This is my latest creation. An abstract version of rain. The blue glass beads on the metal spiral represent the falling rain. The rocks in the bottom of the glass vase represent soil. The blue glass beads mixed with the rocks represent the ground water rain becomes after it soaks in. The blue glass beads on top of the rocks represent rain puddled on the ground. The light illuminating the drops is our attention span. We notice the drops as they fall, pay a little attention to the water on the surface and stop thinking about it once it is out of sight. The sharp edges on the frame work and glass cover of the flash light represent the danger from the pollution present in the rain. OK now that the post-modern justification for my hobby is done here's how I made it.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Flat head screw driver
- Drill press
- Drill Press Hose Mount (optional)
- Drill bit sizer
- Drill bits/ 6" Philips head driver bit (preferably magnetic)
- Glass cutter
- Steel wool
- Wood burner (optional)
- Metal container (for shaping)
- Blue glass beads
- Flat piece of blue glass
- Smooth pebbles
- LED flashlight with push button switch on the rear (blue body recommended)
- Plastic tube (slightly larger diameter than the flashlight, blue or transparent)
- Washer (same diameter as plastic tube)
- Philips head screw with round head
- Metal base (lamp base)
- Metal grid (from an old rain gutter cover)
- Heavy gauge wire
- Glass container with a hole in the bottom (mine is the body of a lamp)
- Scrap wood
- Spray paint (primer, blue, and clear)
Step 2: Preparation, Cleaning, and Painting
With that done grab the base, scrub it with steel wool to remove any dirt and to prepare the surface to accept paint. Once you've scrubbed it, prime the base and wait for it to dry. Once the primer coat is dry spray paint the base blue. When the blue paint is dry spray the base with clear spary paint to seal things up.
Step 3: Preparing and Shaping the Grid
Now we move on to the grid that supports the rain drops. The first step in preparing the grid is to remove the clips that would have held the grid to the rain gutter...if I hadn't cut it off the original grid. To remove the clips I inserted a flat-head screw driver into the clip and pried it open.
With that done take your heavy gauge wire and thread it in and out of the grid along one edge of the grid. You'll notice the grid already has some beads glued to it in the picture. This is because I began gluing the beads to the grid and when I got done, I found out the hard way the grid wasn't strong enough to support the weight of the beads. So I added the heavy gauge wire. Make your life simple and add the wire before you glue on the beads. Be sure to leave a tail of wire.
WIth the wire in place shape the grid by wrapping it around a long small diameter container, Be sure to wrap the wire tail around the container as well. The tail will be inserted into the glass container to support the grid. To get the spiral wound really tight you can stuff it in the glass container. If the wire still sticks out too far from the grid use a pair of pliers to crimp the wire close to the grid.
Step 4: Beading the Grid
Step 5: Tube Preparation
Slide the flashlight into the tube and use a marker to mark slightly below the end of the flash light. You want the tube to be slightly shorter than the flashlight so that the light can travel vertically to actuate the switch. Once you've marked the tube slide the flashlight out of the tube and drop the washer in so it lays flat on the bottom of the tube. Then use a marker to mark the hole in the center of the washer.
WIth the marking complete use a pair of scissors to cut the excess plastic from the open end of the tube. Then heat an awl with a torch and use the hot awl to melt a hole in the bottom of the tube. Use your screw to check that diameter is correct. When you've confirmed the hole size use forceps to break excess plastic away from the newly melted hole so the washer will lay flat on the tube bottom.
Step 6: Base Construction
Once trimmed down put the metal base over the wood. Then center the tube over the hole in the base and use your awl to mark the location of the hole in the bottom of the tube on the wood.
Measure the diameter of the screw you plan to use and install a drill bit of corresponding size in your drill press. Then clamp your wood into the drill press and install the drill press hose mount. Drill the hole.
Then use your wood burner to sign your work, as it will be easier to do now rather than after the sculpture is assembled.
Step 7: Assemble
With the scrap wood cut and drilled we can assemble the body of the piece. First smear the wood with E-6000 and then press the metal base onto the wood. Then smear E-6000 onto the bottom of the glass container and align it with the hole in the base. Drop the washer into the bottom of the tube. Use a 6" philips head bit to pass the screw through the washer, tube, and metal base and drive it into the wood with a hand drill. Make sure the head of the screw is rounded. This will allow the screw to actuate the flashlight switch when you press down on it, The round screw head functions as an artificial finger tip.
Step 8: Modifiy the Flashlight
Step 9: Final Assembly
With that done mix the two kinds of glass beads together and pour them into the space between the tube and glass container walls. If the glue on the flashlight is dry slide it into the tube and then pour more glass beads on top.
Rain is now complete. You can turn on the the light by gently pressing down on the glass glued to the flashlight.