It’s been a little while since I posted anything art journal related, what with one thing and another. One thing being completing the Creative Chemistry 103 course – definitely worth the investment. Another being design and installation of a new sand filter for the studio so that I don’t have to empty a stinking waster container prompted only by the stink as it overflows. It’s a simple enough idea – grey water goes into a tank of sand and gravel, filters out the large particulates and then drains out to my irrigation sump ready for watering the garden. No more overflows!
Another another was the creation of a water feature which is just outside the studio. I’d gone to look at the self-contained fountains/water features at our local garden centre, and somewhat astounded by the price tags was asked ‘surely you can do something yourself?’. So with a bit of thought, a quick shopping trip on Amazon, a tube of mastic, and some terracotta pots, a plan came together. Throw in a watering can previously belonging to my grandfather and a personal, upcycled, repurposed water feature now trickles away in counterpoint to the gushing waterfall that has just been installed in a neighbour’s garden.
But, back to the point! It was raining today, so I got to work in my art journal with the intention of putting together the next art journal session samples ready for September. The theme is ‘pockets, flips and flaps’…
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!
Ok, I’m still not caught up… but this is Day 3’s exercises for Creative Chemistry 103 (CC103) led by The Professor (Tim Holtz). This particular class was centred on getting texture using the various collage mediums and texture pastes recently introduced to the Distress product line. I don’t have most of these, so substituted various DecoArt products instead and I reckon they do just as good a job!
It’s the first time I have used Distress Crayons, and I have to say I am impressed. Slightly softer than a gelato, the crayon blends beautifully under fingers and into other colours, and the reactivity with water is superb. Glad my spending overruled my scepticism and they were there to use!
I thought I’d catch up with a couple of days’ worth of classes today, but, alas, it wasn’t to be. I did however get Day 2 samples done – a few more well used techniques revisited, but a couple of new ones there too. And a note to self, in passing… Always test your mica containing sprays well away from other items in the studio, and clean them before putting them back in the box. That way, there is a fair chance the spray a) mists rather than spurts, and b) actually sprays.
A long time ago, I took an excellent online course led by Tim Holtz – Creative Chemistry 101. It explored the different inks and media and their chemistry so crafters would understand what would work with what and why. Well, CC102 came along, and I wasn’t quite so engaged. But engaged enough to sign up for CC103 when it was advertised earlier this year. The week-long classes are now on Day 3… but here’s my Day 1 samples. A couple of old techniques using new kit, but combinations of media that I wouldn’t necessarily have been reaching for together prior to the class, but definitely will be now.
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.