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30 May 2013

Looking, Buying and Playing

Friday I paid a visit to Art Van Go, for the first day of The Gathering.  I met up with old friends, and new.  Alongside lovely textile work from Bobby Britnell, there were 5 artists showing their practical talents.  More information and photos can be found via the blogs of Lynda Monk and Art Van Go.  I enjoyed seeing the practical and came away with "oooh must try that".
Of course had to do some shopping, well, rude not to isn't it?  Paper of course, another sketchbook, a texture roller, amongst.

Last week I struggled with a supposedly simple paint technique, easy peasy everywhere said.  Huh, right, here's my pile of failures, tried every pot of white gluey sticky stuff I could find, starting with builders pva, the stuff you can stand a spoon up in.
On way home from Art Van Go, I called into Hobbycraft, well one roundabout away, silly not to. As I said to someone, my one pot of school pva cost £30!
By coincidence, next day I saw this on a Facebook page
Playing 'Supermarket Sweep' in Hobbycraft! Such fun!
courtesy of KateCreates on Facebook, see her website
roared with laughter, I can certainly spend loads in 5 minutes, but not get what I went in for, which was the case.
Anyway used the cheapy pva for the technique, and it instantly worked!  So all these articles and videos are forgiven, it is easy peasy - with the right product.  Can move on to next part of the plan.

My bead edgings class didn't happen - suspect it being half term week is a problem.  Wonder about my next offering, Hand and Machine Cords.... simple, practical, decorative.  Tuesday 18th June contact The Sewing Box for details.

The intention is to use the sewing machines on the premises.  The requirements are a few machine threads, for practice use up the threads/yarns from your stash, knitting yarn, embroidery threads, even string! Full information from the shop.  It is my intent that we work on a rotation, with some learning the machine techniques, whilst others do the hand and others play with some equipment I have.  So everyone goes home with a range of samples, a practical dictionary if you like for future reference.

22 May 2013

Glue, Sticky Backed Plastic and Gold Leaf

So, as Baldrick would say - "I have a cunning plan"....
Get a basic stockpile ready, work on one thing, when I've had enough and am bored with that (probably 2 stitches in) switch to the other prepped set of things.
Actually as usual, I do a lot of working out in my head, auditioning ideas and thinking about them.  No idea why I can't do this via a sketchbook, but the images in my head are photo quality, and I can zoom in and examine - my paper efforts never match these visions.
So first of all, make a whole load of bases - just dash off some crackle painting - easy peasy lemon squeezy.  10 samples later nope, not worked.
Yes I have the, made for the purpose, crackle solution, and yes it works fine, apart from being glossy.  But I want to make the "this is so easy, diy cheap version".  Its all to do with drying times and one layer dries at a different speed to another and ta daaah cracks.  See now this bugs me, why is it soooo easy and I can't do it.  I suspect its because I have industrial strength glue - the sort you can stand a spoon up in, but watering it down didn't help.  Hrrrumph, I will not be beaten, so out came every pot of white/clear lotion and potion I could find.  Nope still not working.  I suspect I may have to resort to a visit to the cheapy shop for childrens glue, but what if that doesn't work.  Might have to go back to using the made for product and somehow overpaint with something to make it matte.

I've had another play with my Gelli Plate, this time in good old Blue Peter style, involving sticky backed plastic - though I'm not sure they ever used gold leaf.  First attempt, at least it worked.
I didn't leave quite clear enough voids on the Plate - so effort number 2 - the Plate looked like this:
I decided, mhmmm I think this could work on paper too, so here's the effort on that one.  Cartridge paper, which had red paint on it and then I lifted a print of the end portion of the Plate, and covered in silver foil.
It didn't take the paint off cleanly, so was left with a nice mottled appearance on this, and of course remaining paint on the Plate.  So lifted the whole Plate with the sticky backed plastic, and then added the silver foil, and this time this is what I got.

Hopefully if you click on the images they will become larger for a better look

There is only one issue with these technique, you have to let the paint dry, and no I didn't watch it!  I left the Gelli Plate on the ironing board over night - this has the added bonus of preventing any ironing from being done!  See, cunning plan.... now all we need is shrink plastic in the oven and dyed fabrics in the washing machine.

14 May 2013

In Print

I have a new toy.  Been looking, asking, watching videos etc and finally decided Yep, let's go for it.
I have bought one of these.
So why, first of all.  Well I felt I needed to inject a bit more of 'me' into things.  I don't use fabric so much these days and when I do I tend to paint it with acrylics.  Several reasons, for one I don't need or want yards of stuff the same colours, paint gets me the exact colour I want, and also I can do as little as I want.  Plus I hate clearing up after dyeing.... the process seems to take 5 minutes and tidying 3 hours.  Then I was thinking ought to try some more mono printing, I wonder what if.... duh idiot, I know what if, I've got samples from my studies.
So researching the Gelli Plate and saw a particular brayer/roller recommended, errr I have one of those, liquid acrylic paints, that's all I do use, and I even have some of the Shaper tools like rubber paintbrushes from eons ago.  So I bought it, and have had a little play.
The very pale one on the top right is Lutradur, but its the fine grade 30, but at least it works.  Otherwise I tried, my fave cartridge paper at 160gsm, some photocopy paper which is 100gsm and some index cards, which I buy from Staples.  I did try a couple of old book pages, but they are very old books and the paper tore when I pulled it off the Gelli.
I also have a collection of Masks or Stencils, not quite sure what to call them, made from mylar or plastic.  So I used some of those, and here you can see how they ended up after, and I rather like this!
Actually I've not cleaned them.  Partly cos it makes me look like a proper artist all messy, and partly cos I saw that its actually not necessary, and apparently the paint will peel off.
I didn't make zillions of samples, no point until right colour choice.
But the good thing from my point of view.  Cleared my table, got out the supplies, made a pile of samples, cleaned the Plate and the table, you only need plain water, and, ta dah - only an hour start to finish.  Plus they dry so fast, and I don't have space to leave things out to dry.  And the messiest thing - my fingers!

10 May 2013

Now On and Coming Soon

The Materials Girls are now exhibiting in Canada!  Exhibition opened 10th, with our Canadian partners, Articulation. Click on this link for a good article.  The top picture is work by Material Girls Leader, Chris Spencer  and the bottom picture is mine!
Chis Spencer along with fellow Material Girls member, Miriam Weaver and other artist friends are about to have their own exhibition in London, opening next week.  Please see Seeking Artemis

The Sewing Box  (where you can find me in a couple of weeks) has added details of all the classes currently on offer.  Scroll down the page, the link is by the photo of ribbons.  Visit the shop on Facebook, follow the request, and you can have the chance for a £20 voucher and a workshop place.

Can I ask that as you are reading this about creative arts, that you take time out to look at this Petition to stop the government from reclassifying craft as non-creative.

06 May 2013

Following On and Making a Series - may be

Right let's have a think and a catch up.... submitted my entry for the Rochford Art Trail.  Lots of dithering, nothing seemed to feel right.  But the answer was actually there in front of me, all the time.  Said to a friend how do I make myself see these things, take note of it, she suggested getting it firmly ingrained.... with a tattoo.  Errr if its on my shoulder still wouldn't see, and might disappear in my wrinkly skin, wot does that say?
So this has brought me to another thought process.  In making the application I was thinking what would look nice as a collective display, eye catching (hence the dithering).  But then I thought what about a series of things?  Its not really something I embrace, well not in the conventional, look at this, its obvious they all go together way.  Most things I do follow on, in my mind at least.
A little bit of this
And a little bit of that
Made one of these
Clap clap clap clap
(come along now sing along to The Birdie Song - second verse)
A little bit of this
And a little bit of that
Made one of these
Clap clap clap clap
(OK, so now I'll spare you having to do the dance as well)

But now I'm wondering perhaps I should make a little series of similars, I've got 3 already!!!  And I think that's a series, ha, on the basis of one is one and all alone and ever more shall be so (still singing?) - two is coincidence - and three becomes a series. (Isn't that the criteria for a serial killer.... cough) Although Untitled 3 is not very inspiring - Untitled 303 is impressive!  Was wondering about making a little something, which I could do one a week of, sounds achieveable doesn't it?  I quite like these displays with 20 or more very similar items, you see people studying to work out which is their favourite.  May be they would buy two instead of one as the decision to chose is too much.  So may be that's a plan then.... but.... drum roll trrrrrrrrrr... might start numbering at 100, that way it looks good before I start!
Right anybody who cannot get The Birdie Song out of their heads now - its not my fault.  I have to live with Little Boxes every time I work on my beach hut studies!!!