Thursday, April 16, 2009

optical lense tutorial

This is a tutorial I wrote when I co-owned a now closed company. I still have more of the optical lens if anyone is interested.

Antique Optical Collaged Pendant
Supplies needed

Antique optical lensBackground and decorative papersOld photos, magazine or stamped imagesMetal leafing penGolden's Matte Gel
OptionalGlitter, mica, pressed flowers, threads, etc.Chain, ribbon or some cording

This is a really simple project that is a quick way to make a unique piece of jewelry. These lenses were used to test people's vision before the invention of the machines that your optician uses now.Wash the lenses and dry it well to remove dust and fingerprints. If part of the lens is frosted, that is the side that you will collage onto and the frosting will disappear.

Draw an outline of the lens and cut out a piece of paper this size. You can use cardstock but I like to use old Christmas wrapping paper that I have saved, esp. the foiled type. This is your background.

Now find old photos, magazine or stamped images that you want to use as your focal point. Take the pieces you want to use to a photocopier that can reduce the images, our Kinko's color copiers do this. Make several sizes of the pictures so you can play around with them. I like to tear the images out instead of cutting them, it gives them a more interesting border. I often run a Krylon metal leafing pin around the edges of my image.

Using Golden's Matte Gel, paste the focal image onto the background. Now you can paste more images or dried, pressed flowers and ferns, specialty threads, mica, glitter or anything else that will not make the piece bulky. Let all of this dry, it dries quickly.

Add a generous layer of the Gel onto the entire face of your small collaged piece, being careful not to dislodge any of the parts. Now push the gelled side of the collage against the lens. (Don't forget to put the collage against the frosted side of your lens if you have that kind) Gently push the collage with your fingers so that any extra Gel is pushed out the edges of the lens and wiped away. Try to also push out any bubbles you can see thru the lens but don't worry if you can't get them all out. I have been using Diamond Glaze by Judikins instead of the gel medium and it works well, just remember it is much runnier and you will have to be careful to let the lenses dry on a level surface. You may find that your lens already has a small hole in the handle. If it isn't big enough or if you have no hole, you can use a Dremel to bore a hole big enough to put a jump ring thru and then hang your pendant on a chain, a ribbon or some cording.
Enjoy your new piece of jewelry, you will have lots of people asking you about it!

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