Sunday, 9 March 2014

Mermaid sculpture - intended for front porch of our house.

This has been a very long project, sculpting a mermaid to sit on a brick "shelf" at the side of the arch of the porch. I had intended to make one for either side but she has taken so long I am inclined to change to making something tiny next time! Exquisite yet indeterminate  porcelain things, I think, hanging from almost invisible wires... and very very very small.

Something like this (made years ago)

Despite careful measurements this mermaid also seems too big, but I am hoping that she will shrink by at least the 10% she is supposed to. I  had a cardboard template of the right angle of the wall and "shelf" where she is to fit, and also a template of the base, but She could have outgrown them.
Her face is deliberately a bit fish eyed: I had to be stopped from adding a fish tail hanging out of her mouth but she is much more sinister than I intended.
She still needs the rest of her tail which is being constructed separately as it is too big for the kiln otherwise.

Technical info - she is made of crank, which is a strong and gritty clay suitable for outdoor use and I built her up from the thighs upwards, closing the head last of all.
I decided on hair to cover her breasts as the shells were just incredibly naff,

Hair is inclined to fall off - I know this from bitter experience, as I have various balding figures - so the hair was really wet and moulded into the figure. 

 she his holding seaweed in her hands which are designed to hold a bowl (of ivy?) so there is a drainage hole there, 

and she has been made as thin and hollow as possible so she should fire OK. 

I incised seaweed patterns and scales on the tail

For the tail, I made a template to fit on the end of the existing tail with some seaweedy bits to hide the join (that is what the bowl of ivy could also be for, to flow over the join like "foam"). There is a projecting tube to fit the tail piece into the existing sculpture, and the tail has been rolled out in clay then curved into shape.
I will add pictures of the tail piece next time I go to my pottery session. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday, 18 November 2013

More art journalling

More art journal backgrounds.

My son has an old CraftROBO he used for vinyl cutting and the Silhouette templates are compatible so I have been playing with the machine for producing interesting backgrounds with the die-cuts I produced.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Revisiting an art journal

Nothing has appeared in this one since the London riots in 2011. We were caught up crossing London West to East  and got stuck in the back of a block of flats in Clapham, while a group of hooded boys drew nearer and nearer to our car until we managed to make a u turn and drive like mad. We had passed police vans by Clapham Common just before that - I still don't know if they were working up to something or hiding! We saw crowds of people gathering all the way through London and our son had rung our mobile while we were trying to get out of the flats in Clapham and became very agitated but we had not fully understood what was happening until we got to our daughter's house in East Dulwich. Then we watched the news while rioters worked their way up Lordship Lane.

However ... now my MA is complete I have rediscovered pleasure in art as well as writing and have returned to art journalling - words and pictures!

My latest is a sort of found poem from a book about  Mazzini , 1805-1872 - the cover has gone as I have obviously cannibalised it  for book art, but the final chapter was called Literary Criticism so I used that as a source for this spread, called The Critic...

Very apt as I have worked hard on developing creative and critical skills over the last year.

I worked with positive and negative shapes, with stencils, and repeated squares plus jigsaw pieces (actual and stencilled) - and a label with a Mary Cassat painting that I love.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate - for easy monopriinting

This is a new technique I found through an swap.

The plate has a strange feel, with lots of give. It was quite expensive but it can be re-used again and again, after cleaning with water or a baby-wipe. You can't use anything sharp on it to make marks as this could damage the surface but you can use blunt tools, like the end  of a paint brush for mark making.

I put dabs of coloured acrylic on the plate and rolled it with a brayer; I added various shapes like sequin waste and empty frames etc. I especially like the effects created by using metallic acrylics. I often printed for a second time over the original print to create more layering.

The prints were from a 6" x 6" plate. They have been cut down to create 3.5" x 2.5" cards so I have chosen the most interesting rectangles.

There is a lot of scope with this! These prints would make good backgrounds but I shall be experimenting so watch this space!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

More lino cutting...

some test prints...

I decided I hated the cross hatching on the iris so chopped it away. But then I abandoned it as it was such an unclear image and I went with the marigold below instead.
I am much happier with this one as it is cleaner and clearer.

There are going to be an awful lot of people receiving  birthday cards with irises or marigolds on though!

I have also found that painting or colouring the iris prints creates some interesting effects and redeems the lino block to some extent.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

more using a Cuttlebug as a printing press - lino cutting

I have not done any printing for ages,mainly because I have been doing my MA and the dissertation - which is now finished at last.

This time I have been making lino cuts for an swap, Botanical Wonders, where 9 block prints, 5" x 7" have to be sent in.

Some time ago I carved this one and I am inordinately fond of it! I like the positive and negative elements - I think the small fish were cut out paper fish added to the block...

This was a drawing from some time ago I was going to use for an etched acrylic sheet, so I started with this 

but altered it to this, 

to straighten the edge and add more detail to the half carved leaf and to the acorn cups

Next I tried an iris I found in a book of old botanical drawings

and now wish I had maybe stuck to this carving for the flower but I decided it was confusing so 

I did this one and then these

and I am wondering whether to cut out most of the flower away for white space now...

The printing was done using the Cuttlebug machine as a press: only the black one is done with water based printing ink and a roller - as I couldn't remember where I put them, doh. Previously I used stamp pads rubbed over the surface and then printed. Cheap ones are hopeless as they make a bitty print - see second iris. The best are Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads (second print of brown leaves and green iris) - unlikely but they are really effective and give a nice uniform colour too.