fresh from the Makery: golden Cheerio magnets

These magnets didn't start out with the intention of resembling Cheerios. And now that they're done, I'd say they look more like the Trader Joe's whole grain version. Believe it or not, when I first started this week's project, initially I wanted to do something with the leftover wire armature I inherited from Neal's random stash of art supplies, purchased to help make this guy, described in greater detail here.

But I digress. After fiddling with the wire for a bit, I remembered that I had two packages of gold Sculpey Premo polymer clay, as well as a set of molding and sculpting tools, originally purchased to experiment with making golden owl figurines for my thesis project last year, which, in the end, did include a fair amount of gold glitter but any reference to the owl was omitted in the final product.

Anyway, I quickly abandoned the wire and started playing with the clay. Lots of folks have done amazing things with polymer clay, like Deep Fried Kudzu's bagel roll sushi magnets. I make Cheerios.

Or rather, I roll the clay into little balls and then poke big holes through the middle, not sure what I'll do with the finished product at that point. They just happen to resemble Cheerios. (Which, as I produced about 50 of these things while watching the end of season four of The Wire, reminded me of an experience in my first printmaking class in college. Our first assignment involved making a small edition of any kind of relief printing. One particularly clever gal brought in a very Zen-like print she created by dipping a Cheerio into black ink and then pressing the inked Cheerio onto a white piece of paper. I think I did something with a linoleum block...)

Still not totally sure what I'd do with these cereal-like beads, I baked them in the oven for about a half-hour at 275 degrees, which produced a stinky smell that resulted in about 15 minutes of frantic searching of the Internet for information about whether or not what I was doing was safe.

I lived. And then I strung the beads on some ribbon and thought about what to do next. I liked the idea of making magnets, but, according to the rules of this project, couldn't exactly go out and buy the materials I'd need to do that. But then I remembered that Neal had picked up one of those ribbon magnet things you're supposed to put on your car during his last sandwich run to Panera. I'm pretty certain this is not what the Ellie Fund has in mind when they produce these magnets, but I figure a link to their site is the web equivalent (or better) of putting this magnet on the back of my car.

The magnet was easier to trim than I thought it would be. I traced a small circle for each Cheerio/bead, picking the best twenty or so from the batch, and then used my hot glue gun (which, incidentally, matches the pink of the magnet) to attach the magnet bit to the back.

This was my first attempt. With the second and subsequent tries, I seemed to have more success trimming the magnet bit so that it isn't so obvious from the top and side-views of the Cheerio/bead.

Here's the set of 20 magnets, assembled on the side of my fridge.

Here's a close-up.

And closer still.

You can see that in some Cheerio/beads the white part of the magnet shows through, and in others the pink part is visible. I have to say, the gold/pink/white color scheme really began to grow on me as I put the finishing touches on these this weekend. I should confess, however, that these will probably not be the most functional magnets on your fridge. Turns out magnet ribbons are not really made to do much more than adhere themselves to a metallic surface. They might be able to keep your shopping list on the fridge, but that's about the extent of their functionality.

I've packaged the set in one of the Artist Trading Card holders I had leftover from my class last semester (that's what happens when you miss the last day of class). The bottom of the box is lined with an image of Cheerios printed on a sheet of inkjet velour paper that I originally bought a couple of years ago for a portion of this project. The box measures 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 by about 1 inch and is lovingly wrapped in a brown satin ribbon.

Want 'em? Leave a comment and I'll do a random drawing at the end of the week (I have a feeling, should anyone even respond, that I'll know where to send them, since I personally know who I suspect are most of my regular readers, but if not, we'll figure out the logistics of this giveaway after the recipient has been selected).

Should you decide to pass on this inaugural product of the Makery, stay tuned next Monday for round two.


Jolina said...

Hey, I love your beads. I would love to have some of them without the magnet. Polymer is new to me, but I have a friend who uses it. So, I hope it's me who gets picked. But then, I'd be the one who wants to get picked every week. Love the idea of uncluttering and giving away.

Anonymous said...

I just started beading and I love it!!!! (ask Jolina) So I would love to win TOO!! If I win I will share??!!

java diva said...

Those are so cool as magnets on your fridge!! I love that! Man, that would drive every toddler NUTS I tell you! LOL