Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Gazing ball

My diy gazing ball project began with this...

an old water trough float. Seen here after it had received a much needed scrubbing to remove layers of dirt. For years, it and another just like it, resided in a small cinder block-stucco building referred to as the 'old milk house' at our dairy farm. At one time the cows were milked in an area under the barn. The milk, collected in large milk cans, was kept in the 'milk house' until taken to market. Around 1957 a dairy was built, and the 'milk house' became a storage building...mostly for cast offs. When we sold the dairy farm, a huge task was cleaning out and vacating all of the buildings. The floats were designated to the junk pile, but, with a gazing ball vision, I retrieved and transferred them to a storage building at our heifer farm. This spring, while rummaging through my stored 'junk', I decided now was the time to try a gazing ball project. First, I needed to decide what kind of gazing ball I wanted. The easiest would be to spray on metallic paint, but I wanted it to be reflective. From past experience with metallic paint, I knew that it would not be reflective enough for me. In the end, I decided that I would have the most fun with creating a mosaic...a reflective mosaic using broken pieces of mirror.

Finding a broken mirror, however, proved to be a challenge in itself!  Along the way, as I inquired here and there, I took some good natured teasing about creating seven years of bad luck. I thought about buying a cheap one, but couldn't bring myself to destroy a perfectly good mirror...besides the project was about creating something new from cast offs. Eventually I did find some damaged pieces that I nipped into smaller pieces with...
nippers designed for nipping glass. The nipper, an earlier addition to my tool box, was a most necessary tool for the project. 

I think I will wait and see how this one holds up before I try a diy project with the other float.  I used an adhesive and grout labeled for exterior use. (By passing the more expensive already mixed kind that was being marketed in tubs for small do it yourself projects, ...opting instead to go with the dry powder form that I mixed myself...small batches at a time). Regardless of the adhesive and grout used, with our freeze and thaw climate, it will need to be stored indoors over winter. 
But for now...
it resides in the landscape among the flowers. All in all it was a fun first time learning experience.

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