Flu or not it didn't stop me from working on the Rococo mirror, I was determined to finish my Castine projects before working on any of the other miniatures I am busy with. I finished carving the front on Friday. On Saturday morning I carved the leaves on the back side to give them some shape and thin them out.
View from the left side.
View from the right side. As far as tools went, I didn't like using my Dremel much, it wobbles a bit with the small cutters in it. My favorite tools ended up to be the two chisels that Bill Robertson made for us in class and my craft knifes.
I am not too fond of scalpels but did use the one on the right to smooth the inside curves of the scrolls, the knife on the left is one of my favorite tools for slicing off thin layers of wood, the chisel blade are too wide for miniatures, my husband grinds them down for me until they are really small and you can get into all the small tight corners. And then the two chisels are the ones Bill made from drill rod, they were quite long and I cut them in half to try my hand at making some myself as I have no idea if I will find drill rod easily in SA.
On Saturday afternoon I started gilding the frame, I first painted it with an acrylic paint, and then watched Josje's YouTube video's on gilding, thanks Josje, they were a great help. I finished the gilding over the weekend. I wanted to use real mirror and that send me on another quest, I asked some of my South African miniaturist friends if they have any idea where I could find some thin mirror and they promptly said makeup compacts, ha, I don't use any makeup but went to an oriental mall close by and found a nice big broken plastic container full of eye-shadow with a lovely big unbroken mirror for dirt cheap. Since I haven't cut any glass before I first searched for a bit of info on the internet, this was going to be an odd shape too and I remembered Bill saying something about grinding the glass so I did a bit of research on that too.
As usual when I am having fun I forget to take photos, so here is the piece of glass already rough cut (broken would be a better description) showing how it fits into the original piece of mirror.
Our winters are rather mild and it was a lovely 21 degrees outside, so I took my Dremel out onto the stoep (patio) as I wasn't too keen on having glass all over my workroom. I used a silicone carbide grinder and had a bowl of water handy and kept on dipping the mirror into the water to keep it cool and create glass paste instead of dust and maybe some splinters while I was slowly grinding the mirror into the final shape. It took about three hours, I am not sure who was more happy when it was finished, me or the dog as I kept on going inside every now and again to rinse the mirror and check to see if it fitted the frame yet, he likes to lie close by somewhere when I work and gives big sighs if I move around too much :-)
And finally it fits, the mirror turned out to be 1.4mm thick, so it sticks out a bit, but since I am planning to hang it on a back wall above a fireplace it doesn't bother me too much. The backing did chip a bit here and there on the edges but you can't see it from the front.
I am quite happy at how the mirror turned out, this was a project with a lot of firsts and a huge learning curve and I enjoyed every bit of it.
And a side view, the size for the gold stays sticky for a long time and has peeled off a bit with all the handling, of course I should have cut and fitted the mirror first, but I kind of like it in a bit of an antiqued state, I will let it dry properly and then decide if I want to patch it up or leave as is.
Hope you all have a great mini week.