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Brain coral

 

Coral comes in so many interesting shapes and variations. Brain coral is one of them. It grows into a round ball shape with a maze-like pattern.

In the illustration above we are using a balloon, paper mache and jute twine to create the dome  shape of a brain coral. 

 

Brain coral cont.

 

What you need:

  • Look up an image of a brain coral  (see a photo at Arkive, here)
  • A small to medium sized balloon suitable to cover with paper mache
  • Newspaper or tissue paper torn into pieces
  • Paper mache glue 
  • Paints & brushes & a glass of water to rinse
  • Straight sewing pins
  • Piece of flat cardboard
  • A ball of twine
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • A designated wet work area

 

Brain coral cont

 

What to do:

  • Make up a batch of paper mache glue  -- 1 cup flour and 1 cup water, and a few tablespoons of salt mixed until smooth
  • Blow up your balloon to the size required and tie off the end
  • Cut a slit in the flat cardboard and slide the balloon  to the middle of the cardboard so that the paper mache doesn't make a mess on the table and it will help to hold the balloon steady
  • Cover your balloon  with 2-3 layers of newspaper or tissue paper that have soaked briefly in the paper mache glue
  • Allow to dry completely
  • Repeat the previous 2 steps, adding another 2-3 layers
  • Using your twine make a base for the brain bommie to sit on by wrapping it round and round the bottom of the shape (see illustration)
  • Observing the pattern of the brain coral you looked up earlier, you can begin to tack the twine to the dome shape. This may prove a little difficult so you may choose to use sewing pins to pin your twine to the dried paper mache  [some students may need assistance]
  • When you are satisfied your squiggles are where you want them you can either paint liberally with craft glue or tack down with a glue gun (heavier twine will require stronger glue)
  • Allow to dry and remove from the cardboard station

Although brain coral are usually muted colours you may choose to paint your brain coral.

Arrange the brain coral bommie in the Coral Reef project.

 

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