Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things.
This little light of mine; my Ready Made orb.
It didn’t come out the way I expected, but it works! Last week some friends and I got together to create these light fixtures that are featured on the cover of this month’s Ready Made magazine. This project had a difficulty rating of “monkey” (Ready Made‘s easiest project rating for those with opposable thumbs) and cost less than $20 to make, including the hanging lamp cord from IKEA. It was a fast project, and though some of us had done paper-mache in the past, it was quite an experience to create these lamps together.
Not all projects are meant to be created among friends, but these light fixtures worked well for us. The project didn’t call for heavy machinery, and the supplies could be shared among us. As we began to wind crochet thread around our balloons, it was great to see how others’ were coming along and share our processes Some balloons popped, and some wound more evenly than others. I think that had to do with the size of the balloon. Once our balloons were covered to our satisfaction, it was time to apply the fabric stiffener. This is where experimentation and friends paid off. Some of us used the fabric stiffener Stiffy and others used Aleene’s® Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid.
The instructions recommended Stiffy, and I would have to agree with that. If you’re OK with a hard-as-rock fixture possibly rendering someone unconscious, then go with Aleene’s. My other recommendation would be to let the balloons dry in a place that isn’t exposed to extreme heat or cold. This is why my orb is no longer an orb. Also, make sure the area below the balloons is clean and protected (lthough my friends thought the bits of leaves and dirt created a nice texture).
View more pics of our project on the Art&Seek Flickr page, and here are some steps to get your group started:
Step 1: Round up some friends, pick a night, pick a place and plan on making something.
Step 2: Pick a project.
Step 3: Create the mood with great music, good food and drink and inspiring images.
Step 4: HAVE FUN!
Step 5: Post the pics of your party and projects on the Art&Seek Flickr page.