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We all love doing scroll sawing and woodworking, and love the results that we get when we make items which have intricate fretwork. Being able to create delicate and lacy plaques and ornaments is part of the challenge and intrigue of doing scrolling in the first place. Many times we create beautiful pieces which we can use for decorating our homes, or we can even make them for gifts for our friends and loved ones or to sell at craft fairs. It certainly is a fun and satisfying hobby.
But sometimes, as much as we enjoy doing traditional scroll saw work, it isn’t as practical as we would like to make items to sell, or even to give as gifts. While scroll saw projects are quite attractive, even smaller projects can take an incredible amount of time. It seems we are always looking for that magic formula of a project that is quick and easy to make, but desirable and attractive, too. Or maybe we are just looking for a new twist on things that would make our work truly stand out among the other vendors at the craft shows.
Several months ago, I came across a new product called ‘Margot’s MUD’, a cool texture past that dries hard as a rock and is created by well-known artist Margot Clark. At first glance, the designs that are made with the MUD look like they are intricately hand-painted. Even though I have been painting for years, when I first saw these designs, I never thought that I would ever be able to accomplish them. I thought they were definitely too difficult for me to attempt, even with my experience.
But they were so nice, I had to look further. I went to Margot’s website (http://www.margotclark.com) and took a couple of minutes to watch the video on her home page, which shows her demonstrating how easy it was to do the MUD process. When I saw the video, it DID look easy and I really wanted to try it. I could see so many applications for using this product in my woodworking that I had to give it a go. I immediately ordered up the basic ‘MUD Kit’ (which only costs about $35) and I couldn’t wait for it to get here. I felt like a child waiting for Santa Claus to come!
When the kit arrived, I found that it did, indeed include everything I needed to get started right then and there. I mention this because so many times I have ordered ‘complete’ kits, only to have to run to the store for this or that. With this kit, it truly IS complete and everything you need is included so you can start “playing in the MUD” as soon as you open the package. (She even includes some practice card stock for you!)
This all was occurring just as I was thinking about what designs I would be doing for this holiday issue. I had already thought that the fretwork bells would make a nice project, but I then got the idea to make a MUD version of these ornaments so that you can see a variety of different designs that you can do quickly and easily using this product. These items will be great for craft fairs and teacher’s gifts and just about any other application you may want to use them on. You can even use the MUD on scroll saw picture frames and plaques to add dimension and interest.
When you apply the MUD and paint over it in a solid color, it looks almost liked carved wood! You could even dry brush metallic paint over the raised areas, as I did on these bells, for a gold-leafing effect. (Or use real gold leaf!) You could leave it light colored and embed small rhinestones or other jewels into it to make it sparkle. It does dry extremely hard and is very durable and won’t flake off like other texture paste that I have tried. I think it opens a whole new way of embellishing your scroll work and I hope you give it a try.
In this article, I wanted to highlight some of the basic techniques for using the MUD texture paste. While I used the MUD on Baltic birch plywood for the bell ornaments, I am demonstrating it on black poster board so that you can more easily see what is going on. If you follow the easy steps, you will soon become an expert “MUDDER” and open a whole new world of creating for yourself.
A New Use For Your Scroll Saw Patterns
By learning these simple techniques, you can open yourself to a world of embellishing and decorating your scroll saw or other woodworking projects in new and exciting ways. Full instructions come with the MUD kit, and if you have any questions, you can always contact me or Margot and we will be happy to help you.
Since MUD is water based, it is very easy to use and work with. Clean up is very easy with soap and water. If your MUD needs to be thinned a bit, you can also use a little water or the Glass Medium or both. Margot suggests using a mixture of both. She states that only using Medium is a bit too thick for her to pull down the MUD after piping it onto the surface. Water by itself is too thin for her and makes the MUD look chalky as it pulls down. Adding just a drop or two of water to the Medium just makes it perfect. If you were to thin the MUD in the jar I would suggest you just use the Medium. She also thinks that it is good to add a layer of Medium to the unused portion of MUD left in the jar after loading the bag as it forms a barrier that does not let air get in to dry the MUD. Just pour it off when you go to use the remaining MUD and if a bit of the Medium gets mixed in with the MUD it is fine. If you go visit Margot’s site, you can see all the wonderful examples of how you can use this product.
As I stated, you can also use it to apply sequins, beads and rhinestones. If you don’t want to paint over it, you don’t have to. It looks quite attractive left white – especially if you are using darker wood. It is also available in black, which would give a different and elegant look on lighter wood such as oak and maple.
I hope you enjoyed this article on this new technique. I plan to use more MUD in future designs and I feel that it is a great way to make your projects truly unique. Please go to Margot’s site at http://www.margotclark.com to see the many different ways this product could be used, as well as see what wonderful patterns Margot has available. It really is a fun way to dress up your scroll saw projects and make them even more special.
Have fun “playing in the MUD!”