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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Copper Domes and Plastic Dreams

Hello folks!

This post is a continuation of the last post on creating the Oriel Window for the Steampunk Chateau.

The original window concept

Once I had determined that I did not like the Art Nouveau roof awning I had planned, I was faced with a decision. I knew that the "top" pictured above was actually what I would be using on the bottom of the pieces eventually. So I needed a new dome for my window.

I'd like to call your attention to a pic I already posted yesterday...

Note the plastic bottle tops.  These "grew up" into the final dome pieces!

Notice in the center of this picture a plastic piece.  This is actually the bottle top for a "Downy UnStoppables Scent Booster" bottle top that I cut off and then cut in half.    Such humble beginnings!  

I had already planned to use this bottle top dome with the failed concept of the Art Noveau awning.  I decided to take that original dome concept and work with it to create an interesting dome that would replace the metal lantern part that I show in the original concept above.  

Armed with my new plan, I started out by covering the plastic pieces with gesso.  Prior to applying the gesso, I sanded out the ridges in the bottle top that are used to screw on the lid with heavy grit sandpaper.  

Note in the picture below that the "top" of the lantern is actually the original "bottom" of the piece.  I turned the lantern pieces over so that the filigree would be at the bottom of each window, where I thought it looked best. 

I cut a half round piece out of Foam Core board to cover the top of the lantern and to help transition the shapes and integrate them visually.   I sanded both pieces using 60 grit sandpaper, then sanded with 120 grit sandpaper, and then followed up with #0000 Steel Wool, to ensure a nice, smooth finish on both pieces. Used together, these pieces gave me a solid, clean shape to begin working with. 

Transformed from bottle top to dome!

My next step was to apply color to the dome.  I wanted a copper effect, but one that would have the suggestion of being weathered.   To create some additional interest, I also chose to texture the dome first, and add metal bands from top to bottom around the dome.  I started this process by first adding a texture coat. 

The grouted domes before sanding

I applied TEC Ready to Use Adhesive and Grout Unsanded Formula to overlay the layer of gesso I put on the plastic bottle.  I then used a toothbrush and an old paint brush to "stipple" the surfaces, applying the grout and then removing the brushes in a "pulling" motion, leaving nice sharp points.  I let that dry and then came back with heavy sandpaper to sand the ends flat, leaving dipples in the overall texture.  

Tape placed with gaps between to create the dome bands

Once the grout had been sanded to create a very dimpled surface, the next step was to lay a base of grey-black color.  I used Folk Art Blending Gel with black acrylic paint as a base coat.  I created metal bands on the dome by cutting masking tape into small 1/8 in, strips using my utility knife, and adding them to the dome. As you can see I wanted vertical stripes up the dome sides.

After applying additional grout, before sanding bands

Having placed the tape where I wanted it, I was ready to apply more grout.  I applied the second layer of grout and followed up with a knife blade to smooth the texture over the banded areas.  

After waiting several minutes for the grout to partially dry, I stripped the small pieces of tape from the dome, and now had straight appearing (operative word!) bands of grout that ascended the dome on its sides. 

I painted the entire base with Deco Art 'Royal Ruby' Metallic Paint...which left me with a nice copper color base.  

A coat of "Royal Penny" paint as the base coat

After the original coat of copper paint, I stippled Deco Art 'Dark Patina' Metallic paint over the top of the dome, leaving some of the original copper paint showing through.

Added "Dark Patina" second coat

Over this layer second of paint, I added a third coat of paint using Deco Art's "Worn Penny" Metallic Paint, again, stippling with the paint to return the dome to mostly copper, but leaving a bit of the green verdigris showing through. 

Applied "Warm Penny" over the verdigris layer
I went back in around each of the bands and added another coat of the 'Dark Patina'  paint along all the bands...where rain and wear would have darkened the copper and then finished off with another coat of 'Royal Ruby' just on the bands.  

The new dome in dry fit with the Oriel window

I also painted the Foam Core roof piece and added brass brads (with the heads painted copper) to the edge to finish it off, and then aged the roof piece, the lantern itself, and the tile at the base.  

I had previously cut up an old Armstrong Floor Tile I had in the garage and applied the small cut pieces  to create a tile look as a base for the additional detail I have planned as I finish off the pieces.  

Here is a peek at the Steampunk Chateau all dressed up with its' new Oriel Windows!  

1st and 2nd floor with Steampunk windows where they will go

This is where I stopped on this project, because my main objective was to set the new profile for the Oriel window so that I could modify and adjust the third floor shell to work with the changed dome profile.   You will see a few additional trim pieces that I cut out of foam core in some of the following photos though.  

I will be going back in on these pieces as I attach and apply the windows to the house in the final assembly stages for each affected room.  For now, they will remain as is.

I wanted to share with you too what the window will look like with glass in it!  All of the additional window pieces, both glass and Foam Core, are just set in in this photo, rather than attached, but you can see the general effect in this photo.  I loved it...and cannot wait to assemble everything permanently some day soon! At that time, I will be adding all additional detail to finalize this portion of the project. 

A glimpse of the important future ahead for these newly minted windows!

Thanks for joining me here on the blog, hope you have enjoyed following along on the creation story for the Steampunk Oriel windows.  

Have a great evening!   Until next time!  

Doug S

1 comment:

  1. Hello Doug,
    It was worth all the time and effort! Your technique is awesome and the finished project is great! I love the weathered, textured copper dome. The oriole windows will be wonderful focal points on the house.
    Well done!
    Big hug,


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