Today I wanted to share with you how I went about creating the new facade decorations below the kitchen and grand parlor windows! This bit of work was a lot of fun, and I can see that the techniques used are applicable to many different projects, so I thought I would share them with you tutorial style!
Carving the Wood Base
You will need straight, close grained wood to carve from. I used Balsa Wood (it's soft and cuts like butter!) that was 3/8 inch wide. My local craft store didn't carry 3/8 inch balsa or basswood, so I glued together two 3/16" pieces to create the 3/8 inch width I wanted.
Before carving out the unwanted material with a gouge, I used a chisel to create a Stop Line wherever I did not want the wood to split out. For this piece, I created a stop line at the top and the bottom, to protect the "sill" and the "foundation piece". You can see the piece carved to the stop line at the top of the photo below, and the stop line(s) at the bottom of the photo as well. These aid in getting a straight cut across the piece.
Then using the gouge, I removed the unwanted wood down to the lines I had drawn on both ends of each piece. Finally, using the chisel once more, I smoothed the basic carving surfaces and sanded out the gouge and chisel marks, to create a smooth finish.
I was placing a medallion in the center of the carved pieces, so I needed to create a flatter area in the center of the carved piece. Again, the stop cut comes into play. I used a stop cut to trace the shape of the medallion I was going to use, and then carved out the center to create a flat area to hold the medallion.
I used the same stain as I have used on the doors and windows already completed (Gunstock by Minwax) to stain the well sanded piece, and the carving step was completed.
Adding Steampunk Details
Now it was time to add the details that help to establish this window base as Steampunk. To do this, I chose to use polymer clay to create brick colored tile for the window.
I cut a template from card, and then traced around the template with my knife to ensure that my shapes were the same. I also traced around the medallion to establish the shape into which it would fit, and cut that out of each piece.