Sunday, September 19, 2010

Piano Hinges and Magic Mirrors

If you have ever heard of a piano hinge, you may be wondering what it has to do with magic mirrors!  It is hard to imagine a mirror with a hinge, and indeed, I am not making hinged mirrors!  However, I am making lockets with magic mirrors inside, the better to focus your inner seeing with! 
Have you ever tried to look into a crystal ball?  My first experience with this was at the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian with a huge (bigger than a basketball) quartz crystal ball that they have on display there.  Reflective round surfaces definitely have a way of drawing you into the picture and are a great way to learn to see into your mind's eye, which is what scrying with a crystal ball or other device is all about.  There is another tool for practicing this skill that gets mentioned a lot in literature about developing your esp, and that is a magic mirror.  You can make a magic mirror out of any piece of curved (convex and concave) glass.  The instructions are to paint the outside or convex surface with black paint and then you have a curved concave reflective surface to practice your inner seeing. 
I decided to make some of these magic mirrors for my fall festival product line and learned a lot in the process.  I wanted the mirrors to be small enough to wear--pendant size.  Luckily for me, I had some vintage watch crystals that I had gotten previously for a steampunk project that were just the perfect size and shape.  I wanted to put the magic mirror in a type of locket, since most reverences I could find recommend that the owner of the mirror keep it covered when not in use.  Jacqueline Gilkow's book  Polymer Clay Creating Functional and Decorative Objects was a great help to me.  I made my first piano hinge and it worked!  A piano hinge is a three part hinge with the two outer pieces attached to one surface and the center piece of the hinge attached to the opposite surface.  Doors have hinges like this.  I made the hinge separately from the locket and then used Sculpey Studio Clay adhesive and more raw clay to attach the hinge to the box and smooth it into the processed clay for a seamless look.  I baked the magic mirror into the box.  Since you are working at a temperature of 275, the glass is perfectly safe (although I wouldn't try plunging the piece into ice water when it is done) as long as you let it cool naturally.
People seem to like these lockets.  I already have an order for one from one of the activity directors at a state museum.  He works with the Renaissance Faire and says they will be a big hit there!
If you decide to try your hand at scrying (looking into the magic mirror) remember not to strain your eyes.  You are trying to look within your minds eye and the reflective images or clouds you may see in the mirror are just a tool for getting in touch with that part of your mind.  It is easier if you relax and just see what happens.

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