It's finished! How do you like the addition of the copper wirework? I actually had something like this in mind from the beginning, but then I made the landscape view outside the window so detailed that I thought anything in front would obscure it. But without the scrollwork, it felt empty to me, like it needed more of a frame. So this is what I came up with!
Creating it was more complicated than I thought it would be (isn't everything?). I found the thin copper tubes and wire at the hardware store, then watched this video on soldering copper wire. She makes it look so easy and doable! So over the weekend I picked up an inexpensive soldering iron and one of those little "third hand" jobs. I knew my DH already had solder and flux at home, so I thought I'd just use those. But for some reason, the solder wouldn't stick to the copper. I got it to melt, but it just dripped all over everything and rolled off onto the table. I thought maybe the flux was contaminated or the solder was the wrong mix of metals, so I went back to the hardware store for new packages of each. Tried it again; still didn't work. By then I was wishing I had picked up the more expensive soldering iron kit that contained the right solder for the iron rather than buying everything separately... Live and learn!
At this point, time was running short and I didn't want to keep buying more solder only to have the same poor results. It just so happened that on one of my trips to the hardware store, I saw this product on the shelf:
It's intended for connecting fitted pipes, but is supposed to have a bond as strong as soldering so I thought I'd give it a try. To make the outside frame, I connected the narrow copper tubes by inserting a short piece of wire into each end of the tube and cementing it with the "Just for Copper." Then I wire-wrapped places where the curved wires met the frame and put on another drop to cement it. It may have been more work in the end, but the results were still pretty to look at. I just hope the bond is truly as permanent as the product claims. I let everything cure overnight and then stitched them on as if they were hinged, so they open:
I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! I think it captures the feeling of the palazzo- hotel we stayed at in Siena, which had such beautiful architectural elements, and breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside. This piece will be shown next month at a new fiber arts shop in Larchmont, NY called Etui Fiber Arts, along with other "architectural elements" pieces by my fellow FANE-ers.