I had intended to blog this over a month ago, but Christmas got in the way. The end result was a present for someone who has been a very good and supportive friend to me over the last three years.
This was the starting place, a flat pack kit from Roy Pakeman at Candy Box Crafts, which just happens to be only about four miles away. His kits are meticulously made and go together with no struggle or effort of any kind. It is important to assemble the pieces before adding paint, otherwise the mdf is liable to expand with the moisture and then it will not fit easily.
At this point, the bottom part of the lantern is glued and fixed together. Note the safety notice on the base. I found the best light to put inside is a wax based battery candle. For what I intended, I needed a decent amount of illumination and the flicker is good on them too.
This is the top section, glued and ready to be added to the base. Every piece is marked clearly to aid the construction.
This is the point at which I moved out into the conservatory to get messy. All the pieces are now glued into place and you might notice that I have covered the whole thing with black gesso, ready for adding colour.
Things got very messy and confused from her on, only because I was trying to match the colour of one I had done before, but failed to write down the colours used there. So it became very much trial and error. I wanted gold inside to reflect the light properly. That ended up as a mix of several goldy type colours to get the reflective shade I wanted.
To get the green I was after was a nightmare. I actually got it in the end by mixing blue, gold shimmer, green and an interference blue, all from different companies. I was happy with that on the Tuesday before I needed it on the Thursday. Let it dry and went in with the gold gilding wax.
It looked dreadful, so it was back to the paint mix again to cover the whole thing again.
This time, I heeded Barbara's advice - you can always add but you can't take it away - and was very much more sparing witht the gilding wax.
Fortunately, I had already done all three parchment panels, so it was a fairly quick job to stick them in place with red tape on the inside. It was just a little tricky with the final piece as there was less room to manoeuvre the very stick tape exactly into the right place without it sticking to me, the dogs or the other pieces already in place.
The Groovi plates I used were from the lovely Clarity designs using Jayne Nestorenko's fabulous art work. I also heed the advice from my talented parchment tutor, Pat White , to go in very strongly with the colour. I had already worked out that whitework really did not look right in this situation, although I did do a few bits of pricking and snipping here and there randomly, and embossed the names of the recipients.
The colours came from a mix of the Sakura Koi Brush Pens, which can be used really strongly but still shading the flowers well, or in a more muted way if desired, and the coloured Wink of Stella pens to add a bit of sparkle.
You might wonder why I only did three of the four panels. Well, I could not work out any way of operating the candle inside if I did all four, and after all, the chances are that it would be placed against a wall so the fourth side would be invisible. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.
I hope you like it. I think the recipients liked it which was the important thing for me.