Monday, September 22, 2008

Crayon Bowls...Something New from Something Old (Tutorial)

Wow! It's been a long couple-a weeks....Let me catch you up: My first assignment in my 3D Design class was to take one man-made object (in multiples) and create something brand new. We could not use anything other than the object (of our choice) and adhesive--which the teacher did not want to see. So, while people in my class picked water bottles, cups, and nails, (and did pretty cool things with them) I picked blue crayons.

Here is what I did:

First, I covered a small bowl with foil. This was going to me the mold. Then, I melted the crayons in a homemade double boiler, one pot to hold the crayons set inside a larger pot of (boiling) water. (By the way, this gets messy, so you might want to melt the crayon in a coffee can that you can just toss...I used a cute vintage pot I bought at a flea market in Germany, which was a poor choice--it's crayon free now, but that took awhile).

Once the crayons were melted (you'll need an old metal spoon to stir it), I poured the melted wax over the bowl form. I kept the bowl-mold on a plastic tray to catch the excess crayon wax so I could reuse it. Be careful here! The wax gets super hot (as it's a liquid!) and can burn!
I let this layer dry and cool and did it all over again. I kept going with this process until it was at a good thickness, then I released the crayon bowl by unwrapping the foil on the inside of the bowl (mold), sliding the original bowl out and peeling the foil off the inside of the new crayon bowl.

This bowl to the right is one of my first, practice bowls. I also used a hair dryer (because I didn't want to buy a heat gun) to smooth out some of the sides and to produce "drips."

The inside has some cool patterns from the foil, and I smoothed the outsides pretty well. This piece is actually symbolic to me on a few levels (but none that I need to get into here). I ended up making 3 bowls of different sizes, they all nest together rather nicely. Then, to keep the original idea of crayons in the piece, I carved some simple circles into 3 crayons and used them inside the bowls. Now, it's a cool little "work of art" that you can kind of play with--and even make art with!