Commission: Baku 2016

img_7362For the last two days, I’ve been working with my mum to complete her commission for a piece of artwork featuring the skyline of Baku, Azerbaijan. Mum knew what buildings she would like to include, and provided the primed canvas (roughly 90cm wide) and a sketch of the layout. The first step was to tweak the sketch a little to improve the flow around the picture.

That done, we settled on trying a bas relief technique since she had no preconceptions of a finished piece. Thus started a mammoth 5 hour session cutting, pasting and carving paper clay, finishing at 10:30pm at night in an effort to allow drying time overnight. Unfortunately, humidity prevented that and we had a morning’s hiatus as it dried in the sun. Uneven drying left some pieces lifting, so these were promptly glued back down with gesso.

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Next was the decision as to whether to leave it white-on-white, or to add colour. Well, we went with the colour option, and much spraying with DecoArt Media Shimmer Misters in white and turquoise, with a tiniest spritz of DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan. Add water to blend and water spot, dab off with kitchen towel and repeat. Drying brushing with gesso restored the contrast between the buildings and the background. Embellishment with Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Flakes, Stardust Stickles and DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish completed the picture. Then I decided a little more shimmer was needed on the sea, so added a wash of Perfect Pearls Perfect Pearl.

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Altered Art: Create in 3D

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As a follow up art piece to my ‘Dream’, I thought I would add another 3D word to my studio – this time, Create. The letters are again paper mâché, all undercoated with two layers of gesso and then decorated. I wanted this assemblage to reflect all the creative pursuits that take place in various forms in The Studio, both by me and my studio guests. Sculpture didn’t quite make it, but then I can always say the whole thing is sculpture 😉

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Work Experience: Wedding Favours

IMG_7228Hi, my name is Harry and I am finishing a week’s work experience at Neil’s Studio. My commission was to design, make and blog 100 wedding favours. The wedding theme was liquorice allsorts. These favours are going to be collected by my client this afternoon and then used at her wedding in the summer. I was told to narrow down 10-15 initial ideas to three and then prototype and present them to my client on Tuesday evening. She chose her preferred favour and then was to return to the Studio in three days time to collect them. During that time, I had to make all hundred and blog about them.

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Art Journal Page: Excellence

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Next month’s art journal session at The Studio (Mon 4th April, 7:30pm) is all about pattern development. We’ll be carving our own stamps from Speedball Speedy-Carve before stamping with paint or ink to create our personal and unique designs on our pages. I’ve taken three of my tangle pattern designs to make my stamps: Curly Braces Too, Flared and Circo. And in the process I discovered a new way of using tangle patterns: layering them. Something to explore further in drawn work I think!

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Stickles Spinner

Ever had the problem of Stickles glitter glue, or Liquid Pearls, getting to the last dregs? You know there is more in the bottle, but even the hardest wrist flick doesn’t get it down to the nozzle. I have – and being a crafter and ridiculously frugal, I thought of a solution. And as a crafter, I’ve spent out more money than I save on getting the right tool for the job! Introducing the Stickles Spinner Mk I:

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A Perfectly Formed Ambigram

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Ever since Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons introduced me to ambigrams, I’ve been fascinated by the typography involved. An ambigram for the uninitiated is a typographical design or art form that may be read as words as presented, or from another orientation (in this case, upside down). Combining that fascination with a desire to make a more personal and distinctive logo, I started sketching last night. This afternoon, I have honed my first ever ambigram in Illustrator, and I think it’s turned out alright. I’ll not be rushing to do another in a hurry as it made my brain ache, but that might just be the full sinuses and leaning forward. And though personal, I’m not sure that the word is so distinctive unless you knew what was there to see… what do you think?

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Perfect Paper Pockets [Wanderlust Week 6]

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I’m catching up on my Wanderlust course, and in week 6, we were introduced to origami wallets to hold small journal cards/zentangle cards in. To be honest, I didn’t like the style taught as it was open on all sides. So I dug around in Pinterest, and Google and developed this version. On the product list for the lesson was ‘lokta paper’ – which is quite fibrous, hardwearing and handmade in Nepal. So I searched for that too! I eventually found this wonderful vintage style paper that, to me, seems to be a cross between old leather and hand rolled tobacco leaves. The shop that sells it (PaperPod) was one flooded in York this winter, but still managed to get my order out to me in good time – fantastic since the shop is still drying out and all the (dry!) stock must be somewhere else.

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I got a bit carried away and worked out all the sizes for my various journaling cards. All I need now is to monogram the fronts, label the bands, and get journaling! Note that the brown colour is a dye and moves about when wetted… I may seal it with a suitable varnish, or just let it do it’s thing as it is handled.

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