Monday 14 February 2011

The Tin Man Has a Heart!

A few weeks ago, one of my US forum friends was using an American set of stamps with a Wizard of Oz theme and it set me thinking what wonderful imagery the story has. I thought it would be a romantic idea for Valentine's Day to make a Tin Man, the thought behind it being that even he has a heart, and if you can find it, it is a precious thing.

I was away until the end of last week so I couldn't do anything to put my ideas into action, but they really started to take hold, so I had to make this otherwise the ideas wouldn't go away. The starting point was that I wanted his body to be made out of one of the blank 'Mint Tins' you can get, by Creative Expressions, and I wanted to have layers of watch parts and cogs, with a red beating heart in the middle! Recently I mentioned to my Mum that I love to use old watches and did she have any. The next time I saw her, she had collected 11 complete watches from family members. She doesn't understand what I want them for, but it was lovely that she humoured me!

As a back-drop to my Tin Man, I used a Wizard of Oz film poster inside a reversed canvas. I wanted the edges to look like a Yellow Brick Road, so I painted it yellow and used a stone wall mask, with some Vintage Photo on a tiny piece of foam, so I could just 'outline' the edges. I added some cogs, cut from a Tim die, mainly to cover the rough corners of the cheap canvas.

You can see the brick work here - used a stone wall mask
For the little tin, I flattened out square silver brads and glued them down the front like a placket, with rivet buttons. I made a shrink plastic heart and coloured it red, then a shrink plastic stop watch, and adhered these and added a little piece of ball chain. Inside, I did one layer of cogs and watch parts at a time, waiting for the Glossy Accents to dry overnight, and then added another shriink plastic red heart amongst them.

His working parts on show! I put the cogs and watch pieces in, in stages, leaving each layer of Glossy Accents to dry overnight. His neck says 'Stainless Steel' and is part of a watch clasp. I added a silver ribbon bow tie!
I had a lot of self-doubt about the face as I wanted it to be right. I had the idea that the Tin Man looked a bit 'simple' (Col said I should look in a mirror to get it right!), so I made the face out of clay and added some extra for the nose and poked my little finger nail into the clay at the edge of his mouth to give an upturned look. Once it was baked I painted it silver, added googly eyes, coloured the mouth red, and added a silver bow for a bow tie. The funnel was such a saga! I searched high and low in the house as I thought I had a metal perfume funnel somewhere. Eventually I found this Estee Lauder one, but I wanted a silver one. I did an extensive and fruitless search on e bay, and also tried Boots, Superdrug, etc. This was probably the most time consuming and problematic part of the project. In the end I decided on the copper one I had found in the first place. Colin said, 'but isn't it an expensive perfume one?'. Well, that wasn't going to stop me! I thought the funnel was important to the overall look, especially if the face wasn't quite right. I wanted smoke coming out of it but Col thought that was overkill. I positioned his head where the O of Oz is on the poster, to form an O.

Head made  from Fimo and painted silver, added a red mouth and googly eyes!
I wanted the arms to be from a lady's metal watch strap, and legs from a man's one, each divided in half. The feet are the two clasp pieces, and the hands are the buckle end of a lady's leather watch strap. He only has one finger sadly, but that is enough to hold his axe, which was fashioned from a roasting tin and a coffee stirrer! Colin had the idea of cutting some semi-circular disks from the rest of the roasting tin to link the arms and legs to the body, in a suit of armour sort of way, and this made such a difference in pulling it together.

Axe fashioned from roasting tin and coffee stirrer. Heart pocket watch from shrink plastic, with a bit of Glossy Accents and some chain.
He had a heart hidden away in there all the time!
An angled view

The final canvas, with cogs at the corners

I hope you have enjoyed this bit of fun, and my metaphor for St Valentine's Day. It was fitting that Col helped me so much with this project, as he helps me with everything in life. I hope that, even if you have a Tin Man, you have found his precious heart!

Postscript - I am entering this for the Simon Says Stamp 'Anything but a card' challenge, and also Dezina World, and the Stamp Man Hearts Challenge. I am new to joining in Challenges but Jack suggested I join Theme Thursday's Challenge which is Crazy!


  1. Simply your blog darlin'

  2. Oh Its FABULOUS Lucy, so creative! Love it!

  3. I love him !
    excellent piece of work

  4. This is so terrific Lucy, such fabulous detail and imagination. Well worth using that funnel, its brilliant. Annette x

  5. Totally awesome!! The amount of work and time you put into this piece really paid off, it's amazing!

  6. I luv the TinMan, and I adore yours! He is just so perfect and creative, I just luv him!

  7. FANTASTIC! The tin man is a favorite of mine and you did him up so proper.

  8. v clever and original

  9. Cogs and Watches and Hearts...Oh My!
    Another Oz fan here. Your Tin Man is fantabulous and the face is just right.

  10. Was Terry your inspiration? She recnetly used Tin Man on a tag (if I re-collect) it was really adorable.
    This is so cute and I love the poster. Lynne x

  11. What can I say, he is just amazing. xx

  12. WOW Lucy this is SOOOO Brilliant! I love it! It goes so well with the poster. I have never seen these little copper funnels but now I want some.

    Jackie x

  13. He's brilliant Lucy! x

  14. Wonderful. What a great idea.

  15. Great project Lucy, so much detail!

  16. Wow! An absolute stunner Lucy - the more you look, the more you see. Love it!
    Fliss x

  17. What a marvel your tin man is a fabulous treasure, the copper funnel is perfect as is the face. XOXO Zoe

  18. The Tin Man is amazing, you have real vision and patience to get it right.

  19. Lucy - this is truly one amazing work of art!!!
    Your creativity knew no bounds when coming up with this one and so beautifully executed!!! I love all the re-cycling you've achieved - and the search for the funnel was worth every iota of time spent. I LOVE IT!!!
    So glad you shared this with us at the Simon Says Stamp challenge,
    Heather xx

  20. WOW !!! this is absolutely brilliant !! I love all the thought that went into this and even getting your mum to help collect watches for it !! Very clever creation !!

    thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge :-)
    Lols x x x

    p.s ,, please mention our challenge and a link to it otherwise you won't be eligible to win the prize !! xx

  21. OMG Lucy this is amazing, so much work has gone into this, I love it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Simon Says Stamp
    hugs Mandy xx

  22. OMG WOW!!! what a lot of thought and effort has gone into this stunning creation!!! It is amazing! thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp, hugs, jane x

  23. Wow i read through the whole lot of this and was amazed at this project. excellent work my friend and beautifully worked.
    You linked it up to my dezinaworld challenge but dont say if its been entered for it lol ... never mind i will presume it is. I am thrilled its great
    hugs June

  24. I love how you've used the watches! I too am always looking for old watches. Great work on this!

  25. An amazing piece of art Lucy. A labour of love. :-) xx

  26. Wow, this is an amazing work of art!! You were so creative with this project. Love it!!
    xoxo, Christine

  27. What fabulous work, so original, love it.

  28. Gosh I'm absolutely blown away by this stunning work of art. i love all the ideas behind it and all the things you've used. Your family will be amazed by how their watches look now.
    Your different take on Valentines is just brilliant and I'm so glad you've shared this with us at The Stampman. I shall be getting the rest of the team to come and have a look, I know they will love it as much as I do.
    Hugs Lisax

  29. HI Lucy - Lisa did what she said she would and I have to say this is one absolutely amazing piece of art and a fabulous post to go with it.
    What attention to detail and devotion to getting it just right, you are a real artist at work.
    Thank you for sharing it with us at the Stamp Man and good luck.
    Have a great week.
    luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

  30. I saw this today IRL and it's just amazingly stunning!!!

  31. this is completely amazing! truly fabulous.

  32. This is such a fun project!! fantastic Lucy

  33. What a great project... Thanks for playing with the Stampman theme this time

  34. Awesome project Lucy! Thanks for sharing all the details and for entering it into The Stamp Man hearts challenge, you wow'd us!

    Jill x

  35. OMG Lucy, what an amazing project, such creative ideas in all the little details but its absolutely wonderful.
    Claire xx