Friday, July 24, 2009

We 3 Art Day: beeswax

Wednesday was a play day for Dana, Kathy, and me. We were going to work with beeswax and I was really excited to learn about it. I knew it wouldn't be hard, but I don't have that cool little iron that Kathy bought when she started playing in beeswax, so I felt I probably wouldn't be able to make beeswax art without it.

I'm not sure which is harder, hosting and getting ready for the gals, or packing everything and carting it to the host's house. Because I had so many supplies I was bringing, I had to rearrange all the items in Sally's car trunk in order to get all my "stuff" in it.

Of course I brought way too much stuff, but I wanted to be prepared. Along with Kathy's anniversary swap skinny pages, I took the hostess gift quiltie I made for her, which I finally finished just in time, along with my crock pot, a canvas to make a gift with, and my "art dress" (aka nightgown). I also packed some veggies from my garden.

The tackle box is full of oil paints, which we may or may not experiment with. Was I forgetting anything? I certainly hoped not!

Thankfully Dana only brought one tote, so with little effort we were on our way.
Dana wanted to stop for coffee, so we stopped in Yoder, KS, an Amish town. The restaurant was full of wonderful goodies, including some of the largest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen.

While Dana stood in line for coffee and cinnamon rolls, I began taking photos of the lovely handmade quilts that graced the walls of the restaurant. Then the unthinkable happened! My camera batteries died. I was mortified, and the restaurant didn't sell batteries. I sure hoped I could get some in Hutchinson.

Thankfully, Kathy had a charger, and I was able to put my batteries on charge. In the meantime, Kathy let me shoot photos with her camera. She generously sent these to me late last night, so I could post them, too.
I had wanted to take a photo of us unloading our supplies, but Dana brought her things in and put them where I was going to sit!! Too funny. As you can see, Kathy has the table all ready to go, with an example of what we will begin with, and all the goodies we need to create it. Her skillet is plugged in and so is her little clover iron. As soon as Dana moves her things, we'll be ready to go.

So it was time for me to unload everything I brought, including my container of buttons and trinkets that I didn't even touch!! So much for being too prepared.

After we were settled in, Kathy showed us what we would be making and showed the example. She also had about seven reference books with beeswax instructions for us to use, if we needed them. Later, she referred to them often. She provided us each with a sheet of images, some lovely printed tissue paper, mica pieces, clear "pebbles," lace, trinkets, and a 5 X 7 canvas.

She decided she didn't like the lace she had put on hers, so was showing us how easy it was to remove it using a heat tool.

She explained the process while our beeswax was melting. The cubes in the cups are candle dye, very concentrated blocks of colored wax.

After removing the lace, Kathy used her iron to smooth the edges.

The first thing we had to do was cut our images. Here Dana is doing just that.

Kathy is smoothing her beeswax and showing us how to use the little clover iron.

Although it looks simple, I had trouble keeping the iron flat. Note how Kathy has the iron parallel to and flat against the canvas. I had a tendency to dig it into the canvas at an angle until Kathy saw what I was doing wrong.

Dana (in the back of the photo) was already attaching her tissue, but I wanted some extra color on my canvas, so I laid down a sheet of paper I had colored earlier with acrylic paint. Kathy was worried that it wouldn't stick to the beeswax, and sadly she was right. After I put my tissue down, it wouldn't stick properly. The really nice thing about it was, I was able to remove the tissue with ease. Lesson learned: acrylic paint and beeswax don't mix, even though one of Kathy's books said you could use it.

I used Kathy's iron to drip some colored beeswax onto the canvas from a candle I brought with me. I then attached the tissue. Isn't it lovely?

Kathy thought we should do a "dry run" before attaching anything, so I played around with my images until I found the position I liked.
Dana used crayons to color some of the images on the sheet, and added lace to her spread. Her spread is coming along nicely, although her little Eiffel tower is buried under beeswax at the moment.

Kathy showed her how to use the iron to bring out some of the shine of the Eiffel tower charm.
Now Dana's piece is coming along nicely!

By now I'm finished with my canvas and my camera batteries are recharged. As I put my batteries in and test my camera, Dana has gotten some of my oil paint and is experimenting with it and stamping.

This is my finished piece. In case you can't tell, I have a piece of mica over the top building, and a tiny key is positioned so it looks like it is in the lady's hand. That was probably the hardest part of the entire piece.

While Dana is finishing her piece, I worked on a gift for a friend who loves anything western, rocking horses, and (piano) music. The piece came together very easily. I started with a page from a dictionary that I had picked out to match the piece, then added dress pattern tissue. Next came the Paper Whimsey image, which I wished had been on lighter weight paper, since it really didn't want to lay flat like the other papers. Kathy cut the rocking horse using a die and some vintage music I brought. Next I added some blue crayon to give the piece a bit of color. Finally came the boots and hat which were gifted me by a friend in FL.

Here is a scan of the finished piece. I'm afraid it isn't any better than the photo.

Dana is now nearly finished with her canvas. Just below my mug is the piece of painted paper I removed from the first piece I made. I'll find a way to use it one of these days.

Now that Dana has finished, it's time to eat. Not sure why the fridge door was open, but I closed it after I snapped the photo of Kathy and Dana huddled together making lunch.

Dana took a stroll around Kathy's kitchen and admired all her chickens, hens, roosters that she has collected over the years.

After lunch, it was time to bind our Anniversary books. Kathy got out her Zutter and began a few dry runs.

Dana watches as Kathy punches some practice holes.

The covers are supposed to be a bit larger than the pages, but none of ours are, so Kathy is reading the instructions.

After a few false starts, we are on our way to binding our books. Unfortunately, the largest rings that Kathy has are 3/4" and they are way too small for my book (and the revised covers I made for it). Although I bound it, I am hoping to get some larger rings and rebind it soon. It doesn't stay closed, and the pages don't turn well. Dana used one of the gal's very dimensional swap entry for her cover, so hers fit fairly well. She was really pleased with hers and another book she bound.

At this point, I quit taking photos, but we sat around and looked at each others' art. Dana and I didn't leave till nearly 8 pm. It was a long, full, fun filled day.
On the way home, we ran into a shredded truck tire on the road. Dana saw it as potential art, so we stopped, and I took the opportunity to shoot a few shots for Silent Sunday.

5 thoughtful remarks:

Findings Art by Donna said...

"WOW" what a day. The wax is very interesting!! I always wondered how it was done. Looks like you had an exciting day. :) Nice ART.

Dianne said...

looks like you had a wonderful time! beeswax is something I've never tried but the results of your experiments are really lovely!

thank you so much for your kind words on my blog...your friendship & encouragement mean a lot to me...

hugs, Dianne

Sharon K. Shubert said...

You're always having fun with your art! I enjoy your picture by picture depiction of your creative days. :) Thanks for coming by my blog today!


Debrina said...

Ooooo I'm so envious! I LOVE play days and yours looked like such a cool day. The waxed images looked fantastic!

Kim said...

The waxing date looks like ti was fun,LOL! Wonderful to see the pieces as they evolve too!