As always, a quiet blog usually means frenetic activity in The Studio. The start of this month has been no different, with not two, but three live hours of craft TV demos to prepare for. And, as usual, there was a press embargo on sharing the products, or the samples, until the live shows aired.
So, without further ado, here are my samples for the Hochanda shows that aired on 18th August 2017. Please let me know if you’d like fuller instructions on how to make any of these, I’ll see what I can do. Later this week, I’ll also do a review of the new That’s Crafty! Multi Surface paints based on what I learnt making the samples.
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 have 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:
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 😉
I have two new toys essential machines arriving at some point before the end of the year – and I need to make room for them. This means clearing out some of the ‘might be useful for something’ items, and some of the many samples I’ve made that are lying around from my time on various design teams. Consequently, two things are now happening: visitors to the studio are getting to take away freebies, and I have started to do the ‘something useful’ to other items.
This is a makeover of a wooden trinket box to make it look more like a rusty riveted trunk. Couple of nifty techniques I developed for this altered art – for the ‘sheet’ edges, I hammered the edge of an acrylic sheet at an angle to dent the wood and then shaded with paint. The rivets are Mark Richards Metal Stickers – the silver nailheads – which I have dented in the middle with an embossing tool before painting and gluing in place. The stickers are available from Woodware stockists.
I’ve been fascinated with ‘proper’ graffiti since a child – I love the colour, the vibrancy, the illegality of the hobby and the absolute control of the medium and the application. I’ve also owned a ‘how-to’ book for a number of years, well-thumbed but never used. That all changed when I made a journal from corrugated cardboard and once I’d started tearing off the surface layer, the idea developed to make faux rusty corrugated iron complete with requisite graffiti. I’ve tried different styles and colouring methods, starting with Sharpie pens, trying an image transfer, then Pitt Artist Pens. Then I had a sudden thought of how to replicate the aerosol can at this small scale – I got out my LetraJet air brush attachment for my Promarkers and thus smooth blends appeared. Lots of Posca pen use as well to finish things off.
On a recent trip to Norfolk, I was lucky enough to get to a very reputable cigar and pipe shop and bought my first Meerschaum pipe. For those not in the know, these are carved from a white mineral, and naturally colour as they bake with successive smokes. They’re not cheap, and to keep them safe, they come in bespoke cases. They’re particularly handy for smoking outdoors as they don’t burn through like wooden ones can when wind keeps the embers constantly alight. Imagine then my horror when on first smoke there was a sudden crack noise, and the bowl left the stem.
It seems that every now and then, there are flaws in the mineral that aren’t obvious, and being quite thin walled, the pipe just gave out. The dealer replaced it with absolutely no fuss and I’m pleased to say the replacement pipe is giving me a great deal of pleasure as I have my downtime.
Long story cut short – I now had a pipe case with no pipe. It was too nice to throw away, but not easy to find another use for. I remember seeing Magritte’s ‘Treachery of Images’ and loving the surrealist observation decided to make my homage. Thanks to a friend who is considerably more knowledgeable about French than I am, I was able to add my own tagline: ‘This is not a pipe either’. I plan to send the canvas to the great guys who dealt with me so helpfully, and hope they (and their customers) enjoy the joke.
[Acrylic on canvas, Liquid Pearls Onyx, found object. 20cm x 20cm]
It’s taken two practice runs, but I think I now have book folding sussed. This is my own design, and I wanted to create the banner space below the main word to complete the sentiment. I’m also going to do a word cloud image using the chapters and verses that are applicable to the saying, which will go on the inside covers. Yet another item to price up and pop on my stall at the Church Fayre at the end of November!
UPDATE: I’ve added the word cloud image, based on a photo of K2. Here’s the finished piece – I think the darker background makes the rest zing and pulls it all together: