows to simulate pebbled glass.

A cut of textured scrapbook paper serves as a window shade for privacy. Since this is a door to nowhere, the back is not finished.

When light hits the door from behind, it creates a warm glow.

I added gentle aging with pastels. It's not an old door, but it has been exposed to the elements for a few seasons. The door frame is primed here, but this is the general coloration I'm after. Ghost the caracal is by 2014erok.

Next up...finishing the frame and adding hardware.

Hexagon clay tiles, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the hexagon clay tiles. Since my first tile grouping had too much bronzer, I figured it was a good choice to test the grout before trying on my finished tiles. I mixed brown and black paint with spackle to make a gentle (non-scouring) grout that was easy to spread. I used my finger to spread it into the grooves around the tiles.

I then wiped away the excess with a wet paper towel. It took a few passes to get it clean. The process lifted some of the tile color I had applied, but the end result was a more even tile so I wasn't disappointed. If I want more variation, I can always paint after grouting.

I mixed a larger batch for the final floor and masked the areas around the edges where the walls will be glued to the floor board.

I spread the mixture with my fingers in sections and wiped away some of the excess as I went.

I washed the floor after the grouting was complete with water and paper towel. I saved a bit of the grout mixture just in case I needed to touch up any areas.

The initial wash left streaks, so I used a Q-tip to wash each tile individually.

I did small sections and wiped with a dry, clean paper towel.

Once done, I wiped the entire floor with a damp paper towel again.

Then I wiped it dry. Very little color lifted in the last pass, so I called it done.

The final result has less color variation than the plain tiles, but I like that better.

I'm glad I gave it a try. :]

Hexagon clay tiles, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the hexagon clay tiles. The bottoms of the clay pieces turn out shiny from the ceramic tile base, so I sanded them lightly before gluing. I also lightly sanded the mdf floor board.

I used Weldbond to glue to the tiles to the floor board. I made roughly 30 groupings, and some fell apart in the process. Those I used to piece between and around the larger groupings.

Since the individual hexagons had different measurements across depending on their orientation, I needed to make sure all of my hexagons were going the same direction. I measured each grouping and individual tile before gluing in place. I wasn't guaranteed to have perfectly uniform application, but this gave me a fighting chance. :D

I started by laying out the edge sections and by luck ended up with full tiles front to back and side to side.

Since the tile groupings were unstable, I used a putty knife to pick them up and handle them.

I tried to keep the groupings intact as much as possible, leaving small sections to piece later.

My bowl of scraps helped fill in the edges. Tedious, but I kept at it!

Hooray! :D

There's finishing trim for the base on the front and side, but I didn't apply tile all the way to those edges. I will add strip wood around the tile to protect and finish the edges. The spacing didn't end up completely uniform but it's close enough that it shouldn't be obvious after grouting.

Up next, grouting and finishing.

Happy Halloween from Bert and Halo

by brae  

Happy Halloween from the Haunted Heritage! Bert is reading Edgar Allan Poe to Halo and waiting on trick or treaters.

Bert is enjoying a refreshing cocktail.

Halo is waiting for her favorite story...The Raven.

There's a pumpkin bucket of full size candy bars if anyone comes around for a scare.

Halo by by Maya Schippl; ceramic pumpkin by Alex Meiklejohn; coffee table centerpiece by MiniFanaticus.

Hexagon clay tiles, part 1

by brae  

For my project, I envisioned hexagon terracotta tiles. You can buy these already made, but that can add up quickly. I also wanted to see if I could do it myself since I've worked with clay before. I bought Original Sculpey in terracotta. I have a ceramic tile working base, roller and cutter (medium size). More on the cutter in a moment.

I taped 1/16" thick basswood strips to the ceramic tile and rolled out the clay. It's soft and easy to work with. I had to cut away the edges a few times as the clay spread out.

I'm using bronzer (make-up powder) to dust the cutter since I didn't want white powder contrasting with the color of the tiles. It has some shimmer to it, which is a nice surprise. Very upscale tile made with gold dust. I did get too much bronzer on the first batch, but I was able to tone it down on the subsequent batches. The first batch will be my test sample for grouting and finishing.

The cutter is designed to cut cookies/biscuits and leave a honeycomb design in the middle, so it has a deeper outer edge than the center pattern.

But, the other side is very uniform, so I just used it upside down.

I pressed the cutter into the clay with a board.

I patted the clay with a dry brush to remove some sheen and provide slight texture.

I shaved some pastels into a palette and dry brushed the tiles to vary the coloration. The chalk texture tones down the sheen, too. I used more on the later batches, and it looked better.

The cutter did not go all the way through, which was fine. The tiles around the edges aren’t usable because of the way the cutter is being used, but the middle ones turned out quite nice. I did cut away a lot of the scrap to reuse, but I baked the remaining shape intact otherwise. I’d rather cut the tiles apart after they bake instead of risking ruining them by cutting them before.

Choosing the baking time is always difficult for small, thin pieces of polymer clay, because you don't want to burn the clay or end up with brittle pieces. I saw a video where 2mm strips (roughly 1/16 inch - the thickness I am making) were baked for 10 minutes and 60 minutes. The instructions on the clay package indicate baking 15 minutes per 1/4 inch. The video's 10-minute sample snapped when bent and the 60-minute one was bendy and durable. I am going with 35 minutes to speed things along. After the first batch, I tested the clay after it cooled. It did eventually split when bent, but it took some force. For tiles that will be glued to a board, I called that a success.

I cut away the outer bits and left the main shape intact. I wanted to get a few batches done to see if I could lay them out in these large sections and then piece between them instead of laying tiles out one at a time.

I saved the leftovers since I will have to piece around the edges.

I have a lot to make! :O

So, I started doing two at a time.

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