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The Trouble with Sugar

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  • The Trouble with Sugar

    I'm hoping to begin a project with my class of 13 year olds soon. They've been looking at Egyptian Art, so I was hoping to build a pyramid with them out of sugar cubes with an entrance causeway.

    It's a simple enough project, except I'm currently working in Thailand. Can't leave sugar alone, even in a sealed, air-conditioned room for 10 minutes without it getting overrun by ants .etc here.

    I've checked all the How-To articles on the web, but not a single one seems to take this into consideration.

    I'm considering a spray-on varnish, but have no idea what the side-effects of this might be. I'd hate to come in the next day only to find a sugary, varnished puddle on the floor.

    Has anyone overcome this problem before or know a viable option?
    Last edited by wuh2k; 17-07-2009, 09:00 AM. Reason: Typo
    "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

  • #2
    Probably a solvent-based varnsh would work? A water-based one would probably dissolve them, as you say...
    Cheers,
    Scorch

    Scorch's Pyrography : www.scorchpyro.co.uk
    Crafts on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanniso...7606138937826/

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    • #3
      Dont know if it would work, but how about spray on glue? It delivers a fine mist and may not melt them. xxx


      Folksy shop http://www.folksy.com/shops/Fairyweb

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      • #4
        I would set up an experiment to see which worked best.

        Even better if you could involve the class and look at the science behind it? If not, it's probably something you could do in a lunch hour. You wouldn't need a whole pyramid for each potential solution.

        Good luck!
        digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
        blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
        hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
        blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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        • #5
          hope this helps

          Hiya

          Have you thot about finding a product that ants dont like? Is there anything that you could put in the ground or table around your stack of sugar that will stop ants crossing them. I think u can get things like that for some bugs.

          Cheers

          Dave
          www.woodadoodle.co.uk

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          • #6
            Cheers for all the suggestions.

            I'd love to do some experiments, but unfortunately my budget is pretty limited. Also...Art's not the biggest priority here in Thailand. I only get them for 50mins every week.

            I had some trouble getting the ones I did get. You'd be amazed the lack of craft supplies -even in the biggest stores- here. There's a fantastic philosophy of making things "look pretty" in Thailand. I keep telling my students; "Some of the greatest art in the world is ugly as hell!"

            I won't go on a rant. Sufficed to say, if I leave them alone for 10 minutes, they've a habit of going over all their lines with a black marker...even still life! Just the way they always did it before I suppose.

            Anyhow, I'm gonna try out the stuff I did find tomorrow and I'll be sure to let you know what happens.
            "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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            • #7
              Just wanted to post back saying that I got it working. Will have photos of its painfully slow progress (theres almost 400 cubes in the pyramid's bottom level soon).

              Used a spray-on acryllic laquer in the end...mostly because I had it lying around anyway, and when I used it it worked.

              Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions.
              "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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              • #8
                How great that you overcame the problem. Looking forward to seeing the pics. Those children are lucky to have someone teaching them that cares enough to persevere.
                Best wishes
                Carole

                www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

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                • #9
                  I'm intirgued by the idea of your pyramid, I'd love to see some photos when it's done

                  PS I would've had no idea how to stop the ants...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boo View Post
                    I'm intirgued by the idea of your pyramid, I'd love to see some photos when it's done

                    PS I would've had no idea how to stop the ants...
                    Three more posts and I can put the pictures up. It'll be awhile before it's finished though. Only 5 kids in that class and only have them for 50mins a week. Just so many sugar cubes you can put down in that amount of time.
                    "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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                    • #11
                      If y'all are building it on a smallish table, could you coat the legs of the table with vaseline so the ants could not get through it? I have to do this to the cords I hang my hummingbird feeders with, to keep ants from going down and getting inside the bottle...

                      However, the legs of the table might collect dust and hair and whatever...might get gross, and might be something the ants could make a bridge with...darn ants.

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                      • #12
                        I used to have an ant problem in the summer and I put baby powder around all the accessible points in my house and they hate it, don't know how convenient it would be though keep putting the powder there and are the students going to mess on with it

                        Gem x
                        http://www.facebook.com/pages/Soaps-...0932395?ref=ts

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                        • #13
                          Good anti-ant ideas. The spray-on varnish is working a treat so far. Good to have them in case I run out though. Cheers.
                          "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wuh2k View Post
                            Good anti-ant ideas. The spray-on varnish is working a treat so far. Good to have them in case I run out though. Cheers.
                            Anti-ant??????????????
                            "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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                            • #15
                              3 Posts in a row...sorry

                              Here's week one. Took a bit of trial and error just to figure out the best way of applying the glue so the cubes would stick so didn't get as many down as we could have.

                              Brought one side out to the end to give an impression of the size. That's the bottom level, and I've figured out it'll be thirteen levels high when finished.


                              The entrance causeway is gonna be the foundation all the way to the end of the cardboard, then pillars (well, square pillars) about six or seven cubes high.

                              "Yes! We put the brick on the pedal!"

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