I had a quirky idea for three years that began with wanting to make an intarsia piece to mount on my barn. But what to make? Everyone has a barn star, or a barn quilt, or an eagle or a flag. I wanted to be unique. I've always had a fascination with the living world. One day I imagined a squiggly column of marching ants crawling around 3 faces of my barn. I liked it and the image wouldn't go away. It's the sort of thing that people would take one look and either like it or think I was nuts. It took the COVID crisis to make me feel entitled to be a little eccentric.
I had plenty of time to think about the execution of this project. In order to not look kitschy, the ants would have to be fairly lifelike. They would have to be big enough to recognize as ants from the road, but small enough to not look scary. Being an impractical project, I wasn't willing to spend too much time on it. So I would have to figure a way to assembly-line fabricate them quickly. I'm pretty happy with the result.
Here is a link to a short video of me mounting them:
I did film the stages of making the ants. But frankly, it takes a long time to edit woodworking videos. And my videos generally don't get a lot of views. So if this project gets a bit of attention from the public, it will give me the push from behind I need to make another video.
very nicely done, Peter ! welcome to the forum !
it is refreshing to have a new member with photos and a video
with all posted in the correct format and properly cropped.
looking forward to seeing more of your projects.
and a couple of photos with the ants on the worktable would be cool to see.
My spouse made decorative ants from golf balls, hanger wire, and hot melt glue. You can see many similar ants if you do an image search on the web for "golf ball ants".
They lasted about a year, displayed outside in the shade. The hot melt glue did not hold up well outside, and there were lots of wires glued in (legs, antennas, and inner joints).
Epoxy, polyurethane, or clear Gorilla glue (silane) might have been better choices than hot melt glue. She doesn't remember how she drilled the golf balls. If you have a few golf balls laying around, it might be a fun project for recess time at home school.
Sorry for bumping into an old conversation. Wow, what a creative and unique idea! I love having a squiggly column of marching ants crawling around the barn. It's not something you see daily, but it adds a fun and exciting touch to the property. I can imagine it would catch passersby's eye and make them double-take. I also suggest ordering ants pest control to get rid of insects. Good luck!
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