Grace Cathey welds a moon and stars onto a framed mirror for a dimensional effect.
Grace Cathey fills the steel art garden at her husband’s gas station with pieces inspired by the mountain views visible from her home.
Materials and Tools:
copper and brass finished mirror
welding safety gear
linseed oil and mineral spirits mixture
copper patina finish
1. Measure steel for the shape of mirror — 12" x 27" — mark the measurements on the steel with chalk. Clamp the builder's square onto the steel (figure A).
2. Wearing safety gear cut the steel with a plasma cutter. Cut out the center hole to create the frame for the mirror (figure B).
3. Mark the areas along the steel frame for the stars with chalk.
4. Cut out the stars with the plasma cutter (figure C).
5. Draw the dimensional moon and star designs with chalk on scrap metal—use the metal left over from the center hole of the frame.
6. Cut out the moon and stars with the plasma cutter (figure D).
7. Grind the slag and sharp edges off the cut metal and polish the pieces with grinders (figure E).
8. Weld desired designs onto the moon and stars (figure F).
9. Hammer the moon and stars into a dimensional shape on the anvil.
10. Weld the moon and stars onto the mirror frame (figure G).
11. Brush a mixture of linseed oil and mineral spirits onto the mirror frame to prevent rusting and to add luster to the steel.
12. Heat the oiled steel with the oxypropane torch to blacken the frame (figure H).
13. Apply copper patina finish with a plastic bag. Dab the finish lightly so the black finish shows through.
14. Apply clear coat to the moon and stars frame.
15. Weld the bracket on the back of the mirror to hold the mirror (glass) in place using the MIG welder. Weld on the hanger.
16. Slide the mirror into the moon and stars frame and add wire on the back for hanging.