View Full Version : Egyptian Piece: Stepped Pyramid of Djoser
Andy Langlois, CPF
02-25-2012, 03:53 PM
There's a bit of a story about this piece. In September 2010, Mike and I went on a European cruise for 12 days. One of the places we visited was Egypt. We visited Saqqara and the site of the Stepped Pyramid of Djoser. The nearby temple complex is a wide open space, with lots of sand (of course) and small rocks. We happened across a small piece of what looks to be red granite, with marks on it that looked almost like hieroglyphs. It was very cool, but unlikely to be anything significant, as the rock is very tiny. While touring the site, I carried the rock around with me, kinda just fidgeting it while I walked around. Kinda forgot to drop it, and the rock ended up coming home with us. When I found it later, I knew I wanted to put the rock together with a picture of the pyramid, and I wanted it to be something that really captured the feel of where it came from. This is the result.
Side view too:
Sorry so large. Couldn't figure out how to resize them locally, and was too lazy to open up PhotoShop. :-)
Gregory K. Norris, CPF
02-25-2012, 04:20 PM
Andy, I won't turn you in if you will tell us how you made that mat.:madgrin:
Andy Langlois, CPF
02-25-2012, 05:23 PM
Well, the key thing to remember here is that because I was doing this for myself, I wasn't exactly going for archival quality of any sort here. I wanted something that evoked the texture and weathered appearance of the pyramid in the photo, and give the rock itself an "appropriate" setting.
Both the frame and the mat were made in more or less the same way. The frame size is 11x11 inside the rabet. I cut some scraps of NC91201 Cosmopolitan gold to size and built it. I then cut NC61502 Chantilly silver so that the back edge of the first frame sits right on the top of the sloped edge of the second frame. Then both frames were attached with glue and offsets to make one frame. No pics of that, since it's pretty cut and dry (pun intended). Once the frames were together, I needed to make the brick design. I tried a couple of different things, like trying to cut v-grooves by hand, or making bricks on the Wizard. Making a ton of little bricks on the Wizard would have taken forever, so I opted to go a quicker route. I cut 1/4" strips of a slightly textured rag matboard, then cut those strips into 1/2" bricks with an old paper cutter. The bricks were then glued, one by one, to the frames, as pictured below:
Once all the "bricks" were glued in place, I sealed them with Modpodge to make sure they were good and attached to the frame, and make sure that the matboard would be able to take the following steps. I think I used maybe three or four coats of the Modpodge, and really tried to fill in some of the major gaps. Picture below:
Once the sealing coat was dry, I was ready to add the texture. I picked up a can of Krylon's Make it Stone spray paint from the craft store, and coated the entire frame with a couple of coats, letting it dry about an hour between the coats.
After letting the final coat of spray paint dry a few hours, I painted over the textured paint with a yellow acrylic paint. The color is called Camel, but it's really more of a dark butter color. Now it was really starting to look "right."
Can only include five images per post, so to be continued. . .
Andy Langlois, CPF
02-25-2012, 05:29 PM
I let the various paint layers dry over the weekend. When I came in on Monday morning, I mixed up a stain of burnt umber acrylic thinned with water. I brushed the stain over the entire frame surface, letting the dark paint settle into the pits and crevices between the bricks to define and "age" them. Think I did about three coats of the stain, dabbing lightly with a paper towel, until I got the depth of color I was looking for.
One coat of stain:45 and with final coat of stain:46
After that, it was just cosmetic touches. To highlight the raised parts of the texture, I used the same base color yellow paint, and just did a light dry brush to make those parts stand out. Once that was completely dry, the frame was sealed with a couple coats of Krylon matte spray.
The mat was done pretty much the same way, just without making bricks. I knew I wanted the mat to more or less blend in with the un-bricked panel on the face of the frame, but still wanted something to make it stand out. So I cut the Eye of Horus designs with the Wizard's cut art, and glued those to the face of an 8-ply rag mat. Then the mat was sealed with Modpodge, textured with the spray paint, and stained. Voila!
Mat, pre-staining:48 (http://thegrumble.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=11389&d=1297198942)
The photo was drymounted to a piece of Restore. A small box was design and cut on the Wizard, then painted with the same steps detailed above to make a small niche for the stone to be displayed. The stone was then mounted in place with silicone (remember, not going for archival here!). I opted to use Museum Glass with 1/8" spacers to make sure the texture of the mat really stood out. This is definitely one of my favorite pieces I have designed for myself.
Gregory K. Norris, CPF
02-25-2012, 09:37 PM
Andy, that is really impressive. Thanks for sharing the details. Don't tell Jim Miller, but I probably would have used silicone for something I was doing for myself.
If you hadn't told me, I would never have believed that was a painted mat. It is just stunning.
Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF
02-26-2012, 08:49 AM
Andy, That is a very creative use of common materials to make something truly unique and stylish. You should submit it to FMO for an article. Or, for money, send it to PFM.
But don't mention the silicone.
Jini Lumsden, MCPF
02-26-2012, 06:24 PM
ANDY, This project is inspiring. Thank you for sharing!
03-08-2012, 01:14 PM
Stunning! Love it!!
03-22-2012, 11:43 AM
That turned out fantastic Andy! Great way to commemorate what had to have been an awesome trip. Really well done.
Now... How soon can you send it to me? My address is... :smile-new:
03-23-2012, 08:07 PM
:first:Great. When are you going on your next vacation so we can see your next great personal frame.
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