Altered Art: Tealight Holders Part II

I previously posted an advert for October’s workshop in The Studio featuring an altered MDF tealight holders Now, it’s that time of year when the church Christmas Fayre is just ten days away. I still haveĀ a box full of holders left over. So, over the last couple of days I’ve been sponging acrylics, metallics and glass paints over MDF and acetate and waiting for spray gloss varnish to stop being tacky. I’m now making bespoke packaging for each of these individual gifts:

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Glass Etching with Armour Etch

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I have learnt three things on this little project:

  1. Etching glass with Armour Etch through a vinyl stencil that I cut on my Silhouette Cameo is quick, simple and delightfully effective. This inexpensive Ikea glass is now carrying the branding that I use for my studio.
  2. Photographing glass, like mirrors, is incredibly tricky! I spent roughly 15 minutes etching the glass, and then the next hour learning how to take the photograph! I ended up lighting it from beneath with a small LED push-light with a sheet of paper between it and the glass to dim it slightly. All of this was in a blackout tent, with a small amount of light from above, and poking my phone through a small slit in the tent. The first attempts had so much reflection of both the lighting and the surroundings, the etching wasn’t visible.
  3. Cleaning the glass digitally was so much more effective than in real life. I’d done my best using alcohol and non-shedding cloths, but the pesky dust specks really showed up despite my best efforts. The Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop really came to the fore to remove them. Though not perfect, I think as a bit of amateur product photography I can get away with it šŸ˜‰

All that’s left to do is the rest of my glasses!

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Martha Stewart Craft Paints on Ceramic/Glass

I had an ‘interesting’ day yesterday at the fantastic Coleman’s Craft Warehouse Big Demo Day. I was billed to do a make and take with the Martha Stewart Craft Paints on Ceramics, but there was an unexpected influx of young children which resulted in me being asked to lead a children’s party next week! (I declined!)

That said, I’d done plenty of preparation for the make and take and here are pics of my samples. The plates are technique samplers and the text is written with a porcelain marker. All of the samples were baked, and are dishwasher safe – I actually tested this claim before I agreed to promote the paints, and I can absolutely say it does what it says it will do! The paints are more adherent than most acrylics I’ve used, and though water based, the box says not to mix with water – I presume this messes about with the resin technology that makes them multi-surface. You can thin the colour with the glaze product that is in the same range of products, which is how I managed to get the wood grain effect on one of the mugs using a brush. I would recommend applying the paint with a sponge onto non-porous surfaces and you can use a heat gun to make a layer workable, although it is not as stable as if left for an hour or so to dry between coats. The frosted glass effect paint is also applied with a sponge and is one of the most user-friendly frostings I’ve ever come across.

The paint itself is a creamy consistency, dabs on well and has good opacity. It comes in four varieties – a Satin Finish which seems more matte to me, a pearlescent – which is striking, a glitter – which is more of a coloured glitter translucent glaze, and a high gloss. The colour range available is comprehensive and there are various special effect bottles that I haven’t had the opportunity to play with.

I’m particularly impressed with the range of accompanying accessories, including the fine applicator tip that attaches to the bottle (see the high gloss black outlining) and the sponge dabber tips that do the same. Ms Stewart has also included an empty bottle in the pack which is for rinsing out the caps when done with clean water. Clean up is easy – as long as you do it while the paint is still damp. The paint by its nature sticks firmly and to any surface. I found that the stencils retained paint even after cleaning quickly after use, but any dried paint didn’t shift with subsequent applications.

To be honest, I’d probably use other acrylics for painting porous surfaces, but I’d certainly recommend these craft paints for any non-porous surface.

Glass Painting on Mirror

This is my first attempt at applying lead strip to glass and then painting to give the stained glass effect. The design was freestyle trial and error. The mirror is 20x20cm (8x8in) square. Of course, photographing a mirror without appearing in it turns out to be quite tricky – I think I will have another go in better light. In the meantime, I’m sure you get the idea! I’d love to have some feedback on this – what do you think? And if you’d be so kind as to complete the poll too (no obligation to purchase btw)? Continue reading