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Sugar and Spice, and Everything Vice

on July 19, 2011 - 10:04am

snake in a jar
To round out my jar project, here are some specimen (or ingredient) jars.

I haven't finished putting them all together, but you get a sense of where I'm going with this.

How are they made? Simple. I coated the inside with watered down white glue and let them dry. Then the fun part begins: figuring out what I have around the house that could be creepy ingredients.

The cool thing about the glue-haze is it allows me to use items I might shy away from normally, because the grimy-screen blots out the details of the item inside. For example, the tiny rubber snake (pictured right) would not strike fear in a four-year old, but placed in the jar, and carefully glued into place with a little epoxy at certain angles, it suddenly looks a little more plausible that my critter is alive.

I scrounged around the house and in my always overflowing collection of bits-and-bobs that I "might use in a prop one day". I found some small, glittery black rocks I'd collected at the beach; some dried ginseng; some small shells (crab, I think); a quail eggshell; some moss.

I spray painted the lids of the jars black, wrapped the jar tops in gauzy material, and coated the material in a mix of black paint, splash of water and a bit of Sculpt or Coat (but you could use white glue).


I don't want these to be too pretty, and I can't have labels on them this year (again, the creature in my Halloween theme story would not have labels), so they are pretty bare bones.

Speaking of bones, while making some chicken stock, it struck me that I had another perfect ingredient for a jar at my fingertips.

And here's how you prepare them (sorry to all my vegetarian friends).

 

  1. Bring the bare bones to a boil in water and then gently boil/simmer them for 2 hours
  2. Using a brush, carefully scrub the last coating of meat from them (you'll feel the difference between the bare bone and even a trace of meat which feels a tad soft)
  3. Soak in soapy water for the day or overnight (to get rid of the grease)
  4. Drain the bones, then soak in peroxide for 24 hrs (this turns them white)
  5. And the final step in sanitzing them is put them on a baking sheet and place them in the sun for a day

You can see the difference in the pictures above: on the left, bones that have been boiled and soaked in soapy water; on the right, bones that have been in the peroxide and then out in the sun.

I can't believe I didn't think of doing this earlier.

Now go make your own!

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