Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Glass Ball and Wire Cane Tops

Our garden backs onto the countryside with a small river running past, every summer beautiful dragonflies and damselflies fill every available space and when the seasons change we start to miss them. So we came up with the idea of making a small piece of sculpture to brighten the garden during the cold winter months using some of the parts from a broken mobile.

This is the broken mobile... I kept the parts as we have a passion for recycling and reusing things but the cane tops can just as easily be made with garden wire and glass balls or marbles if you fancy making some yourself.

The first thing we did was make the body of the dragonfly, my husband used a bar with a hole in to hold the wire still, but a cane works just as well. Put the end of the wire into the hole and keep winding the wire round until it starts to resemble a large spring and could fit the required amount of marbles in. We have used six marbles in total.

With the marbles pushed into the spring it automatically starts to look like the body of a dragonfly, you can then use pliers to spiral the wire at the end to finish it off nicely, leaving a little excess wire at the head end to attach to the cane. We have used a larger marble for the head.

We have made the wings with a slightly thinner garden wire because it is so much easier to shape and can be bought very cheaply. Once you have your wing shape twist the wire together to hold it in place remembering to leave enough spare wire on the underside of the wings to fix onto the body of your dragonfly.

A little detail was added using very thin wire and beads, this was wound around the edges of the wings to fix them in place and create a representation of the veining on the dragonflies wings.

Then all that's left to do is fix the wings to the body by wrapping the long piece of wire around the body. A glass bead can be fixed to the insects thorax to cover the knotted wire using hot glue or resin. In the photograph above you can see some of the other things we have made using the glass balls and wire from the broken mobile.

These garden cane tops have been made in a similar way to the dragonfly using a simple spiral to hold the glass balls and adding a few beads as a finishing touch. I have left the bottom end of the wire straight to slide into the end of a bamboo cane but they can also be spiralled to slip over the top of the cane.

Here is the finished dragonfly in the garden, the wire at the front of it's head was straightened and slid into the top of a bamboo cane, which is hidden by the bush. As the body has been made using a spring shape and it is only fixed to the cane at the front it has given the sculpture a subtle movement which has enchanted the children.

These are some of the cane tops which remind us of little moons orbiting planets and definitely liven up a dull looking cane. A small magical touch to add a little cheer to the gardens in the winter.

As there have been a few reports of fires caused by people having glass on sunny window ledges we will be using these to brighten pots in shady corners.

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