Got up early and got busy with the metal cut outs. First things first with metal, you need the right tools which include a dust mask, gloves, tin snips, emery paper made for sanding metal, a drill or two, a dremel with a grinding stone and a brush and dust can handy close by.
Metal work is not for sissies. Its messy, its has sharp edges and its just plain hard work, but nothing looks any cooler when you get done either. I guess that's why I keep going back to it. I chose an angel cutout to start with and began by sanding off the rusty bits and old paint to bring up the metal pattern. With this old stuff its really important to put on a clear sealer when finished to make sure the rust doesn't show up and start its evil work again.
First step is to wear gloves and a mask and make sure there are no huge jaggedy bits around the edges to catch fingers, those jagged pieces get carefully removed before the real work starts. Using the Dremel with a sanding stone I hit all the curves and all the edges. The hard work starts then with the emery cloth sand paper. Emery cloth is made for metal and does a great job at blunting the edges. About now I strip off the gloves because I don't know of any other way to make sure the edges are not knives in disguise. A light touch can show me any places that need more attention. This part takes about 30-45 minutes and is hard on the hands and elbows, just sand, rub, sand, check, rub and sand some more. I use an entire sheet of emery paper on one metal cut out. The stuff just eats the paper and comes back for more.
When I'm finally satisfied there are no killer edges left and the pattern is raised I clean the pieces up with ammonia and water and scrub them dry. I drill a hole in the top and put a wire twist in to hang on to the piece, I pop outside to the fresh air and spritz it with matte sealer on both sides. After it dries, its glitter time.
Angel in the glitter pan getting glue applied. I use trays with raised edges because I recapture all the glitter. I have three different glitter pans because I'm using at least 3 different German glass glitters.
I use Q tips to apply the glue and its really important to choose a glue that dries very clear, like Weldbond which is my glue of choice. This time I tried my new gold large flake glitter and it dried very naturally and the piece looks organic. When I finish up with a halo and some extra touches I'll pop a shot of the finished piece in here but for now check out this marvelous Bell Bear.
Same process but not glittered. I love the way this guy came out! He's about ten inches tall and you can actually find him at Matter Gallery in Olympia, WA. More smaller bears will be on the Tree that Ate Cleveland after I cut them all out and get them ready. I think the metal work is the hardest of all the pieces for the tree but it will be some of the most striking. Only 29 to go….
Counted the ornaments that are done and I have hit 100. Whew, only 200 to go.