Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making Art From Copper Screening

Hi guys!

I'm sure you've been missing me.

I've been missing you, too.

I'm here today with another contribution to Project Challenge 2017. The February challenge material is screening. In our group we get to request the materials that we will be working with over the year. Screening was one of my requests.

Many moons ago I was shopping at one of those artisan shops where everything is handmade by a local artist and saw a couple of vases filled with the most interesting flowers. These flowers were  from screening. Since then I've always been certain that I wanted to try my hand at making some of those myself.

A few moons later I was shopping in a barn full of REALLY random stuff. Guess what was there?

See that large roll of copper screening? Wow! That's like a gold mine. I mean, look how much prettier it is than that mundane grey screening material next to it. 

Since then these rolls of screening have been part of my rather large stash of "things I will make something with some day."

You know what I mean?

Fast forward back to this months challenge when i finally had a great reason to pull out the screening.

Before I show you all about my project, let's look at what my fellow challenge friends made with theirs.

Now I have ideas for the rest of the screening in my stash!

When I was racking my brain for what I would do with the screening, I kept coming back to the idea of flowers. My concern was that as cool as I remember the flowers being, I didn't think I would use them in my house. 

But... I would use them in my garden. You know I'm a fan of garden art.

And I have this space in the garden that has killed no less than 2,417 plants.  I don't even have a picture of it because I tend to avoid that space when I'm taking pictures. And right now, in the middle of winter I just can't believe that you want to see an 18 inch slice of tundra between my neighbors driveway and my grass.


I decided I'd try my hand at some large flowers made from the copper screening that I could "plant" along the turf of death.  Of course I'm not going to plant these flowers in February.  But I can't tell you how excited I am that I have a project already 75% ready for spring!

So here's what I made.

A giant copper screening flower.

Three of them to be exact.

Here's what I did.

Cut out - with regular kitchen scissors - a bunch of petals. 4 large, 4 medium, 4 small. Each size is about 20% smaller than the last.

Turn under the edges with needle nosed pliers.affiliate link (don't fold under the base of the petal)

NOTE: see that towel on my lap? When working with screening you must work over something to catch the little pieces that fall off. Little pieces of screening are very dangerous. They spray everywhere when you are cutting the screening. Then they get in your clothes and on the floor. The next thing you know, they are in your feet or basically anywhere stuck in your skin and they hurt. 

Fold the base of the petal into thirds to create the petals shape.

Connect all 4 petals of each size with floral wire. I used 22g wire affiliate link. I tried using thinner wire but 22g worked best. It still fit through the screening holes and was strong enough to do the job. You could probably even use 24g or 26g.

I did this by cutting a piece of wire about 10 inches long and sticking it through the base of each of the 4 petals. Then I arranged the petals into a circle and sewed the wire back through the layers of petals until they were woven into place and then wrapped the two ends of the wire into one wire. I cut the wire to about 2 inches and bent it to the side.

Then I layered the 3 sets of petals I just made together to make the flower. I did this the same way as the layers of petals by cutting a long piece of wire and connecting the layers then weaving back and forth through the layers until they are in place and twisting the wires together tightly.

Notes regarding this picture: This was the first flower I made. I altered my plans after making this one. Note that this one has wires sticking out the front.  Duh!!!  When weaving the layers of petals together make the wires end up at the back of the flower.  Note #2: This is when I decided to fold the edges under because the edges were fraying and because I felt like there should be more definition between the layers which the folded edges provided. It looks fine in this close-up, but from far away the flower lost definition. After turning under the edges in an already made flower I decided it would be much easier if those edges got turned under BEFORE I made the flower.

THEN since I'm not going to plant them in the garden until spring, I had to figure out what to do with them until then. I mean I had to take pictures...

Do you remember my weird Christmas mantle?

Well, I kind of like those branches with the lights on them.

So I left them up. I took down the Christmas ornaments, but I still liked having the lighting and the logs.

What do you do when you have logs and lights on you mantle?

You add your copper screening flowers, of course!

And YES I did over-saturate the flowers when I edited them because I wanted to make sure you could see the flowers really well in the pictures. They are really more opaque than this person.

They look more like this except even more opaque.

I think I'm going to make several more flowers before I plant them. Maybe I'll plant a total of 7?

My thoughts are that I will attach them to re-bar and pound them into the ground.

So I guess that this post is Part 1 of a two-part series.

Hopefully I will have made at least 3 more posts before then!

But now let me introduce you to my fellow challenge participants:

Click on the picture to visit the blog and see how they made their projects.

Michelle at Shestring Blog.

Molly at Just A Little Creativity

Coleen at Kaydeross Creek

Emily at Domestic Deadline

I hope you found a project you liked!

See you sooner than later!


Emily said...

These flowers are so cool! I can't wait to see how you use them in the yard.

imklvr said...

How about some screen leaves on that re-bar?? I'll probably never make them, if I'm honest with myself, but I LOVE them! So I'm pinning...cuz ya never know! About the Christmas mantle....I don't remember seeing it, though I try to never miss a post. It's gorgeous! If I had that, I'd not take it down either. It could be "dressed" for each season or holiday! Total envy going on here, girl! Dona

Art and Sand said...

Your screening flowers are awesome!

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Well done! I actually said "ooooh" when I saw that roll of copper screening. Love your creative thinking!

ibshell said...

I never even knew of copper screening until seeing your flowers! They are so amazing, you did a beautiful job!!

Unknown said...

They look great! I can't wait to see what you do with them in the spring! I love how you explained the first one you made and how you altered the design. #Keepingitreal

Barbara Jean said...

these are gorgeous!! thanks for how to.


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