Monday, December 22, 2008

My final handmade gift is finished!

When things go wrong, they go really wrong. Faced with a deadline, I don't do my best work. I got the idea I wanted to make an assemblage using wrapped wire (yea, me wrapping wire with my arthritis) and paper castings. I had never made toilet paper castings before, and was quite pleased when the leaves came out actually looking like leaves.

The plan was to make a wire wrapped tree that I could lay on a substrate and attach paper cast leaves to. By the leaves, I planned to add some of the memorable things that define the friends I was making this gift for. However, as you can see by the really dark photo (even Photoshop couldn't help this one!), this tree was never going to lay flat enough for what I wanted to do. Additionally, the tree was too long for the substrate I planned to use. What is the old adage about measuring twice and cutting once? OK, moving right along,

Dana kept telling me how much she liked the spread I created in Cris's friendship book and I respect Dana's art savvy. Faced with a real deadline, I thought I would try the same layout again, only on a more substantial substrate. The substrate is the back of my Seven Continents Swap tip-in book that fell apart awhile back. I figured I'd get some use out of it, since it was no help holding my tip-ins.

I began by dry brushing gesso on the book cover, then quickly wiping even more off with a dry paper towel. Still not liking the look, I spritzed the dried gesso with water, which ran and made things look even worse. Wow, I'm getting off to a great start, huh?

When I finally had the background looking decent again, I added some of my handmade paper, along with bamboo leaves and dried red leaves to the piece.
After I took the photo, I realized I hadn't added the hanger, so I did that and scanned the piece. The reason the color looks so wrong is because I didn't hold the assemblage down against the scanner's glass. I just placed a piece of printer paper over the back of it so I didn't damage the delicate natural elements of the piece.

Originally, I considered adding a final embellishment to one side of the wire, then chose to leave it plain.

I'm calling it "Nature" and I'm quite pleased with the end product. It isn't personal or anywhere near what I first considered, but will hopefully appeal to the friends I made it for.

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