Compass Rose

27 Jan

I moved into a new house a few months back and I wanted to do the living room in a travel theme. The hardest part of the room to decorate was the big space over the mantle:

It was a big, open, ugly space and it had this metal circle protruding from the wall that I could not remove. I believe it was a hold over from some wood burning stove or something. For a long time I kept stressing out over what to put in this space. I didn’t have much of a budget, and I was afraid that not putting something travel related would take away from the theme of the room; especially in such a prominent place above the mantle. It was one day that I was thinking “hey, a sun sculpture might look nice” when I realized “sun…rays…arrows…travel…compass rose!”  A compass rose would be perfect! I already make copper roses, and this would simultaneously go with the travel theme and cover the nasty circle. And so I got to work.

For materials, I decided to build the compass rose out of flashing. Flashing’s a (relatively) cheap roll of aluminum that you can pick up at a hardware store. For a pattern I used an octagon. Getting the spacing just right was really tough. I had eight limbs, four main, for minor for all the directions, and so each limb had to be at a 45 degree angle. Once those were cut out, I arranged them on a small block of wood as a base, and put a screw in the center to hold the rose petals down. I then carefully spray painted the main limbs a high gloss ruby red. I thought this would give some nice color to the room. After that dried, I assembled the rose and began bending the petals into shape. Below is a picture time lapse of how it went:

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