Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 5 - Lantern

My final entry for Extravaganza is this lantern. This project requires some explanation, so bear with me. I have been wanting to do something like this for ages but had never had the nerve to try it until now. I actually started this early in January by explaining this to my husband who gave me a brief idea as to how to get started. Since we cannot use products other than CTMH products and we have to build items ourselves, I knew I was in for a real challenge with this project and I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to crush this whole project to pieces and go with something else entirely. This led to more frustration than I think I have ever experienced with any other project. I came so close to abandoning this project and doing something else...

It is built using 22 gauge wire. I had to create 7 circles to begin with (or as rounded circular shapes as I could make) and solder them together. Then, with the circles laid out, I had to cut wire pieces approx. 3-4 inches above the height of the lantern and start soldering them onto the circular pieces for stability. This was REALLY hard. It took about 5 very steady hands to hold everything in place and I don't know about you, but I don't have 5 hands... And that soldering iron is incredibly hot. Once the first piece was in place, I added another piece across from the first piece. Of course, you realize, these weren't even close to being straight... And bending them caused the points where they were soldered to break. By the time 4 or 5 wires had been added, I was able to start forming somewhat of a shape but resoldering had to be done to replace the broken spots - this had to be done time and time again. All in all, about 60 wires had to be placed for stability. And MANY had to be resoldered and bending had to be done many times over to try and get the shape to sit relatively straight, breaking more of the already soldered bonds. This was so much more difficult than I ever anticipated. The top 2 circles weren't even added until the lower 5 circles had been done. Then the top 2 circle were added later. There were still gaps that were too large and I had to manually add thinner wire to fill in the gaps as I would need those spots in order to be able to glue my paper later and I couldn't have those gaps there. 

When I finally had a shape that sort of resembled a lantern, I started gluing the teardrop shapes on, starting at the bottom. I realized that if I covered the entire shape in paper, my light wouldn't shine through, so I knew I had to do something to allow some light to get through. So then I coloured some of our seam binding ribbon and attached that, then covering that with more of the paper, but allowing the paper to just sit on top of the ribbon, allowing some of the ribbon to show, therefore allowing some space for the light to shine through. I did that again at the top, allowing the ribbon to show. 

I wish now that I would have taken a photograph of the interior so you could have seen what the inside looked like and all the soldered wires along with the wrapped ribbon. It was SO much work to get that together. I had to take the lantern down to my crawl space in the basement to get the dark shot to show what it looks like when the light is placed under it and the light is shining.

So, here is the photo of the finished lantern and 2 photos in the dark to show what the lantern looks like when it is lit up.  
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are all Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted. 

Paper: Later Sk8R Paper Pack, Surf's Up Paper Pack, Lagoon Cardstock
Stamps: None
Inks:Lagoon Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Paradise Paper Flowers, Mini-Medley Accent Collection - Antiqued Gold, Pearl Opaque Adhesive Gems, Baker's Twine Paradise Assortment, Colour Ready Seam Binding, 22 Gauge Wire (not CTMH), Mini Flashlight (not CTMH), Soldering Gun (not CTMH)



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