At today’s bas relief cards workshop, I did the unthinkable (for me at least) – worked on a technique and a sample alongside a workshop guest, without trying it first weeks before. And despite the gung-ho attitude, we both ended up with, even if we do say so ourselves, a cracking outcome. There was something rather pleasing about making a 2D stamped image a little more 3D, smudging and smoothing paper clay into place before letting the stains and paint do their thing.
No, you haven’t missed seven previous instalments – this is the first of nine blocks that I’ve tackled for a new memory quilt. I wanted to make a quilt as a ‘souvenir’ of our trip to the USA over Christmas – in addition to my travel journal which is yet to be finished…
We chose the fabric whilst away, in a lovely quilting shop, Stowe Fabric & Yarn, in Stowe, Vermont, and once I got home and had five minutes to myself, I started designing. It’s the first quilt I have made that uses appliqué techniques – and I’m going to need a bit more practice on my satin stitches I think. The quilt is going to feature nine appliqué panels, and here’s the first. No guesses as to which tourist venue this panel refers to…
I’ve previously made a ‘book’, to hold various ephemera, as a leaving present for the minister of my previous church. So when it came to putting together another bespoke binder for prayer flags, a photo book and collected digital photos, I built on my previous project and created a faux leather effect ‘book’.
The ‘book’ is just about the size of a sheet of A4 and about 1½” deep. Constructed from 2mm greyboard and 5mm foamcore board, the canvas cover is painted with a mix of rose madder and burnt sienna acrylic paints to resemble worn leather. The spine text is pressed in with an embossing tool to give an impression of embossed foiling, whilst the frontplate uses careful shading to achieve the same effect.
It seems that my brain has tuned into tangle patterns again since I created the three patterns while I was in USA over Christmas. This pattern has been rearranging itself in my head for the last week or so, and this morning I had the opportunity to get it onto paper, step-by-step.
If you’re brave, try missing out step 2 (which I added as a guide) and going straight to the tramlines in step 3. It’s another of those patterns which ‘pops’ with a bit of shading. It’s also one of those patterns, given the resemblance to celtic knots, that may be out there already – but I can tell you I didn’t reference anything when making the instructions, and my brain is very relieved now it’s not juggling all the Os and interconnecting Ys! And there’s always the chance you’ll be going ‘why, oh why did I start this one?’…
For February’s Studio workshop, we’re going to be playing with adding dimension by using paperclay to create bas relief centrepieces for your cards/scrapbook pages and mixed media projects. Here’s an example I’ve just finished:
Not sure if I have got the balance right between the vase and the roses, and may be an ivory card for the sentiment might have worked better too. But that, after all, is what playing is all about…
If you’d like to come to the workshop on 4th February, there are spaces available. For more details, see my workshops page, or email me to book your space.
My final tangle pattern inspired on a recent trip to the USA is based on upholstery fabric on one of the chairs in the Gold Floor Lounge in the rather fantastic Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston. We were so glad to have upgraded our room as I came down with a stinking cold while we were there. It was lovely to be able to feel grotty in an executive lounge with refreshments on tap rather than a small bedroom!
Walking around the Rockefeller Center in New York, it’s easy to be distracted, especially at Christmas, by things like the enormous Christmas tree, the musical light show on the front of Saks Fifth Avenue and the large skyscraper. But take a moment to look down, and you’ll find brass tree surrounds set into the sidewalk. Here’s a tangle pattern based on just one of those. Next week: Fairmont CP.