Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Little Bird Shrine

Here is my little bird shrine. I bought this little piece of doll house furniture at a yard sale for 10 cents. It was a cupboard with a shelf in it. I removed the shelf with an exacto knife and needle nose pliers. The cupboard then became a shrine.

The cupboard was already painted this green. After removing the shelf I had to decide how I wanted to paint it because I didn't have any of the green paint. I decided to sand the whole thing and painted the back piece copper and highlight the rest of the cupboard with copper paint. That made things simple. Then it sat on my work table for months.

As the months went by I would add little things, the text in the back, an image or word. Then the eggs on the inside of the door. Then this week I decided to finish it. I was putting off something else and decided it was time to finish all the" put off things." So... here she is.
A close up of my nest. I have wanted to make one of these for ages. I have read all the articles in various magazines, gone on line for how to instructions and thought "why not?" Let me tell you it is harder than it looks. I had all the right supplies - 26 gauge wire - pliers, etc. It took several experiments to get this little nest.

I knew the nest had to be small. That presented a problem. Wrapping the wire around a bead didn't work for me. I ended up using my pinkie finger. I wanted the nest to be some what dis-sheveled with some twigs sticking out. I am not sure if I got that effect but, that was what I was trying for. Next came the eggs.

The eggs I made out of polymer clay. All the pearls I had were to big and did not look right. I needed something plainer than pearls. I made the eggs in all sizes rolling them in the palm of my hand. Do not Pearl ex them before you heat them. The colors are way too intense after heating.
I also turned the temperature down about twenty to twenty five degrees from what the manufacturer calls for. I also, cooked them at five minute intervals. The eggs were so small it does not take long to cook them up. Trust me on this - my first batch was a disaster.

One of the other sort of "accidents" that happened in the cooking process was some of the eggs turned creamy, some brownish, and some mottled. I used Luminere paints to paint some of them, others I left natural. The ones in my nest are one painted - the blue one - and the other two are the way they came out of the oven. I glued them into my nest with a blob of gel gloss medium.
The little shrine with the doors closed. You can see how narrow the shrine actually is with the doors closed. It gives you just a hint of what is inside. Like a present waiting to be opened.
These are the two sides to the little shrine. It was so small I did not want to add a whole lot to the sides. Less is more in this situation. A mantra I have to remember more often than not.

Although it sat on my desk calling to me, this was a fun project. Making the wire nest and clay eggs was fun and really not something I do regularly. I like to have little things that you can work on while other projects dry or you have hit an impasse with something else. Now I need another 'little something" on my work table.

6 comments:

Alexandra Knittel said...

Your shrine is beautiful Elisabeth.

purplepaint said...

Elizabeth - this is awesome! Love the little copper nest, it's perfect!

Patti said...

I totally agree than less is more, though it's so hard to know when that applies! Such a cool shrine... hey, my daughter isn't using her doll house anymore!
love the nest too - thanks for sharing technique!

Patti said...

I totally agree than less is more, though it's so hard for me to know when that applies! Such a cool shrine... hey, my daughter isn't using her doll house anymore!
love the nest too - thanks for sharing technique!

Rachel Bland said...

This is gorgeous! What a great idea to use dolls house furniture to create a shrine!

Michi, Orange County, CA said...

Hi Elizabeth!
I totally LOVE your shrine! It is EXQUISITE!!! What a BEAUTIFUL piece of art!!!!!