Sunday, December 12, 2010

On The First Day of Christmas...

Holiday Greetings, everyone!

This year, I participated in a 12 Days of Christmas art swap. Basically, we each make 12 pieces of art, send them out to the 11 recipients (with me being the 12th), and then the mailman delivers 11 different pieces of art from 11 other participants in the swap.

My artwork was for day 1. I've already posted about it in my previous post... but here's that photo again... just in case you weren't tired of looking at it already!

This is an altered burned-out lightbulb. I had been saving and accumulating burned out light bulbs for years now, because I just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. It just seemed like such a waste, taking up space in the land fill... and I just knew there was something that I could do with them... I just hadn't taken the time to figure out what to do with them until now.

I start by wiring the top of the light bulb (the metal part) with a loop and wrapping the wire around the metal part to secure it. To further secure the wire to the bulb and to disguise the metal part to keep it from looking too much like a light bulb, I used apoxy clay (my new favorite art stuff).

After allowing the clay to air harden and cure for a couple of days (it doesn't really take that long, but, I allowed it extra time because I didn't want to make the mistake of working on it before it was ready... I figure a little more time to cure is always better than not enough), I cleaned the bulb thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and then began to decoupage mulberry paper, sheet music and newspaper onto the light bulb. You can use any paper you like, I happen to like the texture of the mulberry paper. It is important that the paper be thin enough to be able to manipulate it around the curves of the light bulb without having too many air pockets and folds in the paper.

I allowed each layer to dry, and then my final layer of decoupage was a napkin... for this, I cut out a paisley design napkin and decoupaged it onto the light bulb.

Once the bulb was good and dry (I allowed it to dry a full 48 hours), then I started painting with various paints and I used mica powders to give it a good shimmer. By the time I was finished painting, it was difficult to tell that I had decoupaged the design onto the light bulb, because I had painted over the design. I did this for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn't want it to look like a napkin had been decoupaged onto a light bulb; and 2) I wanted to add some shimmer and sparkle to the paisley design.

Once the paint was completely dry, I added the tinsel thread and the rhinestones and ribbon.

It was a lot of work, but I had so much fun making these!


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