Monday, August 17, 2009

Fun, frustration, and power tools

In a way, it's too bad I picked Sunday to have a "Silent" post because this is what I did art wise on Saturday. Since I have no completed art to show, I'll just have to show the pieces and elements I made on my way to several completed projects. The first thing I did Saturday after showering and making fresh coffee, was to dye a few pages using yesterday's coffee. They didn't darken as much as some I've dyed this past week. Just goes to show how some pages take color better than others.


Here are the projects I hoped to work on. I started by spreading them out for a "photo op." I plugged in the crock pot which holds beeswax and decided to document the day, since I knew I wouldn't have a completed "anything" to show for my day.

From left: materials and tools to be used in beeswax and polymer clay, materials for a shadowbox, and my latest AB, which will be part of a RR with Kathy and Dana.

Another view of the supplies and materials I planned to work with.


I began by removing the book and box so I would have more room on my work space. I grabbed a hunk of copper polymer clay and went to town.


Cripes! This stuff just crumbled apart when I tried to condition it. I wouldn't be using my pasta machine for this clay. I didn't want to have to pick out all those slivers from under the rollers!


After nearly twenty minutes, this small piece was ready to be added to some black clay. I still had the rest of the clay to condition, but I had to give my hands and wrists a rest.


Finally, after nearly 45 minutes, this clay was starting to condition and the piece was beginning to come together. Still, I kneaded more to be sure it was well conditioned.

Deciding to not use my pasta machine, I laid the clay out for rolling. It now looked like a heart.


Going "low tech," I used paint sticks and PVC pipe. The sticks were for keeping the thickness consistent, the pipe for smoothing the clay.


Ever so often, I laid the rubber stamp I borrowed from Dana on top of the clay. When I was sure it would fit, I brushed it with copper and bronze mica powders so it wouldn't stick to the clay.


After trimming, I laid it out for positioning purposes on one of three blocks of wood that I had cut earlier in the day with my mitre saw.

Next I laid down some white PVA glue (Elmers in this case) which will help adhere the clay to the wood once I begin the assembly process.

I had enough clay left over for another smaller fragment and a bead. They went into my toaster oven, but I won't bake them till I have a full oven.

Being the anal person I am, I gathered all my clay items and returned them to their proper place. Then I checked on my beeswax, which was finally melted. It's a good thing there wasn't much wax in the crock pot, or it might have never melted.

Since I didn't have one of those cute mini irons that Kathy spoiled us with when we worked with beeswax at her place last month, I opened my new heat tool. Now I have one for both craft rooms.

I first laid beeswax down on the wood, then added one of the papers I dyed earlier that day, then added a layer of dressmaker pattern (tissue). This piece was finished, since I'm not sure what focal image I will use.

The second block of wood was created basically the same, except this time I added a scrap of dictionary page before I added the dressmaker tissue. This piece was also finished. I had a lot of trouble adhering the paper to the wood, and I'm not sure if I were to check on these today if the papers would still be stuck to the wood. I have to find a good way to apply these papers to blocks of wood, because beeswax doesn't seem to want to work. If anyone has any advice, I could sure use it.

It was getting late in the day, and the two projects that were supposed to go quickly had taken nearly four hours. If I did nothing else on Saturday, I had to prep the book for use in our RR, which I needed for Tuesday's monthly "We 3 Art" play day. After making sure I had everything out of the book (I store images together for future use),

I sanded the cover enough to remove the gloss.

You can see from the previoulsy made indentations that the gloss has been knocked off enough to accept gesso.

I no longer had time to work on my shadowbox, so packed it away for another day. After cleaning up my workspace (have I mentioned I'm anal?), I headed upstairs to my paint studio.

I glued a substrate using UHU Glue Stic, then adhered some wrapping paper smoothing it down with the bottom of my glue stick.

What in the world was I thinking? Instead of cutting a piece from the roll, I dove in and adhered the paper in place while it was still on the roll. Not a good idea, but after several cuts, I finally managed to get it trimmed properly.

The nearly final thing I did on Saturday was cover the RR book with a good coat of gesso, and dry brush the new collage I would work on in the future.

I had planned to call it quits after gessoing, but as I was cleaning my craft table, I saw this security envelope I had brought to the room to paint. No time like the present. Deal with it, rather than move it around is my motto, so I painted it using an antique gold fluid acrylic. I now had a plan for its use.

As you can see, I didn't finish a single thing on Saturday, or have a whole lot to show for my time and efforts, but I started a whole bunch of different projects which will make the assembly process go so much more quickly when I know what direction I want to take these disparate pieces.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Findings Art by Donna said...

You are one super busy ART lady. :)

Debrina said...

Hello Bluebeard's mom! Well, you have been a busy girl. I like the fact that you couldn't pass up on the envelope.... A possible art mail project???

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

When I read power tool in your subject line I started to sweat LOL
I think it's neat to have so many projects started....you are one step closer to finishing something that way!
Beeswax is so much fun to play with and the little clover iron is an excellent tool for it, a good item to buy with a coupon!

Dianne said...

wish I conscientiously picked up after myself the way you do...helps to be able to find stuff...your variety of projects is intriguing...beeswax, altered book, clay...i really like the spread for your "hand" AB! it's always fun to see what you've been up to!