Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How you will REALLY use what you learned in subjects such as geometry in your life...

     Here is how you will REALLY use your geometry knowledge...

     You will determine that you can make TWO dome-shaped teacups from a balloon covered with paper mache if you cut it with a hack-saw when it's dry.

     You will realize that you need to add a slice of a cylinder on each side of the balloon so that each of the two teacups stands up nicely.  Unless your going for the Japanese sake-type teacup, you'll add a handle on each cup, and I think that has nothing to do with geometry.

     You will see the correlation between an overinflated balloon and a teapot, if you stand the balloon on its fat end.  The knot in the balloon will actually remind you of the knob on the top of the teapot's lid, so you'll take that as a cue to add a nice knob on the top, in addition to the aforementioned cylinder (ala the teacup - for stability) and even if you didn't take calculus or study black holes, you'll be able to make a spout, curve it nicely, and attach it to your balloon.  Hey, who needs that much math unless you're going to become a scientist?

     You'll sand the little devils quickly so they don't look gnarley (is that even a real word?) for your fancy-pants tea party. You'll learn all about sanding in your Technology class - back in the day (I hate that phrase) we used to call it Shop.

     After you've decided on the table linens, you'll paint them (tomorrow) and enjoy a nice cup of imaginary tea.  Bon apetite!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tea Party Update

     I didn't realize how time consuming this would be.  As usual.

     However, it's starting to look like something. 

     I took the newspaper out of the spout (it was giving the spout its shape while the wet paper towels dried) and I added one handle on each of the cup balloons.  I have to add another handle on each (each small balloon will be two cups).  I still have to round out the handle on the teapot, and I have to attach the spout. 

     I think it's going to look AWESOME, but who knew it would take me about 20 hours to make?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A paper mache REVELATION!!!

     With all due respect to the great master, I am the Michaelangelo of paper mache.  I am the QUEEN of paper mache... 

     But seriously, I really do love to make things out of paper mache, so when I signed up to be the set designer for Alice In Wonderland Jr., the play at my school, I thought, EXCELLENT, I'll make some giant mushrooms out of paper mache.  Any excuse to sculpt out of newspaper, flour and water.  I love messy crafts. 

     Then I realized (thank goodness!) how utterly time consuming a 6 foot mushroom made of paper mache would be, and I altered my plans. I had never realized that all the props on the set had to be unbreakable just in case the kids accidentally dropped something, so that meant that the Mad Hatter's tea set had to be plastic or...

paper mache.

     I started with ballons, as you may have seen in a previous post of mine, but to make really STRONG paper mache, you need countless layers, each dried seperately (cause you can't risk stinky, moldy sculptures).  In that previous picture, you can see that I made my first layer the usual way - newspaper strips dipped in a flour and water mixture.  Nice and round, but delicate, and loaded with newsprint that shows through your first layer of paint.

     But then, something that one of the art teachers told me came to mind... "I use paper towels when I have my classes make the face masks"  Paper towels... huuuuuummmmmmmmmm.....

     So the other day I got out a roll of Bounty, and ripped that into strips for my second layer.

     Can I say OH MY!!!!

     The layers were really heavy and caved in the sagging balloon a bit but when it dried, HOLY COW, if I throw that sucker across the room, I could knock someone out, it's so hard.  It's amazing!  Not only does the Bounty make the layer super strong, but it's somewhat flexible when wet, so you don't get those annoying corners that are impossible to flatten on round surfaces.  The stuff STRETCHES a bit. Round surfaces can be rounder... you can use larger pieces and so, finish faster. And the surface is just perfect for paint of any color.  Again, I just have to say it... AMAZING!!

     I realize most of you don't give a doodle about this, but hey, I was so excited about it I just had to share.  

     Oh, and you're probably wondering, "What the heck IS that in the picture....?" 

     It's the spout for the Mad Hatter's tea pot.