Key Project

Keys 1020 – 1027; The Iris Flower Series Finale and 3 Learnings

Life seems very busy at the moment and all key-making happens on snatched bits of time. Nevertheless I am having fun with this flower series of ten keys ten ways . I’m also learning to forgive myself for my mistakes. Last week I posted about Keys 1017 – 1020 but only included keys 1017 – 1019. Sometimes numbering and documenting everything in this project is the most difficult part of it. Learning #1: I’m going to make mistakes!

Key 1020 was made by coating the key plant bits (iris petals, mint leaves, and a stem from a vine) with Lumiere metallic acrylic paint, printing the painted bits onto lovely rag paper, and outlining everything with a black Micron pen.

Key 1020

Key 1021 was made with the dried paint-coated plant pieces and a good coating of Ecopoxy resin. About 100 keys ago I discovered that resin doesn’t stick to plastic…well, soft silicone based plastic like the lid of a yogurt container or the top of my storage boxes. My husband bought something (big rectangular pizza maybe?) that had a clear plastic lid. Hmm, I thought. This is large, plastic, crystal clear, and nice and smooth – much better than the little yogurt tops or uneven box lids I’ve been using. Did I test the resin on this lovely plastic before using it? Oh no I did not – I just plunged right in and made Keys 1019, 1021, and 1026 on it. I was able to peel off Key 1019 but no such luck with Keys 1021 and 1026. Luckily I could cut the plastic down to size. Learning #2: I’m going to make mistakes!

Key 1021

Key 1022 was made by sponging Lumiere paint over the “plant key” and then outlining everything with a black Micron pen.


Key 1022

Key 1023 was made with Polyform air dry modeling clay. I pressed the plant bits into the clay, trimmed the clay down around the bits, removed the bits, brushed on Lumiere paint, and then wiped the paint off with a wet paper towel. Once it was dry I coated it all in resin.

Key 1023

Key 1024 was made by coating the plant bits with Tim Holtz alcohol ink, printing the ink onto paper, and then outlining the ink with a black Micron pen.

Key 1024

I’ve enjoyed making plaster cast keys even though I’ve been struggling with getting the vision in my mind to match the end result. Here are two failure versions of Key 1025:

My plaster mixing skills are improving (amazing the difference reading the instructions and measuring instead of just guessing makes); and I did learn a few things by trying various inks, paints, and even resin on the casts. Ultimately I overworked the pieces and cracked them, so…I tried again. This time using homemade plasticine instead of clay for the mold. I added too much colour trying to make the lines in the mold “pop” more…at one point this tile was all blue. I painted the background so that the key would stand out. Learning #3: I’m going to make mistakes!

Key 1025

Key 1025 was made with plant bits that were dried in silicone kitty litter. Unfortunately this key was resined on top of that lovely clear plastic that refuses to leave.

Key 1026

I’d read about using clay to make plaster casts – I can’t find that article but I’m still intrigued with making it work. So I tried again. Here is a bonus 11th key in this ten keys ten ways series:

Key 1027

All I’m going to make mistakes ! kidding aside:

  • Learning #1: slow down and do a double check
  • Learning #2: resin sticks to some plastics
  • Learning #3: don’t overwork the work – walk away! just walk away! if it’s still not “right” the next day then come back into it then








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