Sunday, September 14, 2008

A gift for May and Eddy

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday we went to a wedding of my good friend, May and her now husband, Eddy. Both May and Eddy are Chinese, and though I wouldn't normally highlight someone's origins, it plays an important part in this blog. May and Eddy didn't register anywhere, the tradition is to give money. Money seemed like not enough so I had to make something to put the money in.

And, of course, a tin came to mind!

But what to use for the covering? Another Chinese friend of mine said to use red and gold as they are good luck colours in the Chinese culture. OK, so colours are set. How can I make this personal to them? I decided to use the characters from the front of their wedding invitation.

I did this with a little trepidation because I wasn't sure what the characters meant. And, of course, I didn't decide what to make until the last minute so I didn't have time to investigate and find out. But as I'm working I'm hoping I'm not creating something that brings bad luck if it shows its presence after a wedding.

Took me many, many tries to come up with something I liked. I suffer from a rest tremor (absolutely nothing serious, but sometimes frustrating) and sometimes when I try to draw things it looks a bit like an earthquake was going on at the same time. Any attempts to simply draw the characters looked terrible.

Finally I got smart and photocopied the invitation, cut out the circle with the characters, and then traced over the characters onto some raw clay. Carved out the characters and baked the circle. Then I backfilled with gold clay.

Lots and lots of sanding later and I was happy with the result. Then went to buff with the dremel tool attachment that I mentioned a few posts ago that I haven't shown yet, and oops! Dremel tool attachment removed the backfilled clay in a wink. Back to backfilling. More sanding. Cover with a thin coat of liquid Kato and bake onto top of tin.

Liquid Kato has a bit of haze, take heat gun to top. Oops! Clay is starting to bubble! Press down with something soft to remove bubbles and end up with small indent. Bummer, but looks OK in general and if I don't point out the errors they may not be so noticeable.

Then the debate was whether to make the medallion shiny or not. Decided that because May is a sparkly person it was the right thing to do. So, a couple of coats of Future and it looks fine (though I think I preferred it more matte).

No worries with the rest of the tin though - most of the textures are, of course, from Bev's stamps. I sprayed the entire thing with spray varathane so that the Daniel Smith's powders don't fade with time.

And here it is!

The wedding was beautiful.

And it turns out that the characters mean double happiness, so I had nothing to worry about. It's fitting in a way, I'm happy to know that the characters are significant, and I'm sure that May will be happy with the tin. So double happiness it is.

Congratulations May and Eddy, thank you for letting us be a part of your special day.


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