Let's talk for a moment about this gorgeous thing - I'm callin' it a reliquary. Its got a little photo of a Buddha statue that I photographed while in South East Asia a few years ago and its special to me... so a relic? Not officially...A reliquary? Why not... OH! and mine is little enough that I attached a pin back to this baby and wear it on my coat! LOVE LOVE LOVEEEE LOVE
If you're building a reliquary it might start with a box as mine did... one I hand made, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I really started with a collage... a tiny 2" collage if image, paint, glitter (duh!) and a little watch gizmo or two.
Here's where it gets fairly technical... ok, not really, but you'll see... good times ahead!
Once your piece begins to come together you will want to decide when to add the sides to your box. Once the sides are in place it becomes slightly more challenging to arrange the little tid bits, but some items will be supported by the side walls or floor.
You'll want to measure the overall depth of your piece. If you are using something fairly flat you can make it basically whatever depth you like... I don't like to make them too much deeper than ½ - ¾ of an inch otherwise your piece starts to get a bit like a tunnel and is quite a bit harder to solder. On the other hand, if you're using a 3D object you'll want to use its depth plush a “skosch”.
Measure around piece to figure overall linear length and cut a piece of mat board that is a bit too long... trust me on this one... you'll want a little extra... there is very likely some algebra that would allow me to figure that out exactly, but Algebra and I parted ways yeeeeears ago and I never really measure in inches or centimeters... I typically use a piece of string to get my measurement. And then call it a sckotchy bit...
If your piece has curves (and who doesn't love curves!) you'll want to score the mat board about 1/3 of the way through the thickness from the top of the strip all the way to the bottom. Make the scores pretty close together and be sure not to go through too far. IF your piece has only square sides measure and cut a piece of mat board for each side.
Now, if you started with a precut piece of glass (like the opticians lens I used in the above example) follow the same steps, but when it comes time to glue the sides in place you'll be placing your sides on top of the base where you collaged your background.
On the other hand...
If you're using mica to enclose your piece your sides will be glued around your base. This is the exciting part!
When gluing my sides on I use Aleen's Tacky Glue and I typically start an arched piece by putting the arch around first leaving longer legs on each side of the piece and then measuring a “floor” that slides into place once the side is secured. For the square pieces I find that starting at the top and building around one piece at a time works best. For circles and ovals I just score all the entire length and start gluing it into place at the top.
Once you have measured, cut and scored the side piece(s) you will go ahead and glue it into place. I put an even amount of glue all the way around the base of the reliquary and then I set it on my non-stick craft surface and begin to push the sides into place. Once I have it in place I will put a rubber band around the sides as close to the bottom as possible. This allows the piece to be held together while you work it into just the right place. During workshops this is always where someone says “ooooh, I was wondering what those are for”... Taaaaah Daaaah! If the rubber band is up too high on your sides it will collapse your box. Careful!
Now, check the back to see if its level. Place your piece back on your craft surface. From the inside you can press down to flatten your base to make it perpendicular to the sides. If the ends of your sides over lap a little its fine. (I will HAVE to make a video for this process!) That can be easily trimmed – if your reliquary is a circle or oval you'll want to trim a little at a time until your two ends meet up and then put a little glue there - once the piece is cured using either a box cutter or really sharp, sturdy scissors you can trim away any excess. Keep in mind all of the sides and a little of the front and back will be covered with the copper tape later.
Finish your reliquary scene I like to add embellishments of the sparkley kind to the seams and sides it brings light and dimension and texture to the whole piece. Smooth glue all along the inside of the sides and sprinkle Vintage Glass Glitter or Ultra Fine Glitter from Art Institute. ( LOVE LOVE LOVE their glitters!)
Ok... the stage is set, you have everything just where you LOVE it and its as sparkley as you can stand take a deep breath... ahhh isn't that better? Meee tooo... (: We are right about to get to the GOOD STUFF...
I use Mica Sheets to enclose most of my reliquaries – its a really Victorian vibe and shrouds your piece in a bit of mystery and really draws people in. Ooooh what's in there? Place a piece of mica on top of your box and trace the box with a pencil (or pen or scribe) you want the mica to come all the way to the outer edge so that it neither exceeds the edge fore falls in – that would just make you cry and we don't want any tears on our art! (=
Cut the shape out with ordinary scissors and glue into place. The glue is just to hold the mica in place while you work with the copper tape.
What's that, Julee, did you say COPPER TAPE?
Well... let's chat about the copper tape next week... mmmmmk???
Go get your boxes built and let me know how it goes! Shoot me some questions and have fun!!!
Go Get YOUR CrAfT on!!!