Dip-it! Keys 1453 - 1456
I don't really remember the flowers I made with dip-a-flower (a very popular 70's craft) but I do remember making a butterfly. Somehow I figured out that if I had a smaller wire loop inside the outer loop of the butterfly wing I could pop the dip liquid and get a "cut out" wing. I made the body for that butterfly out of brown construction paper. I was probably around 8 years old. A friend of my mom's had a TV show for kids on a local station and she borrowed my butterfly to use in her show! I can still remember standing in the doorway of her house while my mom had me show her the butterfly. And I have a somewhat vague memory of seeing that butterfly on television.
The dip-a-flower stuff was magic! Smelly, but - magic! To make a flower in the 1970's when you're a kid (or any age): use green florist wire, twist it into a circle, elongate the circle into a petal or leaf shape, bend it, dip it in the dip-a-flower pot, stick it in a piece of Styrofoam to dry; once dry gather together into a flower shape, twist the wires into a stem, cover the stem wire with green florist tape, and, voila - a flower!
Thanks to the wonders of the internet I was able to track down some dip and continue my current quest of making keys from childhood craft techniques. Long gone from Canadian shelves the product still seems popular in the UK, Ukraine, and Japan (although many of the flowers I saw from Japan were made with nail polish). Lucky for me I found a U.S. supplier. The Clay Alley sells and ships a variety of products "for the artist, sculptor and creative individuals" including Dip-it Fantasy Film! I'm pretty sure that metallic-coloured dip wasn't available in the 70's but happily it is now.
My first experiment with the Dip-t went pretty well:
I started watching you-tube videos about making fancy flowers. People were soldering wires together. I decided to try that so I could make fancy key shapes. The first solder worked, after that it was a disaster. No idea what I did wrong. I've attempted to use solder before. No amount of you-tubing seems to help me.
I abandoned that particular idea about using solder to make fancy key shapes.
I got out my key patterns and bent some wires. I dipped the pieces. They were terrible. I walked away and thought about giving up.
Somehow my mind came up with a suggestion. What if I made smaller pieces and then resined them together after they dried? Like stained glass.
First I made the wire shapes (it took several tries to figure out the best way to get the rows of circles):
Then I dipped each key in the very smelly (think nail polish on steroids) dip-it fantasy film and stuck it in an old oasis to dry (since I don’t have any Styrofoam handy and I don't think it's even made in the same way anymore).
The DIp-it actually dries pretty fast. I wrecked the rows of purple circles. Tried to cover up all the green wire so dipped it a second time. It was too much so once it dried I ripped off all the fantasy film. It was a bit messy. Then I accidentally dropped the circle wires and couldn’t find them. Moved stuff. Swept the floor. They turned up on the end of the broom - still don’t know where on the floor they were. Also I forgot one piece and ended up dipping it in a darker shade of blue (the lone dark blue piece in the centre). Here it is with the extra wire (to hold onto when dipping) still on:
And here is a picture with the extra wire trimmed off. I can’t even begin to tell you how hopeless it was all seeming last Sunday. I’m so glad I kept trying. I don’t really know what this looks like because it’s clouded with the memories of how magical I thought this stuff was when I was a kid.