Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dragonscale Goblet. DIY? More like WHAT NOT TO DO

Watch and before you will unfold two star-crossed attempts at making a dragonscale goblet.

Attempt #1

My first attempt was based around this black glass "pimp" goblet I found on amazon. I liked the size and the opacity of the glass. I did not want the bedazzling.

Using a craft knife, I pried off all the gems and glitter as I could.
Then, I went to sand the outside of the glass, thinking it would make it easier to hot glue to. The glass broke. Don't sand thin glassware.

Attempt #2
I still wanted a dragonscale goblet but my glass broke. I realized I had sculpey clay on hand from a sale at Joanne's. 

This being my first sculpting attempt, it ended up a little lopsided and uneven, but that's "intentional".
Propping it upside down so it does not fall over, I baked the clay as instructed.
Now comes the fun part, gluing a couple hundred pistachio shells with hot glue in a scaled pattern. For the sharp corner where the stem meets the cup, I just butted the tips of the scales up against the tops of the previous layer.

I added a rim of large glass beads that I will repaint to be gemstones. The hot glue did not hold them well, so I re-glued them with E6000.
Base coating the whole piece with black paint. I would recommend against painting any parts you will be drinking from, especially if you want to use spray paint.
Turn it upside-down and get in there real good!
Now, hit the scales with your base scale color. I chose blue because my red paint is shitty and why not.
Then, give your scales some dry brushing in a highlighting color. I used a metallic white mixed with a light blue to make it a lighter color that also looked like the scales were shiny and metallic where they are rubbed.
For the gemstone lip, I did a silver rim around the gems and then used an online tutorial to try and do gemstones. Break out your color chart and pick a gemstone that contrasts your chosen dragon color. Note, I should have started with a darker base orange to make it more of a gemstone, but these still work as simple polished stones.

Here is where my goblet starts to inexorably move towards its own doom. I had read many articles about the food-safe qualities of polymer clay. Polymer clay is technically safe to eat off of once baked, but it has many micro pores that harbor bacteria and can make it impossible to sanitize properly. I thought I would be clever and use a water based polyurethane to seal the clay. Polyurethane is food safe once fully cured, and water based polyurethane plays nicely with polymer clay (oil based liquids will degrade polymer clay and could leave it a sticky mess after a few months). Give it a couple good coats and let it dry in between.
Unfortunately, even after giving the polyurethane an incredibly long time to cure, it would still turn cloudy in the presence of water. Not wanting to chance ruining my goblet or ruining the polyurethane seal, I thought I would try curing the polyurethane at a low temperature in the oven.
 Note, the second cloudy goblet is after letting water sit in the goblet for a week. It didn't feel tacky to the touch or runny, so it may very well be fine, but I don't know.

Here lies the remains of all my hard work. I was done in by my hubris and idiocy. Remember, hot glue melts when it gets hot. Like when you put it in the oven to try and cure the polyurethane.
I still really want a dragonscale goblet, but I am taking a break from any ill fated attempts. Maybe if I find a cheap plastic goblet at a thrift store I might try again. If you make an attempt, I would love to see how it turns out!

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