Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Glimmer Trees by Christine Lehto

For my business I make an assortment of sculptural pieces to make into pins or magnets. I recently made a sculptural tree design that was looking for something beyond the basic coat of acrylic paint. After adding some pizzazz with Art Glitter to some dull looking brads for a previous project, I decided that my new tree design would be a perfect candidate for a similar glimmer treatment. I make my sculptural pieces with resin after I first make an original piece in clay and make a silicone mold from that. With two newly cast, white resin trees ready to be decorated, I decided to make a tree to symbolize summer and one to symbolize autumn. Once my assortment of glitter grows, I’d like to make a tree to represent each of the four seasons.

To make my sparkly trees, I used a variety of glitter and I also tried a microfine glitter this time. I love the sparkle of glitter, but in order to prevent a “sparkle” overload, I varied the sparkle intensity by incorporating some types of glitter with less intense glimmer. This is when using the ultrafine pearlescents are a perfect choice. They are still rich, gorgeous colors, but just with a more subdued bling factor. Using the ultrafine transparent glitters also fit in well to keep the bling intensity under control. I also used a microfine opaque glitter, which gave an additional sparkle effect not seen in any of the other varieties of glitter. The microfine glitter gives a smoother, more uniform glitter effect whereas the ultrafine opaque gives a varied sparkle effect where the glitter sparkles at a variety of angles.

I really liked how my glimmer trees turned out. To try out a varied glitter project for yourself just remember the simple “variety” formula which can be altered with other glitters of your choice. The recipe for my summer tree was: 1 ultrafine transparent + 1 ultrafine pearlescent + 1 microfine opaque + 2 ultrafine opaque = a varied palette of glittery goodness.

For the summer tree I used: 44 Kelly (ultrafine opaque), 519 Reed (microfine opaque), 241 Fresh Lime (ultrafine transparent neon), 182 Astro Turf (ultrafine pearlescent) and 58 Brown (ultrafine opaque)
For the autumn tree I used: 91 Orange Crush (ultrafine transparent), 177 Florida Orange (ultrafine pearlescent), 1 True Red (ultrafine opaque), 62 Copper Canyon (ultrafine opaque) and 58 Brown (ultrafine opaque)
***Note: I also hand-painted an additional pair of trees to symbolize summer and fall, but they just don’t hold the same charm as the glittery ones. After something is glitter-fied, nothing else compares to it.