Making a Gazing Ball for Spring – Guest Post by Margaret Almon

This next guest post is by Margaret Almon one half of Nutmeg Designs. I love this use of a bowling ball, though I don’t think this will become a staple in her line. (She told me it was pretty heavy once it was completed.) You can find her and her husband Wayne Stratz (the other half of Nutmeg Designs) at a variety of crafts shows throughout the year as well as at Nutmeg Designs on Etsy. You should also check out Margaret’s blog and Wayne’s blog.
 
Bowling Ball Preparation

Bowling Ball Preparation by Margaret Almon

Bowling Ball Puttied Up

Bowling Ball Puttied Up

My cohort in craft, Cynthia Koehler Prediger, wanted a mosaic bowling ball. She had snagged her father’s, since he no longer bowled, and brought it to me. I gave this bowling ball a bath, and a light sanding makes for a good tooth to grip the primer.

After the bath, I filled the holes with aluminum foil and spackled over them with wood putty. After curing, and sanding, I painted the ball with Kilz water based primer.

First Mosaic Swirl

First Mosaic Swirl

The first few pieces are the most nerve wracking, since a curved 3-D blank “canvas” suddenly seems monstrously huge. I used Mac glue for this one, which has no vertical hold and resulted in slithering of pieces if I got too ambitious in how many I glued at once.

Mosaic Bowling Ball in Process

Mosaic Bowling Ball in Process

Growing Mosaic Swirls

Growing Mosaic Swirls

I mosaic as I go. Cynthia wanted my swirls and paisley design, and at times I draw a spiral or a paisley shape to get reoriented, but it’s mostly a matter of improvising, a conversation between textures and colors.

After I have made the trip around the globe, it’s time for grouting. With a large heavy object, grouting becomes more of a mud bath.

Next comes the process of removing much of the grout that I just applied, excavating the low areas and cleaning the surfaces until the color emerges once again. Several coats of grout sealant and the gazing ball is revealed.

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Grouting the Gazing Ball Detail

Grouting the Gazing Ball Detail

Margaret Grouting a Bowling Ball

Margaret Grouting a Bowling Ball

Cynthia's Red and Orange Gazing Ball

Cynthia’s Red and Orange Gazing Ball ©2012 Margaret Almon

Margaret Almon of Nutmeg Designs

About Wendy Edsall-Kerwin

Metal. To many it is hard, rigid, and immovable. But metal flows, bends, and can be worked over and over again. It is both industrial and
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One Response to Making a Gazing Ball for Spring – Guest Post by Margaret Almon

  1. Snowcatcher says:

    Fascinating! Thank you for sharing the process. I was wondering how you got the glass to stick. This is truly a beautiful project. Thank you, Wendy, for this guest post!

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