BTS [Behind the Scenes]: Product Prep

Sometimes I go quiet on here… Regular readers will know that I’m always up to something (holidays are infrequent), and often can’t share my makes until after a ‘press embargo’ has been lifted. Happily, Hochanda seem to be less restrictive than a certain other channel I’ve done work for: keep your eyes peeled for sneaky peeks at the end of the month. Oh, and in passing, if you haven’t found the TV menu option above, that’s where you will find the latest information I have as to when I’m next on your screens.

Back to the point – I thought it would be fun to share a photo of my studio workspace as it appears right now. I’m in the middle of learning new products and prepping samples from which my show demonstrations will be developed. Whoever said that men can’t multi-task? I must be an exception as there are three different projects on the go at the moment – as I am waiting for one to dry, I’m working on the others.

img_7366

Don’t worry about the naff lighting – that’s done in Photoshop so that I can hide the piles of stuff still waiting for their permanent home. So there’s glass paint, acrylic paint, crackle medium, varnishes, acrylic pieces, MDF pieces, a brayer, brushes and sponges, frost effect paint, Posca pens, scissors, a screwdriver and Gorilla glue, various polymer stamps, archival ink and not nearly enough tea. It does however support the adage that men typically do not clear up after themselves… But by tea time tomorrow, all has to be tidied away for another night of crafting with my studio guests.

Continue reading

Mixed Media Plaster Panel

Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.

Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.

img_3169

Continue reading

Altered Art: Create in 3D

create

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 😉

Continue reading

THCC103: Day 6

It was wrap up day on Creative Chemistry 103 some time over the weekend, and I finally got to watch the final video from Tim Holtz. The challenge was to use some of the techniques we’d covered during the week on a different surface. I had bought some of the District Market French Burlap Panels in a sale some time ago, and decided these would be perfect to decorate up for the occasion.

Burlap Panels

So this is what happens after applying texture paste, embossing powder, Distress Crayons, Distress Stains, clear matte texture paste, stencils, water, baby wipes, gesso, matte multi medium, Distress Reinkers, Distress Glaze and a whole lot of patience and drying time! I love the texture play between the burlap and the scroll work, opacity versus transparency and still amazed at the versatility of the Distress Crayons.

Continue reading

THCC103: Day 5

alcohol ink tags

The last ‘proper’ day of the Creative Chemistry 103, and we were taught several techniques with alcohol inks on Yupo. For those not in the know, alcohol inks are dyes with, well, alcohol as the solvent – makes for fast drying heady crafting! And Yupo is a smooth plastic sheet of polypropylene suitable for all media, but particularly suited to media that play nicer when on non-porous surfaces. Lots of splatting, buffing, stamping, painting and puffing went into these. Great fun!

Continue reading

THCC103: Day 4

I got sidetracked today… instead of getting on with my Creative Chemistry 103 Distress Crayon homework, I decided, like you do, to install a slow sand filter to deal with the Studio’s grey water. Admittedly, occasionally the grey water is more of a pinky purple, but you know what I mean. Up to now, I’ve had a caravan waste water carrier to catch artistic rinsings. Inevitably, I forget to empty it and an interesting smell announces that it is overflowing. I think a video popped up on my Facebook feed which sparked curiosity, then research, and then a quick trip to Wickes. £12 and couple of hours later, I have a passable way of dealing with my rinsings. They are filtered before draining into my irrigation reservoir, ready for watering the garden. A quick inoculation with ‘good’ pond bacteria followed, which should jump start the biofilm that apparently forms on the sand particles and keeps the nasty niffs down. No more hefting 40 litres of stinking sludge up the garden to the drain 🙂

Distress Crayon techniquesEventually I did get back into the Studio, and completed Day 4’s homework. More techniques with Distress Crayons which very artfully demonstrate why they are so, so different to other waxy water soluble crayons. And there’s more kits to come – three is not enough!

Continue reading

Art Journal Page: Illuminating Letters

illuminated letter

The next art journal session in The Studio is on Monday, and this morning I’m prepping my samples. We’re going to attempt to create an illuminated letter. I’ve put together instructions for a basic Celtic arched lettering, but this is my take on a more Gothic Celtic style of illuminated lettering.

Continue reading