June 24, 2023

I was working on a idea this evening that I stumbled upon while getting acquainted with the groom last weekend. My girlfriend was assigned the task of making cotton candy so I tagged along with her. Being on a farm, we were in the shop, which was a barn. It was getting hot inside and I didn’t feel like drinking a beer from the fridge in the corner.

I had no idea that cotton candy machines have a heating coil inside to melt the sugar. It makes sense now that I’ve seen it in action. It wasn’t hot enough to heat up the whole barn, the sun was largely responsible for that. The heat was making me thirsty so the groom showed me to the industrial refrigerator they had rented to keep the flowers, sodas, and booze cold.

While walking toward the refrigerator, we started chatting. There wasn’t much else to do on the sixty-foot journey. He asked me about making pens and I replied with an idea: how’s about I make a pen using the flowers from your wedding? He loved the idea. I asked him to save some flowers for me.

I got a ginger ale. It wasn’t so cold but it was refreshing. I walked back up to the barn-shop by myself and started thinking about the project I just set up for myself.

First, I need to dry the flowers. Then, cast them in resin. Before that, I’d have to figure out how to suspend them in the resin so that they don’t just float everywhere or settle to the bottom. Once cast in resin, I’ll need to cut the blanks, glue in the brass tubes, turn the blanks, polish it all up, and then press the pen together. Easy enough.

All week, I’ve been batting around ideas on how to arrange the flower petals so that the blanks turn out. Today, I started working on the idea I think will work best. I’m using some flower petals that I dried a while ago. The idea is to glue the petals to a small dowel and then hold it centred in the pen blank mould when casting it in resin. Hopefully, I’ll drill out the dowel when drilling through the blank for the brass tube.

I find the work a bit finicky. I put a small dab of CA glue on the dowel, hold the petal with tweezers, dip the stem of the petal in CA accelerator, press the petal against the glue, and then spin the dowel slightly and do it all again. The work taught me something, however. It reinforced the importance of paying attention to what you’re doing. It was slow going and tedious but necessary. Even if there’s a better way to do this, starting the way I am is my only approach. 

I’m not quite finished, yet. I still need to glue on some more petals tomorrow and then figure out how to fit it into the mould. I’m not even sure if it’ll hold up when cast in resin.

After the reception, I made sure to take the roses my girlfriend was given to hold while being a bridesmaid and the blue hydrangeas from the table’s centre piece. They’re in a bucket of silica powder drying out. This project is going to take a little longer than that sixty-feet did.


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