It's called vitriflore or liquid plastic. Victoria and I spotted a majestic bloom at the local ribbon shop and asked about the bottles and bottles of coloured resin right below it. This coloured resin is in liquid form and in a variety of colours, and when you dip a wired form into it, you make a bubble film that dries completely in less than 10 minutes. There were lots of colourful wires packed individually for you to match the liquids as well. It smells exactly like nail polish and I suppose acts as one too, chemically that is. Liquid thinners and strengtheners were sold together too. The thing with this craft is quite mystical, I googled 'crystal flowers' and none came up. But I gave it a long shot and googled 'wired plastic flower craft' and voila! I found Vitriflore. And http://1stforcrafts.com/media/book/index.htm Here you'll find simple instructions to this classic craft. I found the flowers a little tacky and old school, fragile pieces and too many of them make the whole bouquet too plasticky. So, what I did was, I printed out an outlined of a victorian motif and worked on a dramatic piece. LOL! I must have been mad to begin something so ambitious as a victorian motif. Read on....
I only bought 1 can of colour (RED RUBY) and the store owner advised me to get the thinner as well. I used it to liquify the thick solution. No instructions came with the bottle and all I have is some notion of how it should be done.
Shaping the floral wire to the desired shape. Mental note 1 - Don't make the motif too big to be dipped into the can of resin.
I didn't have any polystyrene at hand to poke the wires for it to air dry. So the tissue paper box looks like the next best thing. I started with some smaller motifs. See the thick liquid gathering at the tip? Well, I thinned the solution after with the thinner. Sorry, no picture of the dipping, but do go to the site I've recommended, there are tutorials there too. This is just my process. With the quick drying solution at hand, I couldn't possibly take any photos while dipping.
The bigger pieces of the victorian motif. I had to improvise since too big a piece the bubble film seems to just not attach to the wire and bursts. Mental note 2 - think bubble wand. The bigger it is, the easier it will burst before the film dries. I figured if you need to do mass production of the same motif, you'll need to pin the printed motif to a styrofoam block, lots of pins in strategic curves and bends and do the wire-curving more consistently.
The last piece set to dry. I bundled up the pieces as I wait for the other pieces to dry.
The completed motif. A dramatic piece, isn't it? I'm now thinking about a masquerade - phantom of the opera mask to make. There is a strengthener you need to buy to coat the films if you want to spray some glitter onto the pieces when drying. I can imagine a lot of cool projects with this classic craft.
And here's Nigel with his first cartoon doodle. We got this really cute sketch pad with easy ideas to doodling. It comes complete with markers and googly eyes too.