This morning I started bricking the chimney with egg cartons....As I worked, I kept trying to think of an easier way to do all of the brick and stone work that I do with egg cartons....Light bulb over the head moment....
I stopped cutting tiny bricks and started playing. Mad scientist experiments are much more fun than bricking.
I have done bricks and tiles with illustration board, just cutting groves for grout into the board with an Exacto knife. I wondered if I could do the same thing with egg cartons?
First, I tried just doing half inch brick in the egg carton, rough side, with a tiny stylus. It kind of worked, but not as well as I wanted. I don't think that 1/2" scale will be possible because the egg cartons aren't as hard pressed as illustration board.
Next, I tried 1" scale stone work. First I painted a mottled, all over pattern with my Hippo Gray and Trail Tan. I left some egg carton showing through.
Then I took a NEW BLADE in and Exacto and started cutting a V shape into the carton for grout lines between the stone. Not bad at all for a first try. If I do it again, I will probably draw the lines on the painted carton first. I think that I am happiest with this application.
To take the experiment a bit further, I decided to carry on to bricks in one inch scale.
The first one is the lighter red. I just painted the egg carton with shades of brick and then carved the mortar lines in. Unfortunately, if you don't let it dry thoroughly, the lines can be a bit ragged in places. It looks pretty good though.
The third try was the darker brick. I first flooded the piece with hippo gray. Then I painted over that with the dark red. Again, I carved too soon. I was anxious to see how it was going to look. I like the mortar better, but next time I will soak it better. The gray didn't penetrate the carton as deeply as I would have liked it to go.
I am going to try again and wait impatiently for 24 hours before carving. As with the stone, I will mark the lines before cutting for the next try.
You MUST use a fresh blade in your knife for this technique to work. The egg cartons chew up blades quickly. I probably should have changed blades between the second and third example.
When I do the bricks with illustration board, I go through a LOT of blades. The tile floor in my Southwestern Roombox is done with this method and I think that I used 3 or 4 blades just on that floor.
I need to go back to work now...More experimenting....
See you tomorrow.