Aly Winningham wraps flattened copper pipe as a border on plywood and glues a center mirror onto the frame and embellishes the frame with mosaic pieces and copper.
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Materials and Tools:
3/4" plywood cut 12" x 16"
3/4" copper water pipe
white latex paint
1/2" black back copper foil
solder and soldering iron
3/16" copper rod
stained glass, various colors
vitreous mosaic tiles
grout and mixing container
chop saw with metal cutting blade
safety glasses, ear protection
drill press or hand drill
rubber gloves, sponge, bucket of water, rags
measuring tape, black permanent marker, foam brush
1. Place a piece of copper water pipe on an anvil and hammer it flat. Use the printed writing on the pipe as a guide for the hammer blows.
2. Cut the flattened pipe into four pieces, two 12-inch pieces and two 16-inch pieces with a chop saw fitted with a metal cutting blade. Wear safety glasses while using the saw.
3. Place a tape measure next to the length of the flattened copper and mark off every 2-inches down the length of the pipe and 1/4-inch from the edge for drilling holes for the nails.
5. Attach the four copper pieces to a 12" x 16" piece of plywood using galvanized nails and a hammer. Line up the edge of the copper with the back of the plywood so the copper extends 1/4-inch above the front edge of the plywood.
6. Cut a 6" x 10" piece of rectangular mirror.
7. Wrap the mirror's edge in 1/2-inch black back copper foil. Burnish the copper foil with a burnishing tool on all edges.
9. Apply flux to the top edge of the copper foil on the mirror. With a soldering iron, use 60/40 solder applied over the top edge of the copper foil. Wipe the flux off with wet rag.
10. Apply copper patina to the soldered area with a cotton swab.
12. Cut various colors and sizes of mosaic shapes with a glass-scoring tool and tile nippers.
13. Glue the glass mosaic pieces onto the wood around the mirror in a desired pattern. Cut short pieces of 3/16-inch copper rod to place randomly between the tiles. Let dry for 24 hours.
14. Mix sanded grout with water following package directions. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the grout to the mosaic. Let dry for about 20 minutes.
15. Remove the excess with a damp sponge. Let dry for 24 hours.
16. Wipe off the remaining grout haze with a damp sponge and dry with rags. Seal the mosaic portion with a sealer. Aly Winningham has been pursuing her artistic interests since she was child.
Aly tried the traditional art school route, but being the true free spirit that she is, dropped out of college deciding instead to strike out on her own. This path led her to try metal work and later glasswork, which she instantly loved.
This cheerful mosaic-framed mirror is made from stained-glass pieces and hand-built pottery formations.