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Friday, October 10, 2014

A Material Change - [ Or My Copper Ceiling Adventures ]

Hello my friends!  Do you remember that cookie tray?   Well, I have been making LOTs of little cookies to put on that tray...upside down!  The result so far, you see below.

I've been steadily turning that little cookie tray into a copper ceiling for the Grand Parlor.   This has been a time consuming project, but it has been fun to see the humble cookie tray take on a new life. 

I began by casting approximately 75 little resin "carved" bits to add to the ceiling.  Here is a photo of some of the ones I had left when completed. 

Forgive the lack of clarity on the photo...this was by FAR the hardest photo to get right...and it still isn't very good.  I obviously have some "learnin" to do about closeup photography!

Casting these small resin pieces took me several days, working an hour or two at a time.  Resin is a great medium...but patience is a part of the package if you intend to do large groups of castings the way I did here. 

Not something for the faint of heart to attempt!  Perhaps only for the simple minded!

Once I finally finished casting and cutting the flashing off of each of those tiny resin pieces, I got to cut about a quarter of them to fit the edges of the new ceiling.  

Adding a couple of coats of 'Royal Ruby' Metallic paint by DecoArt turned the ugly little cookie tray into a beautifully copper covered ceiling!  I love miniatures!   Old becomes New, Humble becomes Grand...Trash becomes Treasure...what could be better?  It is like having the Midas touch...everything turns to gold. [or copper in this case!] 

Some of the sharper tacks in the box may remember I was going on in an earlier post about a "carved ceiling"....  Well, Yes, this is morphed a tad! I kept thinking about the theme of the room...that "subtle underwater feel", and just could not reconcile my "carved ceiling" with that.  BUT, I knew I wanted the darker, richer effect on this portion of my miniature ceiling. 

In the magical world of miniatures, it is quite a simple matter to change the story!  So I did.  My "carved ceiling" became a copper covered ceiling.  And I really like it.  It still has the over the top richness of the wood carved ceiling, but since it is now METAL, it supports my central idea much better. At least that is what I tell myself!  We must comfort ourselves in our eccentricities in whatever fashion we can!    

So now to the fun part!  Finger Painting!  I painted more fingers than I did copper tiles, I swear.  Luckily, I look good in copper.  

I then lined up every tile onto one of the ridged squares on the cookie tray using a straight ruler to ensure that I got a very even distribution of the tiles across the ceiling.  If you have big hands like mine, you understand the TRUE meaning behind what I just told you.  This took me hours...every time I tried to place a tile, I bumped another...LOTS of unplanned rework there! But I finally succeeded in applying tile to the whole ceiling in a cleanly distributed fashion. 

Here I hit another "little" snag!  I planned to apply molding to the edges of this ceiling all along, but leave it to me to leave something out of my planning!  Once I tried to apply that molding, I realized that I was going to have gaps in my ceiling because I was applying the straight molding over the bumpy is that rocket science or what?  But NO...I didn't figure it out until I was ready to apply the molding.  

After a little bit of colorful language...(OK..not verbally...just in my head!) I realized I would have to cut my beautifully glued and painted ceiling make flat edges for the new molding to lay against.  I used my trusty little utility knife to make the cuts...nearly fainting with fear that I would mess everything up and have to start over. 

Luckily, I was able to manage, and without too much damage, I was able to finally place my "copper" molding along the ceiling edges, and create a beautiful finish to the room.  I am a long way from finished with the ceiling, but all the basic work is now complete, so I will be moving on to new projects for the moment. 

I am sure you are all saying "WAIT!!!  You forgot something!" . . .  but never fear!  The molding is attached only to the ceiling, and fits down inside the room module perfectly.   I can continue to work on the room and not have to worry about cutting up the wallpaper or getting paint on the moldings.  It all lifts off to provide me with access to the room until I get the basic walls, floors, and ceilings completed.  Once that is done, I will attach the ceiling permanently, and according to the Advertising, all will be well forever and evermore.  

We shall see!

I hope you have enjoyed the story of the transformation of an ugly little cookie tray (or two) into a beautiful, grand, and rich copper ceiling!  I swear, I must find that fairy tale woman who could spin straw into gold...I think it would be much easier!  

Have a good day, and can't wait to see you back here again!  Until next time!  

Doug S


  1. Hi Doug,
    Your ceiling is just lovely. Such a lot of work goes into such small spaces!! We are all gluttons for punishment, I think :) Really, though, it is fabulous. I can empathise with you in that, no matter how carefully we plan, something may have to be changed, but that is the beauty of miniatures, we suit ourselves, and as long as you have the flexibility to 'go with the flow', all will be well. Lovely work, Doug.
    All the best

    1. Hi Vivian!

      Glad you like the ceiling! You are right, I think we do just have to roll with the punches when it comes to those planning snafu's! I call those Opportunities to create Features! Some of my Best Work is the result of my Mistakes!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Hello Doug,
    Worth every minute my friend! the ceiling is fabulous! the copper finish is gorgeous and really creates a warm atmosphere...even in the unfinished state of the room. The casting sounds very tiresome and is something I would probably not attempt (contrary to popular belief I am one of the most impatient people on the planet). The final result is just stunning. You are a perfectionist and it shows. Great job reworking the ceiling to accommodate the molding. It really finishes the ceiling ebautifully
    Big hug,

    1. Thank You Giac,

      I am glad I went to the trouble to do the is so beautifully rich, and accomplishes what I had hoped to accomplish with the room. I always learn with every project, so the time is well invested.

      You figured me out, didn't you?! I always find my own work deficient. . . so I do find that I have to move on and ignore things, or I would never get things done. I hope in the end, the whole thing will appear complete and well executed...but if not, it IS my first real try at a finished miniature project! I can always use that excuse. :0)


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