Here's my little modern day reliquary:
Now for a little tutorial on how to make something similar on your own, as well as ideas on some substitute materials.
First up, I took a 6x6 cradled birch panel from Dick Blick and gesso'd and painted it with copper fluid acrylics. Then I took the Circle on Circle stencil by Mary Beth Shaw, positioned it on the panel the way I wanted it, and traced the openings with a pencil onto the panel.
Next, I pulled out different papers; some were already patterned, some I stenciled using my Ornamental Petals Mask, Ornamental Compass Mask, and my Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen. After picking the ones I wanted, I punched circles that were just slightly bigger than the large circles from the stencil design and positioned them on the panel. Then I started building up little mini collages on top of each one.
I added some rubons to some of them, then adhered them to the panel with matte medium. Next up, time for the clay! I used Aves Apoxy Clay for this, but you could use polymer clay, other air dry clays, Liquid Pearls or puffy paints, jewelry findings or bezels, or even the rims from metal rimmed tags.
Once I had a clay ring around all the large circles, I used little tiny balls of clay to create decorative elements that matched up with all the smaller circles. I put four small balls of clay in a square with a fifth on top, then pushed a pointed molding tool into each one to make a little well. I stuck a little tiny rhinestone into the top of each ornament. Again - you could skip this, use jewelry findings, larger rhinestones... whatever you want in that spot.
Once the clay was down, I set it aside for a few hours to dry enough to paint. When it was ready, I painted the clay with the copper fluid acrylics. After that I left it over night so the clay could completely cure.
Next, I added final details before sealing each of the collages. Liquid Pearls to make some dots (of course,) and also a dirty glaze. This glaze I made with micaceous iron oxide and gold fluid acrylic paints mixed with polymer medium. I wiped it back a bit in a few places, but left most of it to dry so that the collages would have a slightly aged and cloudy look.
After that was dry, I sealed each of the circle areas and turned them into "glass" windows by filling each of the areas with Diamond Glaze. You could also use Glossy Accents, Crystal Lacquer, DecoArt Liquid Glass, Ice Resin, or other similar products. You could also just leave it plain. I picked the Diamond Glaze because I knew it would stay in place with the open edges along the borders of the panel.
Again, I left this to dry overnight - I filled each circle all the way up to the top because the glaze will shrink down as it dries. The next day, it was crystal clear and glossy!
Now it was time to make the areas around my collages look old. For this, I got out some soft gel (glossy) and mica powders in gold, copper, cinnamon, and black. You could mask off your collaged windows and use sprays, VerDay paints, or another preferred method for aging (or just leave it as is!) I've been experimenting with mica powders lately, so I decided to go that route. I just dipped my brush in the gel medium and then into the powder - that worked better for me than mixing the powder with the gel like a paint. I slowly worked the mica in around the circles until the entire panel was nice and aged.
What a difference that mica makes!
To finish it off, I used the Pilgrimage to Mexico stencil by Laurie Mika and stenciled around the sides of my panel. When that was dry, I added some beaded trim all the way around to finish it off.
Voila! My own version of an antique reliquary! Here are a few of the other views so you can see the dimension and the shading from the mica. It's hard to capture the shine, but hopefully you can see it! I think it looks pretty cool :)
That's it! I hope you enjoyed today's project as much as I enjoyed making it. Have you ever used your StencilGirl stencils to make something with little windows or mini collages? We'd love to see!
Until next time, happy stenciling!