Thursday, January 04, 2007

Crystal Neubauer




Crystal Neubauer

If you'd like to try your hand at making a charm of your own, just follow the
instructions below.
Gather your supplies:
Glass vial with cork stopper (I've used antique watchmakers vials)
Pre 1909 image or text (must be this old to insure this technique will work)
Any craft varnish
Metal leaf adhesive
E600 or small amount of epoxy
Metal leaf
Wire, bobby pin, or paper clip
jump ring
Gather your tools:

Cup of water
Sewing needle
Jewelers needle nose pliers
Jewelers wire cutter
Thin paint brush
Dry paint brush with dense thick bristles
My work space tends to get very messy, so it helps to grab something to keep track of my smaller supplies. I like to pick up vintage mini muffin tins at estate sales:




Gather the images you will be working with & cut or tear around the section you will use for your charm:
You will need to thin the paper image for this project. This will give it a nice translucent quality and remove any text from the back. The type of paper used in pre-1909 books works well with this technique. After this date paper manufacturing changed. You can try a newer image but it may just turn to mush.
Dunk the paper in your cup of water and turn the image face down on a small piece of glass. As you begin gently rubbing with your finger, the paper will begin to pill and rub away. You will rub off any text on the back of your image and begin to see the image through the paper.
This is a real trial and error process, when you feel the paper has been thinned enough, stop rubbing and lay it on a paper towel to dry.
CAUTION! Just when you think you are almost there, you will rub a hole right through your precious image. I do this frequently. Practice Practice Practice before you try it on the image you want to use.
While your image is drying create the wire loop in the cork top for hanging.
Cut the top of an old bobby pin or paper clip or bend wire in a U shape. Press the ends into the top of the cork to create an indentation. Remove and use the sewing needle to pierce all the way through the cork at each indentation. Now push the U shaped wire, bobby pin, or paper clip all the way through until the ends are protuding from the bottom of the cork.
Use jewelers sized needle nose pliers to bend the wires at right angles and clip with wire cutters as necessary.
Curl the dry image around a nail and insert into the vial:



Thin your craft varnish with equal parts water. Only a few drops are necessary for one little charm like this. I tend to put a few drops on a flat surface and drop water off the end of my paint brush. Mix well.
Brush the reverse side of the image pressing it to the glass as you work. Be sure the paper is saturated, but do not use an excessive amount. Lay the vial on its side, image side down until it is dry. This may take an hour (good time to clean the work space or better yet, start another project!)
Next you will metal leaf the bottom of the vial. Brush the metal leaf adheasive over the outside bottom and around the bottom edge where you want the leaf to be. Remember this is glass and the adhesive may drip so use it sparingly.
Turn the vial upside down to dry. When the adhesive is clear it is ready.




Gold leafing is a lot of fun!

Stick the vial bottom side down on a sheet of leaf and press it around the edges where the adhesive has been applied. Using your stiff dry brush, brush off the excessive leaf. I like to brush it off over a cup or container in order to reuse the crumbs for another project.
Next insert the cork, securing with a glue such as E600 or a small amount of 2-part epoxy. Wipe any excess off after the cork has been inserted.
Now repeat the steps for the metal leafing around the top of the vial and the cork:
Your charm is ready for the jump ring. Enjoy!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you related to the well-known calligrapher, Neubauer?
Rita

JoAnnA said...

Crystal,
Love,love, love your charm. It so reminds me of LoBue, taking his class together. Feel like I have a real treasure, and of course you know I'm your #1 fan.
JoAnnA

Crystal said...

No relation to Rita, if you saw my handwriting there would be no doubt! lol!

JoAnna - I think of the class often and the sentiment is mutual!

Crystal

Sallyt said...

Crystal, I love this charm. It is fab in person. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions - complete with illustrations! I want to try this for sure. I, too, took Keith's class but haven't found old texts to use. For these charms, did you use old pictures (pre 1909) or are you accomplished enough now to use pictures on newer paper?
Sally

Rini said...

I love this charm. Beautiful!
Rini from NETHERLAND

Lynnette April Over The Moon said...

I'm glad you walk us through step by step. I love your little charms. They are darling!!! Artist Lynnette april.

Karen said...

I was just getting ready to list some of these bottles on Etsy, but they're longer. Now I may change my mind lol! Thanks for the idea! Karen

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