Saturday, January 12, 2019

Parlor ceiling center piece

With the Plaster of Paris pieces poured it was time to start to assemble the centerpiece for the ceiling. A bit about the construction, the center is constructed with plywood and hardboard being layered. A medallion was attached where the light/fan would be located. The layers of wood are painted to different colors. The trim and detail work on the hardboard is made of Plaster of Paris. The trim on the outer edge of the plywood is wood. There are four places where the wood trim needed to be curved. The trim around the edge of the wallpaper is also wood. Everything except the trim around the wallpaper was glued together while laying on the floor.  After the glue dried Chris and I lifted and nail it in place on the ceiling. (I can be heavy so make sure you nail it into ceiling joists and not just sheetrock.

*A hint on how to curve the wood. I placed the small piece of wood in a glass pie plate with water and covered the plate with plastic wrap. The pie plate was then placed in the microwave for several minutes, thus allowing the steam and water to penetrate the wood. After the wood became flexible it was removed immediately from the dish, towel dried, and attached to the plywood edge. As it cooled and air dried it took on the shape of the curve on the plywood. (A word of caution: the wood has to be handled while hot so be careful to not get burned.)

Pouring the Plaster of Paris pieces

The trim pieces are made of Plaster of Paris. Since the mold is flexible it can be used to pour several pieces.

Curved pieces were made by inserting plastic into styrofoam to obtain the desired shape.

We also used a variable speed massager to help the Plaster of Paris flow and to remove bubbles. The mold was placed on the massager and held in place while the Plaster of Paris was being poured into the mold.

Once hardened, the pieces were ready to be trimmed.

Creating the molds for the trim pieces

The positives were placed on a flat surface. Playdough was us to created an outer dam around the Sculpey molds. A rubber mold making liquid was then poured over the Sculpey positives and allowed to harden, thus creating a mold for multiple pourings of the trim pieces.

Creating the positive plaster pieces for the ceiling design

First Chris made a paper design of what she wanted. Then a positive of each piece was handmade using Sculpey. The Sculpey was baked in the oven to harden it.

Parlor window trim

With the walls and ceiling painted the original window trim was put back in place.