Sunday, July 29, 2012

Steelers String Art

I don't think crafting can really be complete until you spend time working with handtools.  While dremmels are pretty much the most awesome tool to be introduced to the home crafting environment there are also other other valid tools.  Hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, dremmels... the list is endless

& every one of those attachments is necessary
 & yeah, this is why the dremmel is awesome

Every comp sci gal needs a purse of floppies

The tool of choice for this project was a hammer.  The original goal of this was to use up supplies I already owned.   The only supply I ended up already having was the string.  Whoops... On a positive note I got to find a new art store while trying to find board to nail into.  (

Shown: work of a not so starving programmer
 After totally posing as an art student doing "mixed media" I came out with the extra supplies I needed.  Hey, it included string, nails, and paint.  That's 2 more medias than most art.  And I got to shop for craft supplies at Lowes.  That in and of itself the coolest part of this project.

Paint - acrylic, black
Nails - Wire Nails (flat top) 5/8 x 18
String - Crochet threads (grey, yellow, red, blue)
Hammer - I used a huge one, I'd try to use smaller mallets so you can navigate into tighter spaces
Board - 8"x8" Wood board
Steelers Logo
Tweezers - optional

Paint the entire board black.  Yes, this includes the edges.  Because if I've learned anything it's that the edges matter.  Paint the top and top part of the sides first then after that dries paint the bottom of the sides.  I did two coats of paint on the top because it was really important to me to have a consistent color.

The perfectionist came out when I was all about getting that top as crisp as possible.

Place the logo on the board to get an idea of where you want to place it.  I printed out a picture that I found online because luckily there aren't that many variations on the Steelers logo & it's simple.  But as soon as I try frehanding those circles it'll be all over.

Yeah, see that'd never happen in the wild.
After laying down the logo, the fun part starts.  Start making marks on the logo randomly spaced along the outline of logo.  We want to keep the logo interesting by having the marks not directly lined up because otherwise we'll end up with a really boring line pattern where everything just crosses at the same points.  I ended up generally putting 8 nails along each quarter of the inside circle and 9 along the outside.  And for the stars I marked each point, the mid section of each arc and used 3 nails evenly spaced in between the midpoint of the side and the tip of the star.

It's like playing the game where you jump pegs over each other!
Important!  We are just making small marks, not fully hammering it in.  Unless you want the logo on top which is cool I guess.  Totally makes the black paint worthless though.  & you'd probably want to decopauge it first. Variation A.  Anyway, after you're done poking holes it should like vaguely like this.

Yeah, don't know what's going on there
Now that we have beautiful pattern of holes, it's time to actually put the nails in.  Hammer the nails firmly into the board.  You don't need to attack it, just make sure you can't pull them out with pressure.  The smaller hammer is perfect for these corners & tight edges.  If you have big fingers like I do, try the nail with the tweezers.  Keep the nails as straight as possible.

Steady, steady
After you have the all the nails in place you can start running the string.  Or if you're tired you can just leave it like this.  Variation B.

What a stud
Create a slip knot and loop around a nail.  Not sure how to tie a slip knot? Here's a refresher.  Wrap around the outside edge of the circle and then the zig zag across the nails.

The edges and the zig zag

I've never been good at random patterns.  It's ok, if you're not either.  Luckily the way the string is woven along the nails doesn't really matter.  The only thing that matters is there are no significant gaps.  And keep the lines interesting by avoiding crossing the same path twice.  It's not scientific unless you're talking about the random properties of quarks.  Then you're either really at the right place (crafting + geek!) or the wrong one (I honestly don't even know where to send you... try Bill Nye?)

Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Continue with the other colors.  With the stars, put the first loop in the center point where they all meet do the outline first and then try to hit every nail at least 1 time except the tips.  We want to keep them pointy so tracing around the outline is good enough.  To end, cut the string,  tie a slip knot, and loop around the nails until you run out without any significant slack.  You've got tons of options and don't go about cutting the string until you're happy with the coverage of the areas.

Does not produce music
Use the tweezers to put the loop over one of the nails.

Blur however does
Aaaaand continue until you've got all the stars done.  And you come out with something that would fit pretty well with the game room to remind your fellow pool players that they're behind the Steel Curtain


1 comment:

  1. I love this!! Thanks for the tutorial, I will be making it for my brother as a Christmas gift!! :) Awesome!