Monday, September 06, 2010

Strublay Style Witch Jars tips.

I really think its awesome that someone else is gong to use my idea to use colored glue on their witch jars, so I just wanted to put out a few notes on the idea. These are lessons I've learned from doing this with my Witch Jars, and I figure that the more I tell you, the better the idea will work for you. 

I'd like to state again that I did not come up with the idea known as the witch jar, that awesomeness I rightfully attribute to Pumpkin Rot. 

Found on Pumpkin Rot's Blog, Image By Rot. 

I'm using pint Mason Jars that come 12 for $6 from Walmart, when working with these little guys I figured that color is a good substitute for size. Once frosted they give off a huge amount of light and look awfully nasty.

This image, and all images below by Strublay.

To color the glue I use tube Water Color Pigments like these that I picked up at Walmart a few months ago: I haven't tried using acrylics yet, but I bet you could use them in the glue just fine. Don't use Cake Watercolor pigment. 
I use White Glue/Glue All, not school glue, from what I can tell School Glue will flake off way too easily. While White Glue is not technically formulated to stick to glass, it does a heck of a job of it anyway. 

You can use what ever colors of craft paint you want for the top or the insides, but I went with flat black, because I wanted it too look like the glass had been coated in sealing resins to prevent water from getting in, or out. Furthermore, flat black paint is my goto for everything aged. 

When it comes to the brushes you use, make them ones you don't care about as the glue will ruin them.

Opacity matters, if you use a 1:1 ratio of glue to pigment, then the opacity of your final effect will be too much, as I show you below in an example. Here I mixed 1 part Yellow Ochre pigment with one part glue, and as you can see it comes out really really opaque. >>>

HOWEVER, with colors like Blue or green, or other dark colors the "advertised" color and the actual color will differ, don't freak out if your color looks too dark, when the glue dries it will dry relatively clear and the light will shine through just fine. 

Less is always more, better to work up the color in layers than going crazy and messing up the effect. Randomness denotes authenticity, don't put an even coat on to your Jar, go crazy, hitting it from different angles, stippling it, rubbing or scratching it off, the more beat up it looks the better.

For the record, Never, EVER add even the smallest amount of black pigment to your glue unless you want your glue black. The black pigment will mess up a color in a millisecond. 

Furthermore if you get it all done and dried, and do not like the results, you can wash it off and start over. Saving grace, I'm telling you.

For the side dribbles that I LOVE to do, go crazy with the color, dark is good. 

Then use the pigmented glue to add to the color near the top and slop it all up. it makes the drips look a bit more realistic. 

If you want to add more texture to your glue layers, take fine dust, ground up black chalk, strands of hair, strands of fur and stick them in the glue before it dries. I use an old blusher brush for the dust. I also get my hands covered in black pastel and grab the jar after its dried. 

I like to wrap the mouth of the jar where the threads are with hemp chord, to do this all you need to do is put glue on the threads, and keep the hemp tight as you wind it around. Occasionally soak the damn thing in glue as it will dry fast. I then paint it with black paint, and seal it again with glue.

I hope that any of this helps, and I'd love to see pictures of your Jars!


ShellHawk said...

This is a great how-to! Thanks for sharing it with us!

"Strublay" said...

No Prob, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

OneSmartAleck said...

Thank you for the info. What do you put in the jars for light?

"Strublay" said...

For safety you can use LED Tea Lights (I think Wally world sells them 6 for $2.50, at least here in the states) or other fake candles.
I also fancy stuffing battery operated LED string lights in a big one, or using "LED Throwies" to light them. LED Throwies are 10mm Diffused LED's of any color taped to a cr2032 battery, throwies usually have a magnet taped on as well but you can omit that for your jars. If you want more information on LED throwies, Google is your friend, there is a lot of info out there
If you use fire, understand that there is a certain amount of risk to personal property or life. I am not responsible for what might happen if you ignore my warnings.
That said, I live dangerously, and I use Tea light candles. If you want to use candles, stick to tea lights, as anything larger could mess with the balance of a hung jar and tip over inside the Jar if the jar gets messed with in the wind.
Good Luck!