Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Drawing the horizon

I'm still plugging away, firing more and more glass strips.  I laid out all the ones I'd done so far this morning.

It's getting there, but not quite what I want yet.  I lined them all up a bit better and added the prints for the next sets of strips to the end and it began to look a bit more like it...

Laying the strips nice and straight rather than a bit haphazard made quite a difference; it's something I'm going to have to take into consideration when I'm fixing them all together.

(Apologies for the poor photographs, it's not easy to find the space to lay them all out, impossible to find somewhere with good lighting as well!)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Today's post is brought to you by the letter R

In June I will be taking part in the de-junk, re-junk! exhibition of art made from... junk, of course! The exhibition brings together a variety of work from Merseyside based artists and this year it is at the Willliamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead.

The exhibitors are busy making new signs for the exhibition and I have been allocated the letter 'r'. I have to make 2 'r's, one 'subtle' one, and one 'bright' one; there is not much time left so this weekend I decided I really needed to get on with them.

This morning I took my first r out of the kiln...

It is made from strips cut from a stack of old picture frame glass and I'm really rather pleased with the way it has come out; it was worth all the cleaning!  Glass has to be scrupulously clean when it goes into the kiln and using old glass which has been knocking around in someone's loft or garage for a while does mean an awful lot of cleaning.  Now I just need to figure out how I am going to attach it to a backing board...

So that's my 'subtle' r; this afternoon I made a start on my 'bright' r using plastic carrier bag strips.

It's a bit further on now but it will certainly be keeping me occupied for the next few evenings!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Something completely different...

Towards the end of April, as part of our course, the final year students will be creating a pop-up gallery/shop in Wrexham, and we are tasked with stocking it with lovely things at affordable prices.  Since the glass  pieces I have been working on are somewhat experimental I wasn't sure that they would be suitable (or finished!) so I have gone back to my first love, textiles, and combined it with my second love, printmaking.

I've used various scraps of trim and edgings, some vintage, some reclaimed and some just 'spare', to make a series of collagraph plates.  It's a great way to use pieces that are too small for much else, and even pieces that are falling apart; they can be 'repaired' when they are glued to the  plate.  All you need to remember when you're making the plates is that you can ignore the colour and just concentrate on the texture.

My idea was to create printed backgrounds from the trims onto which I could add 'real' pieces of trim.  I originally thought I would ink the plates in a brown colour to give that vintage feel, but I didn't really like the results, even the palest colour seemed to overpower the delicate pattern and texture.

So I decided to stick to blind embossing, which is a much quicker and cleaner process without the ink, better all round!  I've been having fun 'auditioning' buttons from my button tin and scraps of trim from my ribbon box and I have finally made some decisions and sewn a few on...  I'm struggling to decide which is my favourite.  What do you think?

The paper size for these prints is just under A5; I think the size works well with the scale of the elements.  I am wondering whether to do some A4 sized ones as well or whether the extra 'bits and pieces' needed to fill the space will make them look too cluttered.

When I'm embossing I nearly always have a few disasters where either the plate or the paper moves and the whole thing ends up crooked.  There's nothing really that can be done with those prints except tear them up, which is ideal for making cards.

I was so pleased with these cards that I made a couple more prints on scraps of paper just so I could make some extra for my Etsy shop; I'll be listing them just as soon as I get some decent photographs.

And if you're anywhere near Wrexham during the week 22nd to 26th April, do pop along to the People's Market to see what other lovely things we have on show.


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