Monday, September 7, 2009

ThE maGic Of a MisHaP

Let’s face it, when something breaks, our natural reaction is usually less than positive. We’re upset, we’re angry, we’re disappointed; we can dwell about the breakage for moments that extend long beyond the ‘break-up’. Or, we can choose to embrace the mishap and approach it as a creative opportunity. The opportunity to pick up the pieces and turn them into something magical. To take that break, tear, spill or split and work it into the piece or the design, to play it up, instead of down.
There are many common mishaps that all of us face at one time or another. One of them is broken glass. For me, this creative opportunistic approach towards breakage came about several years ago when I had a couple of windows neatly propped outside my studio to create some tabletops out of. The wind caught hold of them and after a couple of short blustery gusts; I had to come up with another idea. They had found their way to the concrete and the glass shattered into a starburst of shapes. As I was picking up what I initially thought to be a disaster, I started to arrange the pieces into different patterns. I started to see shapes and designs that I would never have been able to cut out of the glass intentionally. Each piece had a very natural, not contrived look to it. It’s what I like to call random acts of art. My imagination brought those shattered pieces back together again in a fun, starry-eyed way. I share it with you now, so you too can enjoy the magic of a mishap with these beautiful window ornaments.

You’ll need:
Broken Glass
Copper Foil Tape
Soldering Iron
Lead Free Solder
Liquid Flux
Jump Ring
Household Ammonia
Chain, rope, ribbon, or monofilament for hanging.

Select flat, broken glass pieces that aren’t too splintery or fragile. These can come from a broken window, picture frame or mirror.
To create the starburst window ornaments, select ones that are triangular in shape. (They will be irregular; so don’t focus on ‘perfect’ triangles.)
Each star will require 5 triangular shaped pieces.
Arrange them on your work surface in the shape of a star with the pointier sides facing out.
Tape off edges of each broken glass piece with copper foil tape (tape is available in different widths to accommodate different thicknesses of glass)
Brush liquid flux over the taped edges (available at any home improvement store – this helps prime the surface to accept the solder)
Use a soldering iron and lead free solder (also available in the plumbing section of any home improvement store) to tack together the pieces in the center. Finish off by covering all exposed foil tape with solder (front and back).
Fill the center with other various glass pieces like gems, large glass beads or stained glass. Wrap in foil tape and solder in place.
Solder a jump ring where desired to hang.
Clean off the flux with household ammonia, rinse with water and hang proudly!
Think of this project as a creative reminder to always pick up the pieces and carry on. You’ll find yourself looking forward to an unexpected ‘break’ now and then.
Cheers to the magic of a mishap, my friends!


Lisa Kettell said...

I too love the magic of a mishap, I have made many of things that I love through that, Serendipity at its finest!

Magic and Joy!

KC said...

Nice way to rescue. I will remember this.

Melissa ;-) said...

Oh how creative! I just love this!