Close up of the tree trunk. This lamp is quite impressive when viewed in person, she is very excited with his reaction to receiving the lamp! It was hard having to give it to him, we wanted to keep it.
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Awww thanks so much Christain. :) Yeah, we thought an oven long mit-like cozy to put over the top of lavas to warm up faster would be a great product!
Sorry, I'm a bit late to the tutorial party. :) Wow, thanks so much for the nice comments. <3 Nick summed it up pretty well! I actually made a short video on how to make the wood texture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM-fm8TSkPw
I've only done two lamps and neither has been fully tested as far as durability is concerned, so there is quite a bit of risk involved. Both lamps have also had problems. I will try to give you as much info and advice as I can. Please keep me posted if you do it! Maybe you can help prefect the process together? The world needs more custom lava lamps!
The first lamp I made was a black and white Giger inspired one... Nick probably has a picture floating around somewhere. The lamp heated up fast, no cracking and is still holding up well today. The problem is that the lamp was getting too hot after running it for a few hours. For that lamp I applied Kato Polyclay Translucent.Straight to the base, sculpted, antiqued with black acrylic paint and applied sculpy brand gloss glaze after baking. I baked using directions on the box.
That clay is super stiff and hard to work with; my hand were aching by the end of it.You can mix in some Vaseline and run through a pasta maker or clay machine to soften it up. Rolling it quickly in your hand or heating it with body heat will also help the process along.
For the tree lamp here, I clumped up chunks of foil and applied around the lamp base to create the rooty-like texture. "Rooty" is a word right? ;) Then wrapped foil around the chunks to hold them in place. I then marbled Polyform Sculpey Original Polymer Clay with brown and yellow, and used a a broken felting needle to make the texture (i didn't own any sculpting tools at the time) :) The video will go over that part of it though. I ran into a problem when it came time to bake. I didn't want to stand it up in the oven because the top and bottom would be very close to the heating elements, so I laid it on its side. Part of the clay was smashed in during the bake. I just covered it with some moss. If I was to do over i would probably but it in a tub of baking soda.. my friend Barbara made a great video on that.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBuhC5u2aUg Putting in baking soda also helps leach out the water making the clay less prone to breaking. Putting into a freezer straight after baking is supposed to also help also.
After baking I antiqued w a brown acrylic paint, glued on:
Beandrop, tell us how!!
Thank you Christian! I am going to have to get her to write up a short tutorial on the process but I believe she used tin foil to build up a rough layout of the trunk and craggy bark, polymer clay over the foil to form the bark and mushrooms, various clay scrapers to texture the clay bark, glass paints to color ( I think), live moss and plastic accents (flowers, vines,) to decorate around the trunk. I know one thing we ran into was extended warmup tim. We think it has to do with the foil base layer robbing the heat off of the lamp though the clay does not get too hot when running. I will chat her up and get her in here for a nice rundown of the project.
It will make you stare at the base before you even look at the wax!
Beauty is in the detail.
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