Mad Hatters Hat Stand

Daily Prompt: Roy G. Biv
Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

For the last month, I have been obsessively working on an art project called the Mad Hatters Hat Stand.  Now it didn’t start with that title nor was it expected to be as complex a project.  I thought this would be a simple lets put together a structure and show how LEDs can be used in sculptures.   Along the way, I have met with some very interesting problems–challenges that have to be answered artistically.  First attempt was to use commercial LED’s within a tree structure.  No problem except I ruined the LED wiring by bending it too much.  The fact I had a flawed approach to masking, spray paint, and then removing the masking might also had something to do with ruining a set of cheap chinese LED’s.

Second round, different approach.  Create the structure and then add in lights.  Ok, can do.  A piece of old fir scrap lumber became a base.  Two cheap candy jars from the dollar store, sprayed with mirror paint became the structure for holding the lights.  An unfinished box from Bob’s projects added interest.  And a structure created with popsicle sticks, masking tape, bamboo skewers, cardboard and left over rope pieces became the led structure. 





Added paper mache and voila, I had a hat.  Not originally planned as a hat, but that’s OK.  I can use it.  But the hat was large, heavy, and not balanced well.  Also the LED lights were too bright to look at, they needed to be masked.  Plus some holes had to be drilled  into the glass (new skill here) for power cords and other electronic stuff.  Had some ribbon that look beautiful against the dark gold spray paint, but not enough.  So Ibegged a friend to give me the remainder of her very expensive ribbon rolls.  Notice how different the hat looks with paper mache, spray paint, and ribbon.



Also began looking at adding in some other pieces so LED lights could sparkle.  The black glass cat didn’t work although Charlie thought it might be a fine addition.  The glass mouse my dad brought back from Sweden sometime during the 1970’s will be gorgeous with LED’s and gold ribbon.





At this point, was hopeful I could get the sculpture donein time  for submission to the del mar faire, fine art competition.  Deadline for photos is April 24th.  So I took a day off work which turned out to be a kind of shitty day.  First, Sophia disapeared.  That dammed cat did not come home for 24 hours.  And we knew when she disapeeared–sometime between 5:30 and7:00 pm on tuesday night.  Kate saw her outside waiting for me.  Sophia has been doing that for the last 12 years of my life, waiting outside under a bush in almost all kinds of weather except pouring rain  for me to come home.  But last tuesday she was not there.  Wednesday morning she was not there.  And I was kind of depressed about her being gone.  

During the day, I ruined another set of electronics  by breaking the cheap chinese wiring in the power supply.  Eventually went to Frys with the intention of buying very expensive LED light strips for this project.  But that packagge had no instructions and some mysterious parts.  It got returned and now I plan on ordering more expensive lights elsewhere.  Also on this day off , Bob had to visit the doctor.   More antibiotics for his infection which besides being worrisome, put hims in a bad mood.  And it takes hours to get all these things done.  But the good news at the end of hte day was that Sophia did come home. Which made me happy.  And by the end of the day, it was obvious I was not going to finish in time for submission to the fair, so a deadline disapeared.  Less pressure although I WANT to get this sculpture finished.  I am very eager to see the finished piece.

On Sunday, began working on a new base for the lamp.  Since the hat is heavy, I need to add weight at the bottom.  Otherwise the lamp will fall over.  In the scrap box, there was a piece of really heavy dark rough wood.  Perhaps walnut.  The piece cost 12 dollars 25 or 39 years ago, would hate to buy it now.  It is so hard, I will have trouble getting it sanded down to perfect smoothness.  And as we clean up the wood, Bob is thinking it might also make a great table.  Who knows, I will figure it out over the next couple of weeks.





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Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

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