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Make a Miniature Mirror


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At Castine a couple of years ago I took Bill Robertson's rococo mirror class. I've done the carving, but couldn't find really thin mirrors, and wouldn't have been able to cut the glass to the highly irregular shape needed in any case.  I friend suggested using mica -- which works!  Comes in very thin sheets which can be cut with scissors or jewelers saw, and has irregularities in clarity which make it look like really old glass.  My problem is how do I make it into a mirror.  I tried silver paint, but the result looked like silver paint.  Any suggestions?

 

Picture (which I hope is attached) is attached is of plain mica with nothing on it.  Against the white paper, and with the camera flash, it looks much more reflective than it really is.  I have a miniaturist friend who is going to help me with the gilding, but I really want help in turning mica into mirror.post-84-0-33258800-1411566865_thumb.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

I think I know what Mica is, but I certainly do not know how to turn Mica into a mirror :).   I'm sure you could find the details to re-silver a mirror somewhere; I always find those irregularities in old mirrors to make me a little crazed in my 'this old real house", so you'll have to forgive me for wanting a "new" mirror look. 

 

Did you try to adhere the mica on a sheet of thin cardstock, very lightly sprayed with adhesive? and then try to create mirror with paint?

 

A real mirror is glass - so in my head, I would be trying to find micro thin glass mirror, and then would attempt to age it as you desire.  I did not do an extensive online search, but it is probably available somewhere.  You may want to hunt down some old makeup compacts from the 30s/40s / 50s and see if you can confiscate the mirrors from them if they are aged as you want, hopefully they will be thin enough.

 

But I offer two alternatives that might consider,

 

micro thin acrylic mirror - I think I have seen it on eBay, but I purchased some at a NAME convention from one of the 1/4 scale vendors.  I didn't take micrometers to my acrylic mirror, but it is close to 1mm thick and 6"x6", paid $4.99 for it.

 

or

 

micro thin glass, and use spray paint.  Krylon has a product, " looking glass mirror-like paint... "  I haven't tried the krylon paint, but I have seen it in the stores.

 

I haven't done a lot of carving, but your mirror is great;  that was a great class at GS, another class that was missed!

 

Tamra/Indiana

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

Bill,

I used a thin sheet of nickel silver. easy to cut to shape, not perfect but quite effective as antique mirror glass in a room box

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Debora Beijerbacht

HI Bill, I'm sorry i can't be of any help with turning mica into mirror because I've no experience with it what so ever. But perhaps you remember, I also took the same class together with you? So back home, i was like you, and on the hunt for really thin mirror glass (1mm). Although obtainable online it's pretty expensive but I also found in a very common place; The mirrors in beauty cases, like the flimsy toiletry bags they sell in drug stores? Slightly thicker (1,3 mm) but for a buck per bag I think it's a very good alternative.  And I could cut it with a smooth diamond cutter on a flex shaft.

 

But that's no answer to your question... :( 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

 

Your carving turned out beatifully.  And your idea of using such an unusual material for the mirror is inspired.

 

I just wanted to share a tip from a miniturist I always admired:  She advised me to never put a mirror on the back wall of a display, as the viewer sees his or her own reflection in "real" size, and the illusion is spoiled.  Instead, she used steel plate, giving the look of a mirror, but no actual reflection.

 

I wish I knew what kind of steel, or where she purchased it.

 

Holly

Michigan

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I would use Krylon "Looking Glass " mirror like paint sprayed on the back of a thin piece of plexiglass or even a laminating sheet. It would look more mirror like than using silver paint on the front.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tested the Krylon "Looking  Glass" mirror like paint that is supposed to look just like a mirror when painted on the backside of a piece of plexiglass, well, folks, it looks like shiny aluminium or bright pewter but sorry to say, it does not reflect like a mirror. Too bad, it would have made things too easy.

A few year ago I got some very thin glass and mirror (used for making a kaleidoscope) from a local stained glass shop that is no longer in business. Very nice but quite fragile.

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