Wednesday, January 21, 2009

IT Girl for Karen

Karen is the 'IT GIRL' on Art Ventures for the month of March. I know, I'm ahead of schedule, but when an idea hits it is best for me to go with the flow. Karen's theme is shrines. Well, I learned how to create shrines with clay tiles from Laurie Mika back in, why not?
I started with a small wood frame (5 x 5) that I found at Michael's. I painted it with gold acrylic paint so that any spaces between clay or glass tiles would be gold, and not brown wood.

I had a stash of white clay tiles that I made a month or two ago, and had already painted them with a base coat of gold. I needed to make the roof, since I was thinking 'bird house' and some additional decorative tiles. I got out a package of black sculpey for those. After cutting out the roof and some additional tiles, I either stamped into them to get texture or added some 'gems'; then I rubbed perfect pearls interference colors onto the clay before baking. When the black tiles were ready I looked through my white tiles and some other glass tiles that I had on hand, and proceeded to create an arrangement on the wood frame. Pretty soon I had what I felt was a good coverage on the shrine.

After deciding which of my white clay tiles would fit best on the shrine I painted them with acrylic paint. I knew I wanted purple, but it took several attempts to get the proper green/blue color I was looking for. And once again I checked the arrangement of the tiles before gluing them in place. I also applied matte varnish to all the clay tiles before gluing them in place.

Once I determined where the tiles should be placed I glued them down with Weldbond. There was a very small open space just below the roof line on the left and the right. I had some small glass beads that fit perfectly in that space. First I placed some Diamond Glaze in the space and then using a toothpick placed the beads down one at a time.

Here's a picture of the finished shrine. The sunlight is casting a shadow on the inside left of the frame.
In the opening I had taken my HeidiSwap mask of a bird and tree branch, placed them on a script background, and sponged on dusty concord distress ink. The sunlight in this photo gives the background a much lighter appearance than it really is.
I couldn't decide whether to place the small blackbird charm on the inside left or right of the frame, or to place it on the top of the frame just to the right or left of the roof line. I decided I liked it best where it is.

Here's another view of the finished shrine. Since the sunlight was creating shadows I wanted to take a couple of shots so that the entire shrine could be seen.
I hope that Karen likes it. And I hope that I can package it up well enough so that it makes it to her without any damage.

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