Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My Famous Finished Finnish Folk-style Finish

Finished oil lamp with assorted props on table
(click through to Flickr for larger view)
Another big prop out of the way here. I labored hard over the finish on the little oil lamp. I wanted it to look like tarnished brass or copper alloy, something warm, Rana would have. I decided that all her metal items will have a warm reddish burnished hue, no gold, no silver.

Tarnished Brass Finish
(click through to Flickr for larger view)
It took me a long while to construct the lamp's base. I finally made it by slicing off a piece of a larger turned wood base and adding it to the other two pieces made earlier. I carefully filled the gaps between the shapes with stainable wood glue. Upper left, the finished lamp waiting for its paint job. Upper middle, Nova Color's brass pearl base coat and the little wood shape one step ahead with a layer of red copper.

I would paint other random wooden shapes with test ideas for the tarnish finish recipe to see the results before applying them to the lamp. These extra items were then made into filler prop jars and canisters, hooks, etc. Bottom left, My tarnish patina; I ground down black chalk, silvery graphite powder, and an iridescent gray charcoal Sennelier pastel, to mix/tint into plain gloss medium. Lower middle, the lamp mid-finish, still wet with gloss. lower right shows the finished Finnish Folk-style finish.

The most challenging part was getting the sheen right. Too much gloss looked fake, too matte looked lifeless. I tried beeswax (my answer to everything these days), water-diluted gloss, frosting medium, etc. Kept swinging shiny to dull and back. Got a bit obsessive about it. Declared it done. Very happy with it. I fancy myself as having a knack with aged patina finishes and wanted to challenge myself with something other than my usual rusted iron chemical tricks. Now I can add taking plain wood to tarnished metal to my skill list.

Side table construction(click through to Flickr for larger view)
So happy with the lamp was I, that I thought to go ahead and make the setting for it, a round side table that will sit next to Rana's upholstered chair. The table's leg and bottom base were originally from a white-washed birdhouse that I was decor at our wedding.

I took more heavy strength aluminium foil and laminated it, this time with gloss medium. Painted the outside with white gesso, let dry. Used Stick Flat low moisture glue to adhere it to an Irish linen napkin with a fine edge that I'd cut down and sewn to fit.

Once the fabric was backed with the foil, it was an easy matter to carefully sculpt it over the table to drape as a cloth would. I liked the stains of the white cloth but felt it needed something more to look finished. I surprised myself by cutting a nicely woven-textured wine-colored fabric (that I thought was for something else) into a circle as a table topper. Not wanting to make yet another foil, I simply coated the reverse of the topper with a thick layer of Stick Flat and pressed and sculpted it over the sculpted white cloth.

I then cut into both cloths and the cardboard round that is the table's round top to make a trap door for the oil lamp's LED light battery housing under its base. Flip the switch, stick the works into the hole and the lamp sits properly on the surface. No one's the wiser. (More on my newest fascination with re-figuring ready-made orange flickering LED tealight votives later. Let's just say that the semester of electronics I took in Junior High has finally come in handy!)

Vermeer like art scene mock up
(click through to Flickr for larger view)
Rana's stand-in puppet enjoys a mock-up meal by the lantern in Vermeer-like light. Goodnight all...


  1. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring.


  2. Thank you so so much, Yuji! I'm sperimenting with some gorgeous grunge layers in Photoshop and loving the aged results. Really want the whole film with this look. Stand by.

  3. Wow Shelley!!!!

    You're really kicking ASS lately!! I especially love the pic you used as your new blog banner. Incredible!!!! Vermeer indeed!!!

  4. Anonymous10:33 AM

    I posted my last comment in the wrong blog entry, but it's worth repeating.
    Great props Shelley!!

  5. Hey Cool progress.....

    and I really like that last Pic!!


  6. Thanks so much, Mike! Now that you like it I feel good about loving it too. Yeah, it's a special combination of Photoshop "actions" and "filters", both of which were shared by blog friends for free, that I formulated. I'll publish more on it soon.

    Ass kicking is my mission.

    Phil D!!! WOW, so kind of to say that! Thank you! Did getting the animated xmas card get you to check what was going on (so s l o w l y argh) back here?! That's Cool!!!!

    Thanks, Justin!! I'd like to show more images, like that last one, that I made yesterday.

    Really loving the atmosphere quality of them. Thinking the entire film will have it! uh, somehow, I think I know how it can be done but I wont likely be able to buy the software to try it out for a while.

  7. Wow Shelley the lantern turned out great. It's time for tea and biscuits.

    Rana's cottage is looking more cozy and inviting every-time I see it.

    major props on the new banner image.

    Your secret weapon (Martha Ringer) is paying off big time - great progress.


  8. Thanks, Markfullme, Cozy is our goalzie.

    I dig Martha's work and her book big time but that's not what got my tush in gear! I don't think? I'm not into completion like she is. I mean I enjoy getting a burdensome item off my to-do list with great relief in every way but Halfland is a process I'm enjoying as I go.

    I think I just turned some kind of corner where I could get a bite and chew on the project without getting so stuck in the hugeness of it. Working on it (and harder than ever at ballet class) has expanded my capacity for work in general and so the massive task of it doesn't overwhelm me as much as it once did. I've got a better grasp of how to go about the steps to the end.

  9. This looks fantastic Shelley! Seeing a new post here is always a highlight of my day.

  10. Gosh, Emmy, that's about the nicest thing anyone could ever say. Thank you. isn't it great to know other people online all over the world who love stop motion as much as you do!? The only thing that could be better is if there were a stop-motion island with perfect weather and food that served itself to everyone as they worked on their films in their fully equipped huts! Hee.

    By the way, the add'l round of xmas cards are made and ready to mail out by the door. They'll will go out as soon as I wake up a bit this morning. They'll reach you as long in as it takes for mail to come from Los Angeles to you. Cheers!

  11. I can't wait! Your sea creature (pun included) should be mailed out this week!

  12. I'm getting a sea creature!? WOW! So cool! Now I can't wait!

  13. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Incredibly gorgeous, Shelley. your image of Rana's stand-in does indeed look like a painting.

    I can't believe your lamp, and the soft glowiness of it. I wish I had taken electronics in high school!

  14. Thanks, Stephanie! Using LED's for practical lighting is super easy. I know you could do it! If you ever see little plastic battery operated votive tea lights in a craft store buy 'em. Carefully take the works out (I chomped them out of the plastic case piece by piece with wire cutters) and boom--lights for your wonderful set!

    There are so many variations and sizes of this to buy (at model railway shop for example) but ready-mades are adaptable and cheap!! cheap !! Cheap!!

    ALSO--little LED lights in tiny housing made to light up inside helium balloons are great.

    More on this from me later. But if you see things like that around get 'um!

  15. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Lovely, warm, rich looking lamp!
    Heaps of work happening while I've been away fitting out my studio.
    Oh, and I got the terrific amazing animated Chrissie prezzie! But haven't assembled and spun it yet.
    Must send you my new email address, I'm leaving the ABC on Friday so the old account will close.

  16. Ooooo! The lamp is looking even more awesome.

    Love the Noos clip BTW.

  17. Yay, Nick! I figured you were either head-down working (yay) or on a Walkabout! hee. So glad you got the card! It's fun to spin, I did it again today.

    Got your new email, thank you.

    Hey, Rich! I know! Isn't Paula talented? That clip is great. Loads of great stuff at their studio site.


  18. Anonymous2:13 AM

    very wonderfull photos.

  19. Your work is Amazing! Thank you for sharing your techniques!
    Sandra Evertson

  20. Thank you, tarot readers? If you are a person. Can't tell. Hello, if you are!

    Thank you, Sandra! I'm crazy about the photos on your blog! I love love love it hen people mix 2D and 3D. And I'm loving how you put figurines in a fresh flower arrangement. It has such magical charm to it. Really glad to meet you here.

  21. Hello Shelley... haven't been here for ages and wow what progress you have made! So good to see you're onto the little props now.. love the lamp, very nicely done burnish :)
    And thanks too for the invite to tell your story :) I am flattered that you'd choose me... and I'd love to hear your ideas... tho I think for now I must concentrate on my own tale now that I have finally got round to starting it!
    Anyway, drop me a mail...
    take care xx

  22. YES! Thank you Rima, After your first couple of books are done, I think this story will be like your hand fitting into a custom tailored glove. It really is meant for your art and words. I would love to see it made.

    I'll email you so we can plant the seed for it to grow one day.


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