Large T Square
Compressor (optional for brad gun)
Brad gun, could be electric, can use brads and hammer
hammer snips gloves
I searched the web for different ideas of how to convert the entrances in my home into arches and wanted an inexpensive process that would be a more simple and unique solution than what I was found online. I used an app called Graphic for IPad to create my arches blueprint. https://graphic.com/ipad-pro/. This is a relatively inexpensive app I have really been enjoying. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with this app. I like to use it to create basic designs of the projects I have in mind. They have a whole slew of tutorials you can check out. https://graphic.com/tutorials/index.php?format=ipad
I used the app to draw the dimensions of each opening and then used circles to create the arch. The app enabled me to enlarge or shrink the circles to fit each opening. I was careful not to drop the arch down to far into the path of folks using the entrances. I didn’t want anyone hurting themselves running into them.
I bought my 1x2s at a local hardware store and salvaged some leftover Plywood from a former project. I’ve found that I can often find materials via Craigslist, our local Freecycle site, or a new app called Nextdoor. I’m a big fan of Nextdoor, https://nextdoor.com/. It’s a neighborhood social app without the ads and data mining of FB. It’s like a local bullion board. I’ve put out a request for materials and explanation of the project and had folks donate stuff from their garage with just the request that I post so they can follow along on the outcome. Very fun!
I cut the framework from the 1x2s first. I used white glue and brads to secure the 1x2s together. I checked to make sure they fit in each entrance in the house before proceeding on to making the plywood arches that fit inside.
Next, I used my square to be sure my plywood was square. I marked the measurements of half of the interior of my frame. I then drew out one side of the arch and used that as a stencil for the other side to get a nice match. To get a smooth arch, you can use the string trick https://m.wikihow.com/Draw-a-Perfect-Circle-Using-a-Pin,
Once I had the plywood cut out. I used white glue on the frame and edges of the plywood, centered the plywood in the frames and attached them with brads.
My Husband and I decided we wanted to build a lasting memory together for our 15 Wedding Anniversary instead of spend a bunch of money on a fancy dinner. I have a favorite glass supplier in Seattle called Bedrock Industries. They use 100% recycled glass for their products and we love that they’re committed to sustainability. So we bought a lot of glass...it was fun! I wish I had photos of the project in process.
For the stair facings, we used all Bedrock Glass. For the top of the stairs, I picked up tile from Habitat for Humanity’s Resale Store here in Corvallis. I’ve used their tile for several projects. We were really pleased with the outcome. The only problem with the stairs is that we live in rainy Oregon and they get slippery when wet! My husband wanted to spray the edges of them with a black sanded paint and I was worried that would ruin our beautiful project so I came up with a fun solution!
I found out that 3M makes a tape called Safety Tape. You can pick it up at Home Depot. I bought the 4” wide variety to accommodate the design I came up with. When I was a child, my Mother hand painted this little dresser with beautiful Hungarian folk designs and I’ve loved folk embroidery patterns ever since. I searched online for images and came up with a derivative pattern that I thought would be bold enough to provide the amount of traction we would need to have safe steps.
After creating the pattern, I cut out a stencil in some thicker paper and transferred the design to the back of the tape.
It was a lot of cutting! I used some inexpensive kitchen scissors...they were pretty trashed by the time I was done. As I was cutting, the scissors gummed up from the tape adhesive pretty fast. I found it was really helpful to keep a bottle of orange oil and a rag nearby to wipe the adhesive off of the scissors regularly. Don’t use a pair of scissors you care about! We were really happy with the outcome and feel so much safer on the steps even when they’re not wet. Can’t believe we waited so long to do it. Sometimes it takes a long time for inspiration to gather itself together in a usable idea:)! Those pots on the steps have a story to tell in another blog, on another day...
My Husband and I decided we wanted to do something different for our 15th Wedding Anniversay. We thought it would be fun to take the money we normally spend on a fancy dinner and create a project together as a lasting reminder of the day. I’ve always loved mosaiced stairs and suggested we do our stairs.
I fell in love with mosaiced stairs as a child when we visited San Antonio. There are several along the downtown river walk. That’s my Sis and me together and then the stairs below to the right are in San Francisco. The later are an amazing public art project funded by a neighborhood committee. You should definitely check it out. It’s an amazing example of how a community can organize to add art to their neighborhood and pay their artists a living wage! http://www.tiledsteps.org/
We live in a great 1950’s neighborhood. I love it because there aren’t any neighborhood codes and I can play with my house and yard without worrying about complaints. I’m lucky to have neighbors who like my quirky and artsy taste, and, who actually encourage me to keep up the projects!
Recently, I’ve decided that the opening to my kitchen and living rooms could be enhanced with arches to match the lovely stucco and coved ceilings of my living room. I want to penny the arches like I have in the project below. I’ve fallen in love with mosaicing with pennies; the warmth of copper, the texture of the repeating penny pattern and the novelty of the material. They have me craving to work with them more! I just finished this project for my husband. He loves his “Penny Earned, Penny Saved” desk!
So...I’ve gathered photos of arches I’ve kept in mind for my design.
I love Moorish arches. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the arches that inspire me. What intrigues me about arches is the way they frame the view beyond, lead me visually from one space to another, and add a sense of the exotic and sacred to a space; as if, when I walk through them I will be transformed.
Arches have been used in the design of many sacred spaces. I had a half crazy, half shamanic Art Professor, Fred Levine, for History of Western Civ. He had our whole class file out of the room and asked us to walk through the door as if it were a sacred threshold. It was an amazing experience for me. I felt like I had new eyes and became much more attentive to and aware of my surroundings. I have never looked at thresholds and doorways in the same way since then. They’ve become metaphors in my life for Ah ha moments, life changes, graduation, marriage, the birth of my son.
And yes, this is a 1950’s house, but, hey! It’s home, sweet, home:). These are the the thresholds that I’m going to add the arches to.
Here are the measurements of the openings and basic outline of the arches. I’ve kept in mind pragmatic use of these openings. My husband is 6’2” and I need to make sure the opening is comfortable for him to walk through. I also don’t want too much sticking out into the doorways that might catch hair, heads, or whatever we’re trying to get through them!
glass, metal, wood, paint, plants, found objects, recycled objects, community art, public art, the art of living; may our lives touch and spread blessings of art, spirit and joy.
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