Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Props to Propnomicon

I've been trying to get a little more traffic to my blog. I'm surprised that I couldn't find a decent site traffic logging widget in the Blogger page creation dashboard. I did find one that seems to be pretty decent, on another blog that I frequent, It is called Sitemeter. So, for the last week or so, I have been monitoring the stats, and I am now up to an average of about 20 unique visitors per day. Yeah traffic!

In reviewing the data, I also came to discover that about half of my traffic is being referred by the same blog where I found the Sitemeter link, the Propnomicon blog (the other half comes from Google searches). So, I thought it would be kind to throw a little (more) reciprocal link action his way. His site is very much worth checking out. He is a terrific artist in his own right, and he also posts about other great artists' work as well. So if you like Cthulhu stuff, or prop making in general, please stop by, and tell him I said hello.

And BTW, dude, thanks for all the traffic ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pentagram Mirror Altar Tiles

I recently made a couple of mirror altar tiles, using the same etching technique as I used for the Glass Goblets and Rose Mirrors. I took a few pics of the process for your enjoyment. The pics show two different ones being done simultaneously.

I started with small mirrors, which I believe are designed to be used as decorative pillar candle holders (though I don't think they would be very functional in that capacity, at least not if you planned to actually light your candles). They have a nice finished edge and rubber feet, and some even have a beveled edge. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and usually cost $1-$10 each depending on size and where you buy them.
The First step is to clean the glass thoroughly with some window cleaner. Then, cover the glass with a piece of vinyl contact paper. Prepare your design. I usually work something up on the computer, and print it out. Occasionally I will hand draw something or use a stencil.

Then use spray adhesive to glue it to the contact paper in the proper position. Next, use an exacto knife to cut out the design, being sure to cut all the way through the paper and the vinyl.
Remove the cut areas that you intend to be etched, but leave the rest covered by the paper and vinyl (or just the vinyl is fine). Coat the exposed area with Armour Etch etching paste. Be sure you get a nice even, thick coat. Leave it on place for 5 minutes. I like to go over it again with my brush applicator at around the 3 minute mark, making sure to brush so that my strokes are perpendicular to the ones made when originally applying it. This helps to make sure that all the little nooks and crannies are covered, and it helps to obscure brush strokes that may be visible in the etched glass. Even coverage is key to not creating blotches and other flaws in the etching.

Don't go much more than 5 minutes. I have found that leaving it on longer (especially with large coverage areas) tends to create uneven etching depth that can look blotchy. After time is up, wash the paste off thoroughly. Then, remove the remaining paper and vinyl and clean the finished piece with window cleaner and a paper towel. Your done. It's that easy!

On this project I attempted to apply some pigment to the etched area to create a colored effect, but my experiment was unsuccessful. While the pigment id grab somewhat to the rougher etched area, it did not cover evenly and created a very blotchy finish that I didn't like, so I cleaned it off.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another BoS (a la Charmed)

I have been sick for the past week, so I haven't been getting nearly as much done in the workshop lately. I've had two or three small projects ready to post, but just couldn't muster the energy to write them up. Here is one that I just finished last night.

This is another of those large blank sketchbooks that I found at Marc's. I bulked up the front and back covers by adding a layer of chipboard to each. I thought the original covers were too thin and flexible for the size of the book. Then I covered it with the kraft paper technique, which I then finished with a mottled green and black paint job with heavy gold highlights and veining. I added two straps of green leather with snaps and rivets, the same as I did with the Puffy-Paint BoS journals. I used brass hardware to match the gold highlights. Brass upholstery tacks made for nice accents to the corners, front and back. I didn't bother with a pic, but the end papers are gray. The center piece is cut from a piece of chipboard in the shape of a triquetra. About the only design that will sell as well, or better, than a pentagram is a triquetra. Gods bless the producers of Charmed! I personally can't stand that show. I think it's ridiculous and mind numbing, but man can it sell some triquetras! I painted the triquetra gold, but it didn't look right. It looked too flat and "fake", so I added a smaller one, cut out of thin card board, and painted it copper. That did the trick.

I'll hopefully have more up soon, now that I'm feeling a little better. I need to get motivated and get back in the workshop.