Today I am sharing a Valentine’s Day project and singing the praises of Crystal Lacquer by Sakura Hobby Craft. I just got my first bottle, and I already know I need more!
I really love the wire resin paper charms I’ve seen online. But I’ve been put off by the price of resin, and the fact that if you don’t mix the two parts together exactly equally, they never dry, and that once you mix it up, you have to use it all or throw it away.
Crystal Lacquer is already mixed and comes in a dispenser ready to go. It’s water based and nontoxic. And you can use however much you want and save the rest for later. Just make sure you clean the tip well after you’re done working, and it will be ready for next time.
I love the paper charms, but first I wanted to make a lacy heart. I decided to make a little ornament, bigger than a charm. So I cut a length of 16 gauge copper wire and shaped it into a heart. I used an empty thread spool to make sure the two curves at the top were even. And I looped the end around to make a hanger.
Then I pounded it a little with a brass hammer on a bench block. This gave it a little texture, work hardened it a little for strength, flattened it a little more, and made the wire a little wider so the lace could adhere to it more easily.
The instructions I’d found online for the paper charms said to cut the paper to match the wire form. But lace is so hard to cut. It’s flimsy and it shifts and when you try to cut a shape out of it, it never ends -up the way you think it will. So I decided to try laying the form on top of the lace, adding the Crystal Lacquer, and cutting away the excess later. I had a little disaster along the way, and it still worked!
I laid a white garbage bag into a baking sheet I use only for art. The Crystal Lacquer will take
the texture from whatever it rests on, so make sure the bag is smooth if you want your piece smooth. I laid the lace on the garbage bag and laid the wire form on the lace.
Then I poured Crystal Lacquer into the heart and made sure it spread to the edges. I wanted to make sure the lace would adhere to the wire. I used a little inexpensive paint brush to move the Crystal Lacquer around.
So here comes the disaster. I cleaned out the tip from the Crystal Lacquer bottle, and put it down
while I went to grab something to dry it with. I glanced at my heart, realized that I hadn’t made the wire exactly flat, and thought I’d add some more Crystal Lacquer to fill in the gaps where it looked like the lace wasn’t touching the wire. That wasn’t a bad idea, but I forgot I had taken the lid off, and proceeded to dump way too much Crystal Lacquer on my form! It flowed over and under and my hanger, which I had taken pains to keep dry. I lifted my form off the lace, and tried to reposition it, but there was no way to avoid getting the Crystal Lacquer on the hanger. So I put it down, made sure the lace was sticking to the heart, and left it to dry.
When it was dry (about six hours for this piece), I peeled the heart off the garbage bag. My plan
had been to trim the excess lace with tiny scissors, close to the wire, so I thought I’d just go ahead and trim away the Crystal Lacquer from the hanger, too. It worked! The excess Crystal Lacquer cut like butter! I scraped some off the hanger and poked it out of the hole with a little tiny dowel, and it was done!
The Crystal Lacquer interacted with the copper and made a little blue patina around the inside on the heart. If you didn’t want that, you could use a different type of wire. If you want a heavy patina on the wire, you’d want to add it before you put the Crystal Lacquer on. You can also mix
embellishments into the Crystal Lacquer. I can’t wait to try that!
For more tips and projects using Crystal Lacquer, visit Sakura Hobby Crafts' blog.