miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2010

World Egg

First, I'd like to thank Instructables for running this contest: without it, the reindeer moss I picked up because it looked like miniature trees would never have connected in my mind with the idea of putting that awesome-diorama-I-would-one-day-make into an emu egg and getting to work on it immediately. Whatever the proportion of inspiration to perspiration there has to be for a given project, without the inspiration there really is no project, no matter how much perspiration one is willing to put in.

Other things needed for this project:

Emu egg (preferably more than one... I ruined the first and maybe the second)
White vinegar (fresh from the store: the newer it is, the more acidic)
Crayons (good ole Crayola)
Rock mold (this came in a diorama rock kit I bought at Michaels for this, but can be had online)
Plaster
Talus (i.e. little jagged rock crumbs. Unpainted aquarium gravel could do in a pinch)
Gravel (i.e. larger jagged pieces of rock. Jagged is the key word here)
Putty (I used Aves Apoxie Sculpt, but any self-hardening putty-like stuff would do, so long as it sticks well to things)
Reindeer moss (I've seen the same stuff labeled as lichen)
Grass flock (came in another diorama kit, this one for grasses. Can also be had online or in a hobby store)
Foliage fiber (same diorama kit, the stuff looks and feels vaguely like the scrubby side of a kitchen sponge)
Glue (I used what came free with the kits, it smells like Elmer's to me. Any non-toxic, clear drying glue would do)
Acrylic paints
Clear casting resin
Very small twig wreath, or twigs and raffia to make one.

Tools:
Plastic cups, knives, stirrers.
Manicure scissors
Tweezers
Brushes (here it really helps to have a few small and soft brushes, they are best for blending)
Rotary tool with a grinding tip and a small cutting tip.

Also, lots of time, patience, and a clean, well lit work environment (I used my office for a chunk of this project)
World Egg
step 1Etch the Eggshell
Right away I figured I would need more room for my diorama than a chicken egg. My first thought was an ostrich egg. I went to google images and started looking at what other people have done with them. Then I saw a picture of a large dark green egg, and knew I had to have one. With a little research, I found out that the awesome green eggs were laid by emus, but apparen…

step 2Add the Terrain
I peeled the thin yellowish skin covering the inside of the shell. It looked dirty and it was already peeling in places, so I decided my best bet was to get rid of it. That took a surprising amount of time, as in other places it seemed very firmly attached, and had to be rubbed off with fingertips. All this while being careful not to exert excessive force and crack the …

step 3Grow the Grass
I used another diorama kit, this one for grasses, though I only ended up using some of the items it had. Most of what I was interested in was the two colors of grass "flock". If you look very closely at it, it resembles finely ground up foam, and I would not be surprised if that's exactly what it was. Either way, the kit instructions suggested I add about 1 part glue t…

step 4Cut the Trees
I finally got to play with the moss, which partly inspired this whole enterprise. It smells bitter-sweet, like a forest floor on a sunny day, so working with it was extra pleasurable. I went through the stuff in the bag and pulled out clumps of moss that were harder and less spongy than the rest (some of that was VERY soft, and had no hope of convincingly standing up an…

step 5Expand the Landscape
There's not much to say about this step that would help one replicate it. Painting skills can be taught (yes, really, even to people who "can't draw a straight line"), it's just outside of the scope of this instructable. There are a few good books out there, and some good teachers, and what it takes is a willingness to let go of visually preconceived notions, time, pati…

step 6Grow the Trees
It was time to add the trees. While I did take pictures after this step, they all came out too blurry, so there aren't any to show. Not that I could actually have taken photos while sticking the trees in there, I had my hands full. This step was probably the most painful: glue was not going to hold these trees upright, so I tried using the Apoxie clay, which eventually …

step 7Pour the Lake
I used clear casting resin, because it looks so much like water, and it will work in as thick a layer as you need it to (i.e. you don't have to worry about how deep your lake it). The only thing I can add to the instructions on the jar is: once you pour it, put your project someplace it can sit safely for a while, and DO NOT MOVE IT! Once the surface starts jelling, dis…

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