My Sister has been raising sheep for about 7 years now. I get a kick out of visiting and helping her take care of them. I never knew sheep wag their tails when you pet them. Recently I’ve been cutting a lot of sheepskin at work, Soft Star Shoes http://www.softstarshoes.com/, and I thought it would be really fun to make some ornaments for my sister out of scraps. They’re wonderful about letting us use leftovers of leather and other materials. I’ve been enjoying the different textures of wool, the color, and the variation in the hides themselves.
I found three different colors and textures to work with and, of course, there had to be a black one! These are oval about 21/2 wide by 11/2 tall. I then found a photo of a sheep online and uploaded it to my app, Graphic, and created a pattern.
I found some fun black foam glitter paper at Michaels, https://www.michaels.com/creatology-foam-glitter-sheet/10148584.html. It has a bit of thickness to it and has adhesive backing that allowed me to sandwich the ornament string between and then glue the hide on the outside. Quick and fun project!
I printed out my patterns. I then placed the glitter sheet faces together and taped them so the foam wouldn’t shift while I was cutting it. The foam isn’t easily cut with scissors and won’t give much detail. You might be able to use an exacto blade to get more detail, but, I felt that the detail wasn’t necessary for these small ornaments. I did find that it helped to keep taping as I cut to make sure that the cuts remained inline. After cutting them out, I removed the backing and lay in the thread. Then I put a thin coat of Weldbond on the sheep and the leather and pressed it together and repeated the same process on the other side of the sheep.
I’ve begun to lay out my pennies and choose glass. All my instructions for this project are specific to indoor mosaic work. For outdoor work, you’ll need to use products that are waterproof and hold up to outdoor weather conditions. I’ll post projects and supplies for that at another time.
I apply my glass using Laticrete 254 Platinum Thinset. https://www.amazon.com/Laticrete-254-Platinum-White-Bag/dp/B003DQWO34/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512780579&sr=8-1&keywords=laticrete+254+platinum It contains additives that help it really stick to the glass. It also has a nice extended drying time so that I don’t feel rushed when applying lots of little mosaic tiles. That can take some time! I use white so my glass stays true to color and bright. I usually apply a small amount to the back of the glass just so it covers the back and moves slightly up around the object when pressed onto the substrate. For those of you unfamiliar with tiling terms, substrate means the surface that the tile and glass are being adhered to. Here, my substrate is plywood. Make sure that the thinset isn’t applied so thick that it bubbles up and your grout won’t cover the thinset! Ugly and unstable outcome when finished if you do. Mix the thinset to the consistency of heavy batter that doesn’t drip off the spoon.
I’m using Weldbond to glue the pennies in place. https://www.amazon.com/Weldbond-8-50420-Universal-Adhesive-14-2/dp/B00RM70OGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512781692&sr=1-1&keywords=weldbond+glue
I like it because it’s nontoxic and doesn’t have fumes. When working with the pennies, I glued all the outside pennies in first because I know I have a square frame. That gives me a reference point for my grid when laying out the other pennies. I’m getting close to having all the frames done front and back. It’s getting exciting to brainstorm about how I want to finish off edges and color. That white frame won’t stay white! I also would like to add some dimension by doming pennies and wrapping edges with them. I’ll show you some tools to do that work in my next blog.
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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