Decor Concrete Cast Bowl

One of the great things about my job is that I get to play with new products. Yesterday I had a go with a sample of coarse Decor Concrete from Pentart. It resembles sand when dry, and once the bonding agent is mixed in it moves like the magic sand stuff you can get in toy shops. It needs to be packed in a mould, and doesn’t mould round something such as a balloon as it doesn’t particularly stick to itself. A quick whizz in the microwave sets the bonding agent, and once it’s cooled, it can be removed from the mould. It becomes waterproof when baked at 200°C for five minutes. There is quite a lot of weight to the finished objects, and I’m amazed at how resilient the thin edges are. The finished surface looks like a light sandstone.

bowl360° product shots are so much easier now I have a foldio360 to fit in my Foldio 2 photo booth. They still have some kinks to work out (such as coordinating with DSLR remotely), but so far, so good! All I need to do now is practice getting items in the middle of the turntable…
img_7365This disc was moulded in the inside of a finished roll of tape, and then imprinted with a stamp image [That’s Crafty! ‘Beck’] and filled after baking with a water-based black outliner paste. I also added the metallic gold to the edge. Both items required a felt base to be added to avoid scratching any surface they were placed on.

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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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Summer of Creative Chemistry: Week 2

I’ve snatched some ‘me’ time in the studio today and revisited some of the lessons on distress stains and markers from Creative Chemistry 101 – a staggering four years ago! It’s part of the Summer of Creative Chemistry from onlinecardclasses.com, in the lead up to the brand new Creative Chemistry 103 from Tim Holtz. These are three tags created for Week 2.

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Art Journal Page: The Course of Civilisation

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More art journaling! This layout started out with a pale watercolour effect, which I suspect (though don’t remember) is actually bleed through from spray inks I’d used on either side. I decided to keep it as it was, so to stabilise it, I did a quick layer of DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal it. Over the top went some napkin decoupage to maintain the water colour effect, added and sealed with the same matte medium. A bit of Distress Ink around the sides to tone down the edges, and then I drew the text on with ProMarkers. This seemed a good idea at the time, as I could colour match the ink to the roses – but of course acrylic based paints/mediums break down with alcohol. I solved the nib clogging issue as a result of this by running it out on scrap paper between words, and going over each letter twice to get the colour. Next time I’m going to try out my Pitt pens instead. I sealed everything with some DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish, being careful to not over-brush where the distress ink was added.

I’d like to have planned the text justification a little more –  but then that’s what art journals are for: to experiment in, and learn from the experimentation.

 

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Art Journal Pages & Tangles

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I’m prepping for a presentation on Tuesday (hopefully more news on this later) and have been working on a couple of art journal layouts. I thought I’d play a little more with polystyrene printing and zentangling/Florabunda (above) and elements of stencil and pen work stippling (below). Pretty pleased with the colour choices and how each page turned out.

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As well as the journal pages, I’ve also spent some time doing some tangles to fit my lokta paper wallet. I remember how therapeutic tangling can be! Each tile can be done in around 20 minutes (they’re 2 inches square), and quicker if I use a thicker pen 😉

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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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