Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beeswax Tapestry Workshop a Big Hit!

 With a broad assortment of decorative papers, solids and patterns, vintage ephemera, illustrations and photographs, along with a vast array of embellishment, i hosted the beeswax tapestry class in my dining room this past Sunday.
 Two enthusiastic students got right to work diving into the materials to gather things that "spoke" to them.  As they emerged from the piles - their plans developed.  For one - an homage of sorts to her father and his interests in books, architecture and art.  For the other, a gift for a friend who lives on a magnificent property on the coast of Maine.
 And i tried NOT to use birds in my tapestry - a sort of botanical frolic with butterflies and flowers.  But as you can see - one did sneak in.  But i should get extra credit for staying away from my typical robin's egg blue theme, choosing instead to stick with greens, yellow and orange!
 Working on 16" x 20" stretched canvases - i drew out a 2" grid to help the students with their placement.  I also created a bunch of templates in various sizes to help cut out their papers.
 Both ladies had some requests for additional papers and elements which i was happy to supply from my vast stash.  C. asked for something red - and i gave her a roll of two sided wrapping paper with stars on one side and boats and windmills on the other.  It could not have been more perfect ! She chose to create a band across the canvas with the stars.  She had fun adding  a few images of bathing beauties to evoke a fun summer time beach experience.
 Once all the papers and laid out the first coat of melted beeswax is painted on.
 Then a quilt iron is used to smooth the wax and give it a glossy shine, which we likened to Venetian Plaster.
 Here is my canvas all laid out  - "pre" beeswax and final embellishment.
Here you can see C.'s finished canvas with the addition of her chunky embellishments and oil pastel "grout" for the tapestry.  She chose a grey blue which worked perfectly with the blues in her piece.  The flash washes out the colour a bit - it was much more fabulous in person!
And here is mine. I tried a grey outline for my grid, which was interesting but too flat.  So i layered on some soft brown.  The results were quite pretty.
Here is J.'s almost done.
And the almost finished product minus the oil pastel outlines - which she chose to add later at home. Below is another shot without a flash.  She layered on some mesh fabric that creates texture without bulk.  All the elements she chose relate to her father's interests.  She gave it to him that night - and he loved it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beeswax Tapestry Workshop - Change of Venue

The Beeswax Tapestry class will be held this Sunday, June 19th in Novato, CA  - please contact me if you would like to sign up!  We'll spend time gathering papers and imagery to create your personal tapestry composition.  We'll create a grid on a large canvas being careful to balance the elements for weight and colour.  After a break for lunch we'll adhere the papers to the canvas and apply a coating of melted beeswax.  Finally we'll add three dimensional found objects.

This full day workshop is sure to provide you with all the skills you need to create many more personal collages to adorn you walls and give as gifts! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Advanced Altered Book Workshop...a whirlwind!

Yesterday's advanced altered book workshop at Liquid Marin, in San Rafael, CA was such a whirlwind that i forgot to take any pictures!  But here is a run down of what we did:
  1. created a text block in a vintage book
  2. painted, glazed and stamped three sheets of deli paper
  3. crinkled, folded and inked three sheets of paper to make cool backgrounds
  4. used color mists, from to create colorful splatters on vintage paper
  5. tried out walnut ink to add age and character to book pages
  6. created a faux licence plate with foam letters and metal duct tape
  7. created a copper leaf sticker with slug tape
  8. added metallic touches to a modern art image with gold or silver leaf
  9. added a tag to a book page with a slit and hidden pocket
  10. added an image of a door to a page, cut the opening and added mini bradd for door handles
  11. added an image of a window to a page, and created an opening to see beyond
  12. cut out an opening for a gate printed on transparency
  13. cut out a niche in the text block we glued at the start of the class
  14. created a pop up with a large star gazer lily flower printed on matte photo paper
  15. created a faux vintage photo from a modern glossy printed picture
phew - what a ride!  It was a three hour creative adrenaline rush!  I had fun and my students did too!  Hope to see you in the fall for more altered book classes!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Beeswax Tapestry Workshop

Please join me for an exciting new workshop at Liquid Marin, and create your own Beeswax Tapestry, Sunday, June 19th from 10 - 4.
This full day workshop includes creating your layout on a large format 16" by 20" canvas.  Next we'll select images, background papers and documents to create your grid.  You can incorporate personal papers and photos you bring along. Then you can layer on tissue paper and decorative napkins to create interest and depth.  A coat of melted beeswax seals in all this beautiful collage.  Next you add three dimensional elements and embellishment.  Finally black (or any colour) edging creates the final grid to seal your tapestry together.
Bring a brown bag lunch or visit one of the charming local eateries in downtown San Rafael.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

fun with alcohol ink

I had another play date on Sunday with two friends.  We spent the day experimenting with Ranger Industries Alcohol ink - known as Adirondak ink. The pice above is is a transparency.
If you have never used them - they come in packages of three and are sold at places like Michaels.
I first learned about them when i took a class with Tim Holtz.  He showed us how to use the rubber stamp type handle to hold a piece of felt, how to apply the ink and "pounce" it on paper.
The blending solution is used to thin or help move the colour around.  They say plain old rubbing alcohol does the same thing - but honestly i have never tried it!
This piece was glossy photo paper.  Some paper is glossier than others - you can experiment to find what works best.  You essentially need something that does not absorb the ink right away - so you have time to work it to create the granite-y effects you are after.
This piece was stamped onto to clear matte sticker paper - so i can cut in into shapes and apply it like a sticker onto a project.
Here is another glossy photo paper - it sort of faded into a very muted effect.  But has some nice depth.
Here is some glossy paper with the addition of metallic paint - i used lumiere - but you could use paint pens or acrylic paint.
 And finally we have some actual THINGS made using this cool effect! The top three are dominoes - with alcohol ink as a background. The images all came from postage stamps.  As you can see they will be made into cool conversaion starting pendants!
The small squares are "style stones". They were a bit too absorbant - the ink was sucked into the stones - so they did not create the cool stone effects that you can get on dominoes. But i applied some birds and butterflies - and i'll make it into a bracelet.
Speaking of bracelets - here's one i made with 5 dominoes that came pre-drilled in a kit.  I applied ink in blues and greens and stamped a script stamp with Stazon ink.  I strung them together with elastic cord and beads and spacers.  I may or may not apply some collage elements.

Decoupaged Vases

I had a very crafty weekend starting with a play date with 4 friends on Saturday.  We created "mosaic style decoupage vases" in the style Lucie created at a previous decoupage play date.  (see also end of post) Above are two that i made.  The "genie in a bottle" shape was a blue glass vase from goodwill.  I added my signature robin's egg blue papers in organized rows.  The band around the middle was tissue paper with script.  The square vase was one of a dozen that Karen's husband sand blasted for us!  The sanded surface made it really easy to paint with black gesso.  I added the same colour papers - cut into squares with a few butterflies thrown in.  Both these need a few coats of gloss medium to make them shine.
Here are Dorothy's two vases - both sandblasted and painted them collaged with assorted torn papers.  She used mainly tissue papers which are really easy to apply to curved surfaces. They remind me of beautiful greek pottery.
Here is Karen's vase decoupaged with vintage doilies.  yeah - those yellow-y ones?  thats authentic age - no colour applied!  She said it was like working with lace  - cutting all the little bits and rosettes. Interesting contrast between the rectilinear lines of the vase and the curves of the doilies.
Here is another one of mine - an interesting bottle shape from the goodwill - with a large dictionary paper flower and cubes of paper filling in.  This one was not sandblasted- so the black gesso did crack in spots - but i could touch it up  - or apply some more.  The little votives were an experiment with glass marble stones and The Ultimate glue.  It took FOREVER to dry - and had to be placed upside down so they did not roll off. 
Here are Shelley's two vases - the one on the right was done without a black gesso base coat - just overlapping tissue and hand painted papers.  It will look fabulous with a candle inside!
And here is a close up of the intricate detail on her decoupage on her second vase, which was sand blasted and gesso'd in black. I believe this was tissue paper.  Doesn't it look like an ancient relic?
And finally here are Lucie's latest works.  Just like her to come up with an exciting NEW technique when we were copying what she did a month ago!  On the right is another square vase with a gesso base and gollaged papers  - not so much in a mosaic style - but an interesting vintage collage with stamps, music and butterflies.
On the left  - wow - isn't that cute?  She cut a bunch of circles out of paper and tissue and possibly napkins and overlapped them in the cylindrical vase.  That would be a fun technique for those tall mexican candles - think how pretty they would be flickering and casting colourful shadows on the walls!
Thanks Dorothy for hosting us  - it is always a pleasure to create in your studio!
Here is a reminder of our original inspiration - Lucie's decoupage vase with flower.