Garden Art Life Expectancy

flowers12November 15, 2012

I was in the hardware store today buying spray paint and adhesive when I started talking about making garden art to a couple of ladies also buying adhesive. We all were making totems for our yard, I was making them to sell at craft fairs. The subject came up of how long they will last left out in the extreme heat of the summer and the 30's in the winter. I asked them how long they would expect them to last if they bought them. They said they would expect them to last forever, or at least 10 years. hmmmmmm, does anything left out in the weather year round last that long? What would your expectations be if you paid $30 for a totem?


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I have a totem that has been out in the yard for 7.5yrs!!! And I sure wish I knew what adhesive I used!!!arg! Cuz I would buy a case!!!lol!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:47AM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

I ahve totems that have only been in the garden 4 yr. but They have stood up to all the elements. I leave them out all yr. I used GEII for doors and windows.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:37AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I had some plate flowers fall apart, but I think I got a bad tube of geii. My totems have lasted several years. I've had some plate flowers for 5 yrs now, temp range minus 20 to 99 degrees.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:26PM
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For me it was hit and miss using glue. I experimented with serveral types of glue. Sometimes the glue held and sometimes the pieces eventually fell apart.

Now I drill all of my glass flowers and tea cup bird feeders. I don't have to worry about them ever falling apart or the glue turning yellow or cloudy.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:06PM
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I have much I have made or purchased made by hand. If it is wood or made of "natural" materials like a gourd I know I will get about five good years. After that it is a gamble. It all fades, paint peels, it gets looking worn. 10 seems like a number no one could complain about. Five too would be acceptable I would think. I have three BB's I have made using GEII. They sit out year round -15 to 100+ here in MN. They are going strong, well over five years.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Thank you all for your input. I have totems and plate flowers that have lasted 4 years year round and they still look great. I've sold quite a few over the last 4 years and I've had repeat customers tell me that the first one they bought still looks as good as when they bought it. Whew! Made me feel good to know that. It is hard to know since the glue has to be fresh to give a lasting bond and the two materials have to be clean. On some very smooth glass I've "roughed" it up with sand paper or my Dremel to give it a better hold.
Overall I think that there are some things even machine made that just don't hold up in the weather. I'm going to continue doing the best I can when making these for sale and hope they last at least 5 years. I'm sure that when I continue to attend the same craft fairs each year I will be told if any fall apart. So far so good. I sold at a craft fair this weekend and did have two repeat customers that bought plate flowers. I was really surprised at how well I did this year. Last year was a little disappointing. It was raining big time, maybe it helped to come in and see all the sparkling glass totems and flowers? My sister came to help me, here's a picture of my booth, I was right at the front door.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:20PM
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WONDERFUL!!!! Thats a whole lotta Eye Candy to walk in and see!!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:11PM
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My bird waterer totem is still holding tog 4 yrs old, I think ...I do bring it in garden shed in the Winter. (GE Doors & Window Silicone II) Your booth looks fantastic! Great set-up! Glad you did better! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:44AM
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Great looking booth and such pretty flowers!!!

My take on the life expectancy is we do the best we can....make a lovely product with joyful and loving hands and offer them to the world. I'm still in the beginning stages of my flowers so I don't have anything to go on yet....I simply started to make them as gifts and so many people loved them and asked to purchase so I have been making them for sale now. I have told everyone that I don't know how long they will last, but if they fall apart in a few years, I will gladly repair or replace for no charge. That's the best I can do.....good luck and again great display!! Thanks for sharing =)


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Holly, I love your philosophy! We do make these for the enjoyment of the receiver. I just love to sit and look at my creations glistening in the sun. I think I've only made two things that I didn't absolutely love and want to keep. I went out to the hardware store the other day looking for a fresh tube of GE Silicon II Clear and no one seemed to have it. I went to another hardware store and they had E6000 and UV6800 in tubes for use with a caulking gun. I didn't know they came that way. The man told me that E6000 was fantastic and the UV6800 has been out for about 4 years and was just as good but with the UV added. He told me about how years ago a car manufacturer used E6000 to glue on it's door handles and they never came off. hmmmm interesting huh? Well I'm a lover of E6000, been using it on all my flowers and totems since I started making them 4 years ago. The UV6800 is now getting a try. I started experimenting with the GE Silicone II for attaching the spoons to the back of the plate flowers. I'm not sure yet if I think it's any better than the E6000 except for when that back of the plate has a bumpy area and needs something thick to fill in the area. Well, thanks for all the input and I'm off to make more garden art!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Hi Marilyn!
Thank you for the compliment! Oh my gosh, I agree....I have gotten so much joy out of making these flowers and looking at them in the sun! Each new one I make suddenly becomes my favorite =)

Like I said, I don't have much experience yet...I've taken pointers from other gracious people on this site (thanks again everyone!), but I live in New Mexico and not much can withstand the intense sun and heat we have here...I have a friend who has used the E6000 for several years on her outdoor art and says it doesn't hold up here =( The Lexel also didn't last more than a few hours in the not so intense fall sun (I know it won't hold up in the summer then). So far the GE Silicone II has been doing very well for almost everything...didn't do quite so well on a flower I tried with a spoon back....didn't hold the spoon at all....hmph!

Anyway, thanks for sharing your lovely work Marilyn and continue creating with love and joy! It certainly shows =)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 5:03PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I use automotive goop on my spoons, not silicone. I put some on the spoon, then press it into the back of the plate where I want it. Then I immediately separate them, leaving some of the goop in a spoon shaped area on the plate. Then cure for 10 min and press back to gether again. I used to try to apply it to each and then cure, but this way you get the goop exactly where you want it.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:10PM
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