Minnesota Crafts: A Sphere of Nut Slices by the Nuthouse
A Round Sphere
The first day I attempted this project, I blew up a small, red balloon and started to glue my black walnut slices to it. The attempt was supposed to mimic doing paper mache. You remember how to do that, right? You took a balloon, blew it up, and mixed up some flour and water and proceeded to dip strips of newspaper into the flour mixture and then you place the strips one by one around your balloon.
The strips stick together and after you let them dry, you pop the balloon and your round shape is still there and the balloon gets removed and you remove it from a small hole in the side of the project and then, hide your tracks by repairing that hole you pulled the balloon from.
Well. I thought to myself, how hard could it be to make a round circle shape of walnut slices?
Yes. Do not kid yourself. It's not an easy task.
Remember building objects in fourth grade with glue and toothpicks? Well, this project is like that one. You start with the slices. You glue them together in a round fashion, and then, make a second form and glue the two forms together and nobody should be the wiser.
Well, other than people like you, who read pages that explain how it is done. But now, the people who don't read this page, are going to absolutely marvel at how you did it, and won't know the secret.
Ha!!! It's fun to know a secret like this, isn't it?
Yeah. I had an epiphany, which means that I had an absolutely random thought and decided to use a foam ball and some t pins.
Why a foam ball? Well, it's a shape. Why t pins? Well. They poke through the holes in the nut shape and then, they hold it firmly.
Then, you start gluing wherever there are two pieces touching. I think I have glued about 50 or so joints so far. I used a wood glue since I decided that walnuts are wood.
A Foam Ball
I need to stress something. I didn't use a foam ball per say, but a half of a foam ball. I was going to use a ball shape, but the store had the half shapes and my thought was that it would be ideal since I could glue them. Then, after the glue is dry, I can remove the t pins and start over with a new bunch of slices and do the other side. Then, I'll put the two sides together and glue them at the converging points between the two sides.
This should be fun.
Glue and Let Dry
Yep. The half sphere is sitting and drying.
The joints have a generous amount of glue dripped across them.
Tomorrow I will pull the t pins out and start another half. But for now, I'll let the glue dry.
How tempting it is to just pull the pins out and see what it looks like.
Don't do it. Best wait until I know that the glue is dry. Right now, it has been a few hours since I put the glue on. Glue is hardened, but still squish-able.
Glue needs to be rock hard. This will take some time.
- the glue is drying clear
- the shape is holding
- the nut slices are staying where I placed them
- the t pins were a great idea
- so was the foam ball
- I need some more foam balls
- I need to make more
I'm just not sure how hard it's going to be to remove the nut slices from the foam ball, but I left the plastic sheeting on the foam, so it should just pop apart. I think so because the bits and pieces of dried glue are just popping off the plastic.
Let me share a few photos of the progress:
I found out that you do not want to glue the slices if you don't have something between the slices and the foam ball. It was hard enough to get the foam peeled out of the slices. My dilemma with the second side is that my plastic was gone and I needed to replace it to continue.
Another epiphany. I have plastic bags from getting groceries and they are made of a flimsy plastic. Perfect for wrapping around my foam ball while I glue my second set of slices together. Mind you, I haven't gotten the first ball done yet.
Here is a picture of my half completed project. See how the slices are rounded on the bottom half and the top plastic is starting.
Eventually, I will connect the two in the middle.