Sometimes you get that one idea that persists in your brain and you can’t shake it until you can fully realize it, or in this case materialize it. I’ve seen this type of art before but am not sure what it is called…I’m just calling it Grain Art. I originally thought I could knock out this project in about four hours of work. Really how hard can it be to lay down glue and then sprinkle grain/sand/sawdust, whatever? Boy I was wrong, took an estimated 18 hours over many weeks (motivation and time could have had this done in less than 2 weeks if I worked at it EVERY night).
So First as you can see I built the frame then projected the logo onto this 36″x36″ wooden canvas. Then through some trials I noticed that you could see too much light between the dark grains, so I remedied that by painting the background black to mask it some. (that took two nights alone! Good thing I have pandora and iheartradio)
The grain is actually barley malt. I used a Cologne pilsner malt for the lightest, an amber malt (I can’t remember its Lovibond, but I liked its hue), pale chocolate malt for the brown and the darkest “black patent” for the black.
I played with several different glues, acrylics and silicones before landing on the ubiquitous Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue. I like it due to a few properties, first it is goes on thick and stays in place without running.
Second, it dries clear. Third, it is slightly rubbery when dried so that it holds the malt in place well. Lastly, it is really easy to cleanup off your tools and hands (just rub your hands together and it basically falls off, no water or chemicals for cleanup).
Although most of glue was applied with the tiny tip of the glue bottle, near the end I was able to the black board by spreading glue. This picture shows how I made a glue spreader that I 3D printed in about 18 minutes, it worked great! This next picture shows how I had to apply the glue very finely with the glue bottle then individually place malt with tweezers.
Definitely more work than I thought would be required but at that point I was committed and didn’t really have a deadline, so it could take me forever, if required.
The final product looks great from a few feet back, just don’t look too close, there are tons of imperfections. I guess it’s a lot like me.