“Found Object” and “Upcycle”, ahhhh, words dear to my heart. I’m constantly tuned towards the potential of discovering the ‘found object’ that will be a treasured addition to my art supplies.
Case in point: on a recent dog walk I found a jumble of old wire.
Old wire, and that’s wire that’s been outside for a couple of decades or more, has an amazing patina of burnished coffee bean brown in a satin finish – you can’t fake this stuff. And look how it’s shaped – I see a spring/summer wreath in there.
But yards of ribbon and silk flowers don’t quite fit the bill decoration-wise. I always keep a stash of bird nests on hand including nature made nests and man made ones. I went with a pretty little man made nest because I see this wreath going outside, though you could certainly put it inside just as well.
The flowers and eggs are plastic because weather takes it’s toll on silk arrangements, washing out the colors and wilting the flowers way before you’re done enjoying the wreath. So plastic it is – but these look every bit as lovely and will really last.
I’ve got a handy support post right outside my back door so I can hang this wreath and photograph the stages as I go. I didn’t change any of the wire’s shape at all, I just tucked the nest in between a couple of supporting wires and ran a few thin wires through the nest and wreath wires to hold it firmly in place. It’s pretty just like this – but my vision sees more.
The wreath is also going to be a Suncatcher. Crystals for crafting can come from a variety of sources. I found this bag of goodies at a garage sale. Included were a large octagon crystal and a smaller one and a pair of colored crystal earrings, one of which was broken. I got the whole bag for a couple of bucks. When I see crystal cheap – I buy them whether I need them right now or not because I know sooner or later I’ll use them up.
I clipped off the ‘earring’ part, added a jump ring and, yes, that’s a swivel hook for fishing, but that’s just my style – eclectic.
A healthy stash of jump rings and ‘connectors’ is highly recommended. Always save broken jewelry and metal accents – you never know when they’ll be a “perfect” addition to a project that needs that little extra bling.
I also added three key rings in graduating sizes until I got the length I wanted. This will be the first suncatcher that I add to this piece, but not the last.
This is my stash of crystals – I’ve got glass marble chains, pendants, drops, octagons and more. Some of them are from the 1800s and some are from the last twenty years or so. I decided to really mix it up for the drops on this project – I’m going to use a little bit of everything!
This is a section of marble chain and that’s the small octagon from the bag.
One jump ring + marble chain + octagon brilliant = Pretty!
A nice big tear drop brilliant is next.
A chain of small octagon brilliants is added on and another suncatcher’s ready.
This segment is made of really old crystals, they have a special tint and quality to them – old crystal glass – beautiful.
And another, smaller, drop pendant.
This is how it looked with the suncatchers added to the wreath one by one.
Unfortunately, suncatchers are the HARDEST DARN THINGS to photograph. But I’m very pleased with how this project turned out. An abandoned snarl of Vintage wire is now a lovely frame for an outdoor wreath/suncatcher. As I was taking pics this morning I had a couple of very interested hummingbirds. The small orange crystal had serious hummy allure, but they were way to quick for me to catch a shot.
Just a few more shots from different angles.
I’ve designed this piece with the intention for it to go outside, but it would certainly work fine inside, too. Just be sure to place suncatchers in a window where sun shines through – and then watch while rainbows dance around your room!
This item is now listed in my online Etsy shop at OldRaven.etsy.com . Thank you for following along and keep your eyes open for those ‘found objects’ that are so satisfying to ‘upcycle’ into a work of art.