Monday, April 15, 2013

The beat goes on with my new upcycled drum head mandalas

I'm excited to share a new product I'm working on.  This is a large hand painted mandala suncatcher made from an upcycled drum head!  It's a faux stained glass window!

I've been collecting drum heads from all the drummers in my life for some time now, and I'm finally inspired to go forward with the idea.  I'm feeling super inspired lately - maybe it was the amazing visit with one of my old best friends who stayed with me last weekend (she lives in England and we hadn't seen each other for 16 years) or maybe it was my recent session in a sensory deprivation tank at Float On...or maybe it's the fact that I'm going to be vending at Crafty Wonderland's spring sale on May 11 and I really need some new work for my booth!

At any rate, I'm going for it!

Above you see the clear drum head with my original design on it. I drew it with a black marker and then went over it with "liquid leading." That stuff is kind of a pain to use. You are supposed to squeeze it out so that it looks like actual leading. Unfortunately my hand doesn't like doing all that squeezing. It hurts - I've tried it on some of my small CD spacers that I use to make my regular Mandala Suncatchers and found it to be quite painful and unsatisfactory. The lines ended up looking kind of shaky anyway and I just couldn't make them perfect. This is one of the reasons why I never went on to do the drum head art that I'd been planning for so long - the experiments with clear CDs were too disappointing. 

So, this time around, I decided to draw it with a marker and then apply the leading over the top with a paintbrush.  This worked out just fine!

Above is a shot of what the liquid glass paint looks like when it is being laid down on the surface.  Obviously this is a plastic drum head, not glass, so I'm really not sure how different this is from actually painting on glass - but I found it pretty cool and fairly easy to work with.  The paint goes on really thick and puffy and opaque from a little squirt bottle - it flows like crazy, almost too fast, but I managed to control it.  As it dries, it becomes flat and clear.  I like it because it goes on fast, only needs one coat, and you don't have to go back and outline afterwards.

Whoa - I managed to get a little bit of BLUE SKY in this one!!!

(Close-up of the design)
I love my kitchen!

So, I am still in the process of working out this product idea.  I know that I need to figure out a way to make them hang-able, and I also need to get some more colors of paint!  I will be experimenting with adding hardware (perhaps a chain) so that it can be hung from a hook at the top of your window frame.  I hope to have a good selection of these for Crafty Wonderland and will be adding them to my Etsy shop too!

I'd love to hear what you think - please leave a comment and let me know!