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Improvisation when making crafts

10 Jan

A really important part of all my craft projects is improvisation. I have only a basic set of tools and a table in my room as a “workshop.” Almost every project I undertake requires me to improvise a tool to some degree or another. A perfect example is the project I’m currently working on “Icarus and the sun.”

I wanted to make a sun out of some sheet copper I had lying around, but in order to do that I needed to “dish” the copper. When you “dish” a metal, you are hammering it into a bowl or cone like shape. It’s fairly tricky to do since a flat piece of metal doesn’t want to become a dome.  In order to do this I needed a dish into which I could “dish” my metal. I needed to find something that had the angle of dome I wanted that I could hammer the metal into, but where? I had to improvise.

My first thought was to go down to Lowes and get a pipe cap.

Unfortunately the pipe caps at Lowes were all either PCV or threaded. The PVC ones had walls that were way to high. I would have had to saw through the PVC to cut it down to size, and that would have been a real pain. Defeated, I got back in my car to drive to the craft store to pic up some other things. That’s when I took a sip of my soda and it hit me!

I looked at the bottom of my soda can and noticed it was a dome, however a soda can’s dome was too flimsy and small to suit my needs. What else holds liquid and has a dome at the bottom? A wine bottle! I had plenty of those, and the thick glass is much stronger than flimsy aluminum. (I wasn’t going to be pounding since I was working with thin copper, so glass would work.

Here was an improvised dish, and sure enough it worked!

Improvising tools is half the fun of making crafts.


29 Nov

In an evening of sheer boredom, I decided to make some chopsticks:

Chariots of Iron stained glass

20 Nov

The other day I found some materials to make stained glass like crafts and hit upon the idea of making a light box for one of my favorite podcasts The Chariots of Iron. I took their logo, enlarged it, cleaned it up, altered it to look like stained glass, and then spent all night long until the sun came up working on it.

In case of revolution, break glass

20 Nov

A while back I saw this picture and really loved it; I thought “Why not make my own?” So I did, and I even put in a light to illuminate it at night.

Signet Stamp

31 Jul

Last night I got the idea to make myself a signet stamp. I know they sell them at hobby stores, but I figured they’re all generic letters or something and they’re mass produced; that kind of defeats the whole point of a “signet”. It’s supposed to be the same as your signature, personal, unique. With this in mind I wanted to create my own, unique signet stamp.

I first started out by creating a simple symbol. In my case, an old style looking “D” with a sword through it.

I then printed this out, placed it over the copper, and began to emboss it in.

It was only after about half an hour and when I finally finished a really good transfer did I realize I screwed up. In order to make a signet image come out right, you need to reverse it. The image has to be mirrored from how you want it to look on the wax. >.< So with that in mind, I printed out new sheets and started over.

With the image finally transfered on, I filled the back of it with glue. This gave the metal strength so it wouldn’t press back in on itself when I put it to the wax.