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Saturday, December 21, 2019


Back in 2016, I shared a project my husband and I worked on to create a full length mirror for my studio.   It turned out great, and has been invaluable to me and my clients.  In actuality I was really hoping to incorporate a baroque style mirror, but frankly I just couldn't justify the cost of them.  Every time I spotted one, I'd always check them out and hoped I'd find a bargain, but three years have gone by.

Then Eureka!!!!  I found something that suggested that maybe I could create the embellishments I needed to re-work the existing frame into the baroque style I had always hoped for.  It involves using air dry clay and moulds.  I researched a ton, checked out lots of You Tube videos and decided.....I can do this!
I found the IOD moulds had what I was looking for in the way of designs and chose to purchase two of them.  You'll find them online and they cost anywhere between $18-20 each.  They are super sturdy, yet pliable and they clean up beautifully.  I used the "Hearty" super lightweight air dry clay.  I was able to find it at Hobby Lobby and of course, used my 40% off coupon.  I ended up using two packages to complete my project.    Add in the gold and dark umber paints I used and I'm still at under $75.  I have to tell you, from my "window shopping" experience, a full size baroque frame runs a minimum of $600. 

I'll be honest, this project took a crazy amount of time.  I had to make each of the pieces that I used.  Arrange them in a design, glue them to the existing frame, and paint them.  It was tedious to say the least.  But, I'm so pleased with the outcome.                                                                       
A couple other tips worth sharing....I did place the majority of the pieces when they were fresh out of the moulds.  It allowed me to place/shape them just how I wanted them while they were pliable.

I would tape them in place with painter's tape to hold them while they dried (the tape did not damage the clay at all).    I also found that dusting the inside of the mould with cornstarch made it super easy to remove the clay without harming the design, especially for some of the more intricate designs. 

As for the painting....I wanted the pieces to look aged/tarnished.  So, that took some time as well.  It was a process of layering, gold, black, and umber to create what I wanted.  I then also needed to blend those darker paints onto the rest of the frame to provide some continuity.  It was a lot of different techniques using brushes, fingers, rags, you name it!
I'm so loving the new look.  I probably could have kept going, filling up more of the frame with design....but I decided to stop after using two full packages of clay.    Who knows....maybe a few months from now, I'll decide to add more?!

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