the lizard

Beaumont, TX

I think he deserves his own thread. :)
I created him tonight after Jazzpunkin mentioned using hens and chicks on the topiary dragon she'd seen, I had to do a lizard. I think he's just the cutest thing and can't wait to find him a place in the garden. He's about 30" long. I decided not to stuff his legs so he wouldn't get too bulky.

Thumbnail by maidentheshade
Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

what an amazing idea! He looks fabulous!


(I've just found the use for the several hundred hens & chicks I need to move)


THANKYOU!

Beaumont, TX

Sure! It was Jazzpunkin's idea to use the Hens & chicks. And what a wonderful idea.
I think he turned out real cute. Thanks. Good luck with your endeavor's drivenbonkers.

hayward, CA

maidentheshade,

that was a great picture i love it what did you use for the body form, i have some of those hen&chicks sounds like another project lol
liz

Beaumont, TX

Hi Liz. I used copper wire I stripped that was in some electrical Romex. The body is one long piece bent then I added the legs and braced up his middle. Here's a picture of him before I stuffed and wrapped him.

Thumbnail by maidentheshade
Beaumont, TX

The Romex was 8/2 heavy duty stuff I had bunches left from a wiring job. This wire is real hard to bend in short lengths but pliable in long parts to shape well and hold. I probably didn't have to solder the joints. I used loops on the ends of the legs where they attached to the body and once I slipped those on (before I closed the tail on the end) I could have just mashed the loop closed. But having a torch makes it easier to just tack them in place.

Thumbnail by maidentheshade
Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

Does all romax have copper or is it not as heavy a gague in the non heavy duty stuff?

Beaumont, TX

I'm not sure Jazzpunkin. All I have ever stripped had copper but I may just have been fortunate. We have a box full of scrappy lengths that were either found (garage sale) or given to us just to have the copper wire inside to play with. The higher the number the skinnier the wires will be inside. Still handy but just for different applications when creating something. Some of it's braided/twisted inside.

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

There are several partial rolls in our basement that were left by the previous occupant. YOu are making me scheme! I have already been itching to get a welder.. I learned how to braze in art class in high school and did a few sculptures that way. Is what you do brazing or welding? (I guess I need to look up the definitions huh?

Beaumont, TX

Oxygen/ acetylene tanks, regulator and gauges. I have no education in it except for the lessons from my X. And friends who do it and let me pick their brains.One of my friends said I could weld whatever I wanted with it except aluminum. You can also use one of those propane torches for copper. It'll get hot enough just takes a lot longer. I thought he said brazing was copper to brass. We should look it up then we'd be in the know. :)

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

Just love that lizard. You and your sister are quite the artisans! ;0)

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

From Wikipedia:
Brazing is a joining process whereby a non-ferrous filler metal or alloy is heated to melting temperature (above 450C; 842F) and distributed between two or more close-fitting parts by capillary action. At its liquid temperature, the molten filler metal and flux interacts with a thin layer of the base metal, cooling to form an exceptionally strong, sealed joint due to grain structure interaction. The brazed joint becomes a sandwich of different layers, each metallurgically linked to the adjacent layers. Common brazements are about 1/3 as strong as the materials they join because the metals partially dissolve each other at the interface and usually the grain structure and joint alloy is uncontrolled. To create high-strength brazes, sometimes a brazement can be annealed, or cooled at a controlled rate, so that the joint's grain structure and alloying is controlled. It is also at 1/3 strength because the metal used to braze is usualy weaker than the other metal because it is easier to melt and will melt first instead of them both melting.

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

I foudn this about something called braze welding.. if your x or friend was a welder this is probably what he was talking about

Braze welding
In another similar usage, brazing is the use of a bronze or brass filler rod coated with flux together with an oxyacetylene torch, to join pieces of steel. The American Welding Society prefers to use the term Braze Welding for this process, as capillary attraction is not involved, unlike the prior silver brazing example. Braze welding takes place at the melting temperature of the filler (e.g., 1600 F to 1800 F or 870 C to 980 C for bronze alloys) which is often considerably lower than the melting point of the base material (e.g., 2900 F (1600 C) for mild steel).

The only thing I have ever brazed together was from hanger wire.. don't even know what kind of metal it was..lol

Beaumont, TX

ahhhhh so what I do is Braze welding. I see. Thanks for looking the info up Jazzpunkin.
My friend who fiddled with the gauges for me said I could weld with coat hangers. I didn't understand at first but I asked him later about it and he said you use them just like a welding rod. I still haven't tried it but I told Janet the other day after I did the lizard that I ought to try and weld some other wire besides copper. It's a shame to waste it when it's on the inside not ever to be seen anyway. His legs and eyeballs are the only part that showed after I stuffed and wrapped him.
I do know that if I try to use dissimilar metals I have to use flux which is some creamy like stuff in a jar my friend gave me. When we welded the threaded bolt to Janet's copper butterfly on top of the cat cage we made for her I used the flux on that and it held good. Not purdy like a normal silver solder stick welds but it held good. Also brass to copper I tried and used the flux just for practice and it did fine too. The copper pieces to join have to be clean. No greeny or even brownish dirty looking. Sand it unless it's brand new right out of the plastic coating inside the Romex.

Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

I used the coat hanger for the armature.. My heat source wasn't hot enough the melt the coat hanger. I don't even have that sculpture anymore.. but it sure is fun to make something out of nothing and you've gots skills!! :)

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

That's awsome Connie....!
the art flows! Wouldn't it look nice with little bits of sunshine dancing around? I found those items I bought for you yesterday when I was cleaning..I must mail them to you ---
Working weird hours here. 3:45 AM...ooohhh...but leaving at 11:45 is good garden time.
Rj

Beaumont, TX

3:45 AM! Good grief! That must take some getting used to !

Thanks Randy! oooooooo that will be too cool ! Twinkle twinkle.
I have something I'm going to mail you too. :)
He was fun to make and I grin every time I see him. Can't wait to hang him on the fence, but I have to wait till the hens and chicks root.



Jazzpunkin I think I might play with some coat hangers. The wire ones are kinda scarce in my closet ( just had a flash of Mommy Dearest!!) except for the few stragglers that have the card board tube on them. Not much left of the wire on those kind, but I think the dry cleaners would be a good source. Skills are such a blessing and yes it is so much fun. Always frightening for me to attempt something I've never done but it seems it always turns out a different skill kicks in and it wasn't so bad as I had imagined. Just that ostrich syndrome I am determined to overcome.

Beaumont, TX

Thank you garden6 I nearly missed your post! We do have fun together creating things. I do one part and Janet does the other and it all comes together. It is difficult sometimes to picture what she has in her mind and I KNOW she had a hard time inside mine!!

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

If we could all colloborate like you and your sister..what a difference life would be on earth! Thanks for sharing your art, really enjoy the copper creations! ;0)

Beaumont, TX

Thank you garden6. I believe so too. :)

Janet and I worked a little bit on a creation for a DG'er this afternoon. After she left, the torch was still out so I decided to get busy on a tree frog topiary.

Thumbnail by maidentheshade
Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

oh man.. I saw a really bumpy looking groundcover at a greenhouse i visited last wednesday that would look very cool on that frog.. but alas I don't remmeber the name.. lol I was actually looking at the ground covers cause i was wondering what would look cool on a topiary

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

Love the tree frog as well!

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

maiden, these are TOTALLY cool!!!

Beaumont, TX

Thanks garden6.
I've been checking out the ground covers too Jazz. I just don't know what will do good with no soil or very little. I decided use to some Korean zoysia grass (I had already) on Saturday. I washed the dirt off and cut a piece to fit then pinned it on him like a coat. Don't know if it'll take but he sure looks cool with it on there. It's not supposed to ever need mowing but it puts out little runners. So far it's still looking nice and green. I'm keeping it wet and horizontal. No rooty's on the lizards hens and chicks yet so he's still horizontal. Maybe I should make up a weak mixture of miracle grow and use that to spritz him with so he gets his nutrients. This is all new to me so I'm speculating.
Thanks imapidgeon ! I'm having fun making them. They do look good even with nothing growing on them, but might as well be!

Thumbnail by maidentheshade
Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

Connie That looks fantastic! I'm glad you got that grass from Diane that day.

I got my hens and bitties planted on my lizard you made me. I used 3 different kinds. I forgot to take a photo of it. Mine is also horizontal on the ground until he gets some roots.

We need to dig through the beads to find all of these fellas some eyes!

Janet

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

I saw some stuff on Sunset a couple of years ago where they took flats of Irish or Scotch moss and turned 'em inside-out to line wire baskets. Could you use a similar technique with low-growing ground covers? I LOVE the look of the froggie!

Beaumont, TX

Hey now...that might be the way to go imapigeon . Then fill the middle with soil. I'll do the next one's body with this in mind and see how that works. Twice I almost got some of the Irish moss at HD. The first time I resisted and came home empty handed...then decided I HAD to have some so I went back a couple days later but some idiot had set all these plant trays full of plants right on top of all the containers of the Irish and Scottish moss on the table and squashed them !

Thanks Janet. We sure do.
Did you get hail this afternoon ?! What a downpour!

Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

I got lots of rain, but didn't see any hail. Hillary said she had some hail out in Nederland.

I'm liking this idea of the Irish/Scottish Moss on the topiaries.

Beaumont, TX

Me too Janet. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled for some to play with on the next topiary.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Now THAT'S creative !!! Love the Lizard !!!! GREAT JOB !!!

Beaumont, TX

Thank you JasperDale. He was fun to make and I think he may have started something. I keep thinking of different critters that could be done and different ways to do them so we'll be able to choose a bigger variety of plants.

Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

Connie.... I know you well. Those "wheels" in your mind are constantly turning. HAHAHA

I remember saving a cool photo from email a while back. And THAT got me to thinking about other things you could do that would be unusual and well ... "YOU"! HAHAHA (I will be out shopping and find something interesting. I'll call Connie and the first thing I hear is.... "Is it ME?")

If you could find something RED in ground cover, you could make something similar to park close to your pond. :-) We could also use pretty colored beads on his wires to add colors you might not otherwise find in grasses or flowers.

Thumbnail by UniQueTreasures
Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

There is a horse topiary at a nearby greenhouse and they have a varigated grass for his mane..very cool

Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

I forgot that I was going to take some photos of my lizard that Connie made for me.

You can see how he stands up off the table in this photo.

Thumbnail by UniQueTreasures
Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

I stood on a chair to take this photo from overhead. You can see the different kinds of sedum I used.

Thumbnail by UniQueTreasures
Beaumont, TX

Wonder if they bury the dirt down in his neck to grow the grass Jazz? Janet and I have been thinking about the construction of them and how we could have a pocket of some sort of soil inside them. That way we could grow whatever looks good on them.

That's one wild cat!!! LOL You know a lot of the succulents have red colors. We'll investigate that. :) We know bromeliads don't need dirt either. They're colorful too.

Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA(Zone 9a)

sempervivums, maybe? The wee ones with the cobwebs might be cool!

Wayne, NE

How do you stuff him when there is nothing under him? I'm sure I am making it more complicated than what it really is. I'm trying to attempt making a similar one and probably give it to my mom for Christmas. But then I was wondering if you ran a piece of wire under it down the middle would you be able to put moss down and then a little dirt in the middle?

Beaumont, TX

I grab a handful of wet sphagnum, squeeze it out then hold it with one hand on/in the lizard while I wrap with the other hand. He was upside down while I worked on him. If you're putting dirt in him between the sphagnum then he'd be easier to do with a bottom for sure. Layered. Good luck and post pics!!

Wayne, NE

This is my lizard that I made to give to my mom. This is the frame of him.

Thumbnail by Little_Squirt

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