Next, I built my first tower with the unfortunate architectural defect of not going all the way to the ground. Now, I’ve seen plenty of real life castles with this effect, but I swear to you they have the likelihood of existing as bees have of flying. It just defies all laws of physical nature. (Later, I realized their heavy beams must have helped, but they still seem crazily impossible.) I found this out for myself the hard way. It’s just so heavy, that I ended up having to ballast the thing so it doesn’t kami kaze off the side. How, you say? Well, with treasure of course.
I needed a treasure chest. Don’t we all. I constructed one out of wood fairly easy. Then I took pennies and filled every available space inside the box. Then I took aluminum foil and covered the top. On the foil, I glued a thick layer of coins (solder drips hammered out and then patinaed), pearls and other necklaces (strings of beads), a couple of crowns I made in metals class and a couple of twisted wire bracelets and torques (very Celtic).
The next thing I added was a table. If you know the Deryni books by Katherine Kurtz, your response on seeing it is “ooo”, but everyone else says, “Duh, ain’t that kinda modern for this kinda thing?” The table is wood with black and white square pedestals and a black and white top. It is topped by a gryphon’s claw holding an amber marble, commonly known as a shiral crystal in her books. I made the claw with the lost wax method. First, I created it out of wax and then sunk it into plaster. I heated the plaster in a kiln and thus had a mold. I placed a large hunk of bronze on top of the mold and with a very scary torch blazed it into liquid. Then, I basically took a brick and stomped it down on top forcing the bronze into the mold. The next step is to soak it in water to remove the plaster and ta-da. It’s done
(An addition 15 years later. I would end up redoing almost everything. When I decided to re-do this room, I decided it had nowhere near enough treasure. So, I made a whole new room, which was much more sound, though it still needed ballast. Also, it now included multiple shelves filled with everything I could think of that looked like treasure. I used square filigree from the beading store glued together to make boxes, various round marbles on stands, some crystal stuff, and lots of brass filigree things with rhinestones glued to them.)