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.
360° 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… This 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.
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!
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 🙂
Eventually 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!
I’ve snuck this creation in between finishing a commissioned art journal, and making the samples for tomorrow’s fabric printing/painting workshop. The Pick A Stick Challenge for the uninitiated is ten techniques or journal prompts pulled at random by one of the four coordinators of the challenge, and you must then create your page using those steps in the order in which they were pulled. This is what I came up with for June’s ten sticks 🙂
In my last post, I showed the start of my hand-bound art journal in response to Wanderlust Course Week 10. I promised some more pics of the inside pages… and here they are. The scrap pages allowed for some overlapping designs across spreads, and the different colour backgrounds inspired some of the colour choices.
I’ve had fun doing various different techniques and experiments, varying my style and choice of media – there is something about the informal scrappy pages that releases a more creative side than normal. Just two and a bit more signature bundles to go to complete this particular journal, but in the meantime, I have another two more formal ones on the go 🙂
I’ve taken the opportunity today to complete this month’s Pick A Stick Challenge. Ten steps, in order, mixing up the media and adding collage elements. There are more and more taking part in the challenge, and it’s the perfect way to journal when the artistic muse has wandered off.
As one Studio regular remarked last night: ‘you’re doing a lot of art journal pages recently’… She’d been away for a couple of months and hadn’t heard the news that I’m soon to be demonstrating on Hochanda TV channel. This week’s task is to pull together a supplies list for Sam (one of the channel’s buyers) so she can get some stock sorted and book me in for my first shows.
Last night, at The Studio’s monthly art journal session, we were carving our own stamps and developing patterns. I decided to do one too and carved the inverse of one of the stamps I’d previously done to demo the technique. Here’s the page that developed in between showing a first-timer how to build a background, and of course making the refreshments 😉