Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fascinated with Fascinators by Kaaren Poole

I admit it – I was really into the Royal Wedding, and those hats! A few years back I was exchanging e-mails with a lovely woman in England and one time she sent me a photo of herself in which she was wearing a small but pretty much outrageous hat which she called a “fascinator.” “Fascinators” are apparently designed to “fascinate.” When I saw those amazing hats at the royal wedding, I was reminded of Beryl’s fascinator and I thought making one would be a fascinating and timely project for Art Glitter.

Art Glitter’s glitter and fantasy film often play a starring role my 3D polymer clay animals and fairies. I wanted to apply those techniques to a different subject. Lilies are one of my favorite flowers and since their shapes and markings are distinctive yet simple I thought one would be a fitting subject for a Fantasy Film sculpture.

Here are the materials I used:
Art Glitter Fantasy Film: Sunkissed, Satin, Watermelon, Aurora, and Spring Morning
Art Glitter Ultrafine Opaque Glitter in Red Velvet #155 and Michigan Moss #232

Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent Glitter in Angel Dust #86, Halo #230, and Lettuce #286

Art Glitter Ultrafine Pearlescent Glitter in Duck Tail #178
Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive
Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue

Judi Kins Diamond Glaze

22 gauge color coated wire in burnt orange and green

26 gauge color coated wire in yellow green

green florists’ tape

white polymer clay

2-part epoxy glue

very thin metal headband.

You will also need: felt thin-tip pen, iron, parchment paper, wire cutters, needle-nose pliers, thin cardboard, scissors, small knitting needle, a candle, round paint brush (about a size 8), baby powder or cornstarch.

The process was pretty simple. I made each petal, leaf, stamen, and the pistil separately then wrapped them together to form the flower. I added the leaves and wrapped the stem, and finally attached the flower to the headband. Here’s how.

Begin with the petals. Make six petals from Fantasy Film and wire then embellished them with glitter. When you look closely at a lily you will see that although all six petals are about the same length, the three inner petals are wider than the three outer ones. (Using these types of small but important observations makes art work convincing.) Cut two petal patterns out of thin cardboard. The one for the inner petals is a pointed oval 4” long and 2 ¼” wide. The one for the outer petals is a pointed oval 4” long and 1 ¾” wide.

With the felt tip pen, draw around the patterns on a piece of Satin Fantasy Film, drawing three petals from each of the two patterns. Trim each of the patterns down a tiny bit on the tip and about ¼” narrower on the sides. From each trimmed pattern draw and cut three of each from the Sunkissed Fantasy Film. Place the Sunkissed pieces in the centers of the Satin petal shapes. Finally, follow the same procedure – trimming the pattern further, cutting the shapes, and placing them in the centers of the Satin petals over the pieces of Aurora – with the Watermelon Fantasy Film. Carefully place the Fantasy Film “stack” between two pieces of parchment paper and bond them together by pressing with a warm iron.

The next step is to apply the wire and glitter to the petals. Cut six pieces of the orange wire, each piece about 11” long. Fold each piece of wire crisply in half and glue them down the centers of the petals with Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. The folded end goes at the outer tip of the petals and the two cut ends extend below the bottom point of the petals. When the glue is dry, cut out each of the petals, cutting about 1/8” outside the felt tip pen lines. To give a finished edge to the petals, carefully melt them with a candle flame. Hold the wire ends with the pair of pliers and carefully passed the edges of the petals near enough to the candle flame to melt them slightly. Keep the film a bit away from the flame so it doesn’t burn.

To add the glitter, use the brush to apply a line of Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive along both sides of the wires and large dots randomly on either side of the wire. Sprinkle Art Glitter Ultrafine Opaque Red Velvet glitter over the adhesive then tap away the excess. Once the adhesive dries, use the brush to apply a coat of Judi Kins Diamond Glaze over the entire petal then lightly sprinkle Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent Angel Dust and Halo glitter over the entire surface. When the Diamond Glaze is dry, I apply a second coat of glaze over the entire petals to seal in the glitter. Repeat the Diamond Glaze and sprinkled glitter process on the back side of all the petals.

For the flower center, form 6 little rice-shaped pieces of polymer clay for the stamen ends. For the pistil end, form a small ball of polymer clay then press three indentations with the side of a small knitting needle, radiating the three lines from a central point. (It should look like a tiny three-lobed pumpkin.) With a needle dipped in baby powder or cornstarch, poke holes in the sides of the stamen pieces and the bottom of the pistil piece to accommodate wire. After curing and cooling the clay pieces according to the manufacturer’s directions, use 2-part epoxy to glue 4” lengths of the spring green 26 gauge wire in the holes of all 7 pieces. When the epoxy is dry, coat the clay portions of the 7 pieces with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and dip the stamens in Art Glitter Ultrafine Pearlescent Duck Tail glitter and the pistil in Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent Lettuce glitter to coat them. Seal the glitter with a coat of Diamond Glaze when the glue is dry.

Follow the same procedure as the petals to make the leaves. Lily leaves are narrow shapes like daffodil leaves and a little shorter than the petals. Make three short leaves (about 3” long and 1 1/8” wide) and one long swoopy curved one (about 8” long and 1 1/8” wide at the widest point) for drama. Using a warm iron, bond a piece of Art Glitter Aurora Fantasy Film and a piece of Art Glitter Spring Morning Fantasy Film together then cut the leaf pieces from this double-thickness sheet. Cut pieces of green wire a few inches longer than twice the length of the leaves. Fold the pieces of wire in half but keep the two halves somewhat separated along the central portions of the leaves’ lengths. Glue the wires in place with Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue, cut out the shapes, flame-finished the edges, apply a coat of Diamond Glaze then sprinkle Art Glitter Ultrafine Opaque Michigan Moss glitter and Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent Lettuce glitter over it and finally seal the leaves with a second coat of Diamond Glaze.

Now that you have all the pieces it’s time for the really fun part - assembling the flower. Here’s where the florists tape comes in. Florists’ tape sticks to itself when you stretch it a bit, so be sure to pull a bit as you wrap it so it will stick.

Hold the 7 flower center pieces together in a bundle and wrap the ends with a 2” piece of florists’ tape to hold the bundle together. Begin where the pieces would emerge from the center of the flower and continue down towards the ends of the wire bundle.

Next, position the three wider petals around the center cluster, spacing them evenly – these are the inner petals. Hold them in place by wrapping the entire bundle – center bundle and the wires from the three petals - with a 3” piece of florists’ tape. Next add the three narrower petals in the same way, spacing them between the wider petals.

Wrap more florist’s tape around the bundle of wires. Start at the base of the petals and wrap for about 2”.

To add the leaves, attach them to the bundle one at a time, beginning with the longest leaf closest to the flower and adding the other three leaves as you progress down the stem. To add them, hold them against the wrapped flower “stem” and wrap florist’s tape around the leaf wire/stem bundle.

Finally, I attach the flower with leaves to the headband, wrapping tightly with florists’ tape. To be sure that the flower stays in place anchor the ends of the wrapped wire to the headband with a few dabs of 2-part epoxy. Also add a large dab of the 2-part epoxy to the center of the flower to firmly anchor the petals and flower center parts together.
Arrange the petals and leaves to your liking by bending the wire, then Enjoy!

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