I was recently asked by the fabulous Mz. Barbara Butler of Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc. if I would like to provide a contribution for an upcoming playhouse she was creating and donating for a charitable auction. Barbara is a great and gregarious lady who for 20 years has specialized in making playhouses, treehouses, play structures and the like, complete with all manner of accessories such as cable trolleys, rope climbs, rock walls, slidepoles, trapdoors, ladders, and play furniture. Over the years her projects ave gotten more and more elaborate, sometimes incorporating many towers and arched bridges, as well as finished playhouses with lighting fixtures, professional glass windows, crown moldings, polished varnished flooring, and finished furniture.
For this donation she created the structure loosly around the theme of "The Wizard's Tower". The structure had a tower complete with catwalk and crenelations, and below a jail for 'bad wizards' (complete with a secret escape trap door). The house had steep pitched roof with multicolored shingles, a finished interior, a beautiful ancient and medieval-looking door with a sliding 'who goes there?" window. It is a beautiful play structure and I was happy to contribute a small part.
The donation gave me the opportunity to experiment with plexi-glass, because of course, the windows had to be 'child-proof' (i.e. ..shatter proof).
I made them by cutting individual pieces out of small sheets of Plexiglass, and used a solvent to tack them to the backing sheet. I then painted with acrylic the details of the design, and sealed the surface with two part resin that I colored with dyes. I also applied rounded half-spheres to catch the light, which worked to great effect.
I chose a medieval looking Sun and Moon with faces as the images, I seem to remember seeing similar imagery from old books on Alchemy and magic. They were very successful, and no doubt I shall do more with this material in the future. I should like to eventually incorporate this material with actual glass and lead and see what is possible for more serious architectural applications.