Introduction: Fun With Broken Mirrors...

OK so I'm typing this with hands that have a pretty high glass content as of earlier, with some glue for good measure...

This would make an interesting gift or just as something interesting for a space, it casts beautiful reflections, and it's always good fun to break stuff...

Step 1: Context and Safety.

A few nights ago I stood on this mirror on my floor and rather than smashing it crushed under pressure because it was leaning on a towel or something (was tidying my room at the time) and it ended up breaking in a very interesting pattern with lots of beautiful striations through the glass, not to mention a few bits left in my foot. however out of tiredness I left it alone and simply smeared some germolene on the wound and went to sleep, just to stave of infection. I picked the bits of glass out of my foot painstakingly after mashing them in deeply the next morning by forgetting all about it...

The mirror sat for two days undisturbed because it looked so cool, I just tidied around it until it came to being the last mess in my room...

So I decided to immortalize it on whatever I found first.

My suggestion for doing this would be during daylight hours, I had the reflections of halogen spotlights battering my helpless corneas everytime I moved with this...

Safety

A big point in this 'ible, when you're doing the actual gluing bit I strongly suggest gloves, my sparkly and bloody hands do too!

Breaking the mirror is not as dangerous as it would be for mosaic purposes, it's about breaking it under pressure, not smashing it... I'd suggest a stack of towels or rags and a heavy person would do it, alternatively using objects in different places and pressure would be good though too small and area will snap it in to a few large chunks.

Step 2: Materials...

OK this was easy for me...

I used an old posterboard that wasn't fit for demonstrations any more, it's foamcore with a few bits of velcro on the back, since this was vaguely experimental looks weren't too important...

Glue I used something called Hi-Tack Fabric Glue, which has a million uses, wood glue, hot glue, any tacky and strong glue should do, don't bother with superglue it'll melt your foam and not stick the mirror...

Step 3: We Can Rebuild Him.

Rebuilding the mirror is tedious, it's best to follow the break pattern and if you want a jigsaw fit slide them against eachother tight. However I put it together in a loose way kind of like an exploded view and it looks great for my purposes...

I just ran a copious amount of glue along the back of it and set the pieces in place... Start with large chunks for easy assembly and fan around the mirror... I'd say putting it together different ways would give different effects, assuming you follow my lead and only judge for a second or two. I prefer going with my gut for this stuff...

Step 4: Take Purdy Pictures...

This does lend itself to photos, and as said makes nice reflections.

I suppose you could mount it on a wall, wherever you put it, angle a light in it's general direction but not in front of it, it'll cast them nice shapes you love so much...

Comments

author
dewexdewex made it! (author)2012-04-22

Good instructable. Thanks.

I found a car door mirror once that had been run over. Because they're convex they break in an interesting way when they're flattened. They're not as big or grand like yours, but they look like an insects wing when they're cracked. They also stay in one piece as they're doublesided to plastic base. I just grouted mine and stuck it to a bit of hardboard and hung it on the wall.

author
killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2012-04-22

Cheers, for the light reflecting idea I'd mention and got to work to some degree later I think making a lamp box to project a reflection of the mirror would be pretty cool and work better with a mirror like that I think.

Would be cool to see a pic of it.

author
dewexdewex made it! (author)dewexdewex2012-04-22

That's a really good idea; given I'm usually captivated by the sun reflecting off a pan lid in the kitchen onto the ceiling, I should try that.

Things like that work better if there's some movement involved. This has reminded me of something. I once tried to make a wave tank light, after seeing some little Japanese toy light which projected an image of the waves from a little water tank onto the ceiling. The toy was quite cool, but the thing that made the waves was a little spinning agitator which was way too fast; it actually became quite irritating after a short time. I dummied up a similar bigger light but never got the agitator made. Instead of an impeller, I settled on inducing a rocking motion in the cabinet for it (which was like a rocking chair with a curved bottom) by having a slowly spinning weight which would shift its balance. I was even toying with the idea of using two point light sources with coloured gels to try and get a 3D effect with suitable specs; I never tried that, though.

I'm not sure where that mirror is at the moment, but I have to move house soon and I'll keep an eye out for it and post here.

Take it easy.

author
michaelchapala made it! (author)2009-04-28

Nice artistic viewpoint. Very creative.

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ANTQNUT made it! (author)ANTQNUT2009-09-14

yes indeedy!

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)2008-12-01

Are irish people immune to bad luck? Break a mirror 7 years bad luck, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

so is this like, contemporary art? i shall call it: "A broken mirror"

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

That's the third mirror this year and my lucks the same as ever, good for the most part then some thing bad happens and the world is up-ended... I have notions about doing something at least visually interesting with it, even if not exactly, art.

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-02

maybe you could mount small pieces of it on a ball, and then it would be LIEK, TEH BEST DISCO BALL EVA!!!!!!!!

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

What did we say about old school?

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-02

uhh... that i'm not old enough, but what does that have to do with this?? i never said old school, i said LIEK TEH BEST!

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

Was a joke because mirror disco balls are definitely old school...

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-02

yeah, but i was thinking you would do it, not me...

It's old school to you? really?

maybe i can be old school...

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

It's kiteman old school, disco balls are old news, these days it's disco tetrahedrons

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-02

but i thoughted that the broken mirrors would make it nice.... *puts head down sadly*

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2008-12-04

everyone look over here; point; and laugh. --- nice instructable

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-05

how about everyone laugh at... uhh... YOU! DIS :P

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2008-12-05

that is not NICE !!! *then i start smashing a strawberry

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-05

u wazn't nice... soz i got u bakkkk nah, i'm just playin, i don't care...

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2008-12-05

=( hugz?

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-05

no, i will not hugz u... i will hi five you *raises five fingers*

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2008-12-06

hugs you fingers*

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AnarchistAsian made it! (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-06

*punches you in the eye*

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2008-12-06

lets take this love fest somewere else!!!.... my orange board 6pm be there or be square!

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mg0930mg made it! (author)2008-12-03

Looks like a tree...

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puffyfluff made it! (author)2008-12-02

That is quite fascinating, the way the mirror breaks in ridges along the stress points.

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KentsOkay made it! (author)2008-12-02

Purty awesome, I'd love to see this thing with strobe lights...

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

I have one, I'll post a video...

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KentsOkay made it! (author)KentsOkay2008-12-02

Goody!

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chainedflesh made it! (author)2008-12-01

I've done something like this when I was a kid... but it didn't get nearly as complex a pattern as you have here. The shadows it casts are amazing! After reading this I thought that it might be possible to put the shards for a project like this shiny side down on a screen and then vacuum-form a secure "frame" for it. (To the person who mentioned luck, if you are the superstitious type: The cure for the seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror is to find a still pool of water and to carefully place the pieces in it while matching up the breaks)

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

I was thinking of waiting and putting it on a table top after making the table and setting it in clear cast resin so it was visible and safe... The vacuum forming would be interesting though...

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Lithium Rain made it! (author)2008-12-01

Nice! I should pick up a mirror for cheap from a yard sale and do this...

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-02

If you do post your results, I'd love to see it...

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Sunbanks made it! (author)2008-12-01

Oooh pretty Did you stand on the mirror on purpose?

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Did you read the 'ible? I was getting in to bed, halfway through tidying my room, turned the light off and heard a crunch about the same tiem as searing pain from foot...

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Sunbanks made it! (author)Sunbanks2008-12-01

Yeah I read it but I didn't know you had the lights off at the time...

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Fair nuff...

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Sunbanks made it! (author)Sunbanks2008-12-01

Yeah I haven't exactly been the most attentive today... And because of that I ended up running into the side of a door at school...

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Oh dear, not so good... I hate it when your foot catches the door you're opening and you slam in to it...

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Sunbanks made it! (author)Sunbanks2008-12-01

I've actually never caught a door with my foot and ran into it. I once ran into our bathroom door once because it was dark and I couldn't tell that it was completely closed

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

The problem is that you're opening it and it stops against the foot further away and for some reason it's impossible not to slam in to the door...

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Sunbanks made it! (author)Sunbanks2008-12-01

Haha I'll try to avoid that

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bumpus made it! (author)2008-12-01

Coolio! Looks like something Sunny would do. :P

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Sunbanks made it! (author)Sunbanks2008-12-01

Thankfullly I haven't done anything like that yet :P

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Cheers bumpy, I suppose it does...

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jakee117 made it! (author)2008-12-01

really cool!

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killerjackalope made it! (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Cheers jakee...

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Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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