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something different... mosaic bird bath worklog

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by bokken, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. bokken

    bokken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    110
    An ocau first: bird bath!

    The countdown to xmas, past events, a stereotypical garden loving mum, and 8 or so beers came together in a fateful way last week to give birth to this project. Hopefully it will be of interest to some of you.

    Anyway, the idea is to customize a bird bath by creating a mosaic inside. A quick shop around shows basic ceramic bird baths going for around nz$90 to $200. screw that. then I found this shallow bowl at mitre 10 mega.

    [​IMG]

    $26, bargain.

    onto designing the mosaic... I need to keep it simple, and like the look of the blue and green glass tiles I ended up ordering online. So I sketched a few lizards/geckos and scanned them to photochop, but wasnt really happy with the results. google images to the rescue! plenty of people seem to have tattoos with designs similar to what I was looking for... starting to think geckos are a bit cliche? meh, it's for mum.

    lots of contrast and brightness tweaking, resizing results in

    [​IMG]

    early mock up

    [​IMG]

    transferring design onto bowl

    [​IMG]

    finished design

    [​IMG]

    decided to put mirror pieces in the bottom, and as mirror tiles were $12 for 8 tiny tiles, I just found an old mirror and (carefully) broke it and filed down the edges. It took forever and ended up with a lot of little chips around the edges which hopefully won't be so visible when the grout is put on.

    after gluing...

    [​IMG]

    I am using vitreous glass 10mm tiles for the geckos, and most of the rest of the bowl. Since I don't have any of the right tools there's been quite a bit of hit and miss with shaping them. eventually found the cutting edge of long nose pliers works best, but still only 50% success rate. at least this type of glass doesn't splinter. I am using liquid nails as the glue, which is great fun when you're trying to stick tiny pieces of glass onto concrete :thumbup: I quickly learnt that fingers provide the best surface to adhere objects to.

    1st gecko

    [​IMG]

    this took a while (2 hours?), but I worked out a good method eventually, so I think I can finish the last two in the same time it took to do this one.

    that's all for now, gotta try and get this shit off my fingers.
     
  2. Darmok

    Darmok Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Hastings, Vic
    Great work!

    The Gr6's at one of my schools do a similar project like this at the end of each year... they stick a mirror on a board, and then make a mosaic pattern around the outside, then grout it all.. comes up looking really good.

    Things like this always look nice in a garden, and gives it that unique touch, rather than everything from a bunnings catalog.

    looking forward to seeing the finished product!
    RB
     
  3. OP
    OP
    bokken

    bokken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
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    Well, an underwhelming response was expected when posting this on a overclocking forum (but thanks, darmok!)... maybe if it were the computerised control centre of a fully automated garden system, or an iPod dock with camouflage speakers to help the plants grow? Maybe next time.

    as predicted, the next two geckos went a lot quicker

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    now to fill in the gaps with blue, and trying to make it look random but in a pattern...


    [​IMG]

    things are really starting to move now, but at this stage it has become apparent that I am going to run out of blue tiles so we'll try using some more greens...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm officially out of blue tiles and running low on glue, so the budget is creeping up a bit more than I would like. But it's UNTHINKABLE to stop now. I will be getting more blues next week, so stay tuned for more ocau mosaic madness!
     
  4. wellonchompy

    wellonchompy Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sydney
    Wow, this is really impressive. What a thoughtful gift, I'm sure she'll appreciate the effort.

    I've got a cheap plastic birdbath, maybe the wife would appreciate something like this. Certainly something I could try and involve my son in!
     
  5. derb

    derb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
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    4,830
    fantastic, it looks great!
     
  6. BigDave

    BigDave Member

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    ADELAIDE/5018
    Bloody Marvellous, WELL DONE!!! your mum will love it even more because you made it for her. :cool::thumbup::cool::thumbup::cool:
     
  7. Quan-Time

    Quan-Time Member

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    Location:
    Radelaide.
    big thumbs up. fairly creative.

    How heavy is the whole thing ? looks heavier than my .. well most anything i own actually.
     
  8. damnation

    damnation Member

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    perth
    now you gotta grout it ~_~
     
  9. moggie2

    moggie2 Member

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    Dec 8, 2007
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    Location:
    Kilmany
    coming along great

    :D hey its looking good - the geckos came out beaut - can't wait for the final pics. your mum'll be pleased:thumbup:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    bokken

    bokken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
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    thanks guys...

    :wired: not looking forward to that, I have quite a few tiny cracks to try and fill. BTW anyone considering something like this, keep it simple and use bigger tiles than I did, unless you have a lot of patience and spare time ;)

    oh, it weighs about 10 kg.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  11. yangby

    yangby Member

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    Nice work .. great effort!!!
     
  12. azzachaz

    azzachaz Member

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    Location:
    Canberra
    Where did you buy the tiles?
    My wife buy them from SpotLight. They are pretty good with heaps of availiable colours, but damn expensive.

    They sell a pretty cool mosaic tile cutting tool for $20 too.
     
  13. kbekus

    kbekus Member

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    Location:
    Pascoe Vale, Melbourne
    very impressive, nicely done.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    bokken

    bokken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
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    I got them from trademe here which is basically nz ebay. 500 10mm tiles for $8, the cheapest I could find.

    back to more glueing... more tiles arrived today and the 1st tube of glue ran out about here... so close!

    [​IMG]

    and finally...

    [​IMG]

    the empty ring in the centre has been left to put in a bit of kiwiana flavour in the form of paua shell (abalone) but I'm still yet to find a cheap option... trip to the beach tomorrow anyone? I will probably do the top of the rim as well if I can get enough. I'm going to pick up some grout tomorrow, so will most likely start that tedious job straight away. :rolleyes:
     
  15. OP
    OP
    bokken

    bokken Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
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    time to grout... actually this was much easier than anticipated, but time will tell if I did the job properly or not.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    starting to clean up...

    [​IMG]

    voila!

    [​IMG]

    detail...

    [​IMG]

    hopefully the colours will be a bit brighter tomorrow after I give it a good scrub once the grout has dried. Now to find some paua :thumbup:
     
  16. silenthunter

    silenthunter Member

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    Looks fantastic mate, you've done a great job! I'm sure your mum will love it!
     
  17. Darmok

    Darmok Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hastings, Vic
    The Birdbath turned out really well! I bet your pleased with it!
    I reckon I might try that later in the year for someone elses birthday :)



    I'll hijack this thread now, although on a similar topic: hand-made christmas presents for mum's!

    Here's mine!
    Only decided last week to make it, and it's come together pretty easily - a portable Potting table, for in the garden. Mum has always been using the back patio dining table, so I figured I'd make something a bit better!

    I was going to do a worklog/step by step photolog.. but it seriously went together so quickly that I forgot!

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store

    Just a basic pine frame.. used a jigsaw to carve the handles, then glued/screwed the frame together.
    Merbau decking for main surface, the top (and bottom shelf - just not done in the photo),

    There will be a pair of wheels at the opposite end of the handles - just need to source an axle...

    And to hold potting mix/etc, a hidden container.

    All in all, about $120 worth of timber/wheels/screws/shelf brackets.. the Merbau was def. the most expensive... I could have easily done the surface with something cheaper... plywood.. but this looks so much nicer!

    and of course.. why build one, when you can build 2 for twice the price! The 2nd is for my partner.. although I asked for her opinion/input, so she can customise it a bit... will be making a lower/fold out shelf, as she works on larger pots sometimes, and that would be easier than lifting it all the way to the top.

    Will probably paint the pine a nice shade of green, and give the decking a coat of polyurathane (I have heaps left over from my house floorboards!), which will seal it nicely, and stop dirt/moisture getting in.

    RB
     

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