A productive day

This morning, I set a batch of chutney going, using the apples from our tree. It’s been slowly brewing for hours now, so soon I will have to go and jar it up.

I’ve also discovered I can use my pyrography tool as a hot stencil cutter, so I cut the stencils in much quicker time and better detail than I was expecting. It’s hard to photograph clear plastic, so the best thing I could think of was to hang them on my washing line:

Honeysuckle, comfrey, ivy.


Bumble bee, lavender,  apple blossom, chives.

I also cut positive and negative stamps of the bee, apple, ivy, and comfrey.


And blocked the Turner’s Hill TV tower piece.

Coffee Pots: Print and Dye

Yesterday, I made some coffee pot stamps to go with the stencils. They are both double sided, with the positive image on one side, and the negative on the other:  

This morning I cut a couple of word stencils to go with the coffee pots; milk and coffee in Italian:   

Trying them out with dabbers:

   

I did some printing with them and the stamps:

 

The Gelli plate prints were sometimes a bit indistinct, whereas I liked the crisp lines of the directly printed stencils, so I combined them both:   

 

I love the way that dye transforms prints. I had about 6 sketchbooks on the go, so I have lots of lovely prints to work into in the evenings ahead.

 

Some of the pages in my small sketchbook:

  
   

  
I made this zigzag book and card to use as tip ins in my sketchbooks:

  

And I started decanting my dyes into pots that are all the same size.  Previously they were in miscellaneous jam jars, which got me going using dyes, but wasn’t good for easy storage:

  
A lovely, long day of making.

Turners Hill TV Transmitter

The Embroiderers’ Guild West Midlands Regional Day competition this year is Within 1000 Footsteps, drawing inspiration from the local area. I live within walking distance of Turners Hill, near Dudley, which many Black Country folk will know because of its distinctive TV transmitter:

 

I cut a stencil mask of it, and a couple of stamps (both positive and negative) of the daisies which cover the nearby Darbys Hill in summer.

  
First I printed in my sketchbook, using the mask to print both negative images as normal, and positive ones, by rolling firmly over it onto other pages once it had paint on it.

   
    
 
I then went on to printing on fabric:

   
 
I worked into the sketchbook pages with gelatos, getting to know the colours better:

   
    
 
I also over dyed the background for this, my competition entry:

  
Sadly, when pressing it, I scorched it:

  
Gelatos to the rescue! They are opaque, so covered the scorch well:

  
I’m now working on adding hand stitching to the flowers, so I’ll share progress soon.

My WordPress app kept crashing whenever I added pictures to a blog post, but that seems to be fixed now, so hopefully I can get back to blogging more regularly.

Day 233

A great day meeting up with Tina, Clare and Margaret to talk about our progress so far on work inspired by LAND. We shared what we had been up to, and it seems we’re all thinking about something including textures and layers.

I started cutting this foam stamp at lunch, another figure, with shapes cut out to make a more interesting inside:

   

Day 232

I did some more work on the LAND inspired pieces today. I want to work more into it, so I cut this stamp, ready to be mounted:

  
Hopefully I’ll get the time to print into it at the weekend. I’m contemplating cutting more polyhedral shapes out of it to break the stamp up a bit, but I might do that to a second stamp instead of this one.

I also traced over the main lines on two layers of acetate for this image.

The top layer is just the large leaves in the foreground, and the berry like shapes in the background:

  
The back layer is the figure and the main part of the leaves:

  
I think this has been helpful to help me understand the shape and layers of the elements of the image.

Day 91

Today I’ve got an Embroiderers’ Guild meeting after work, planning for our Regional Day, so I did my 15 minutes before work. I mounted the individual wooden spoon stamps:



I also gave everything a coat of gesso as a primer, so that it takes the paint more easily. I find that, without it, the first few prints are not very satisfying, rather pale and blotchy.



Day 90

Today, I gave blood in the evening, so I did my 15 minutes before work, cutting the wooden spoons out and adhering the negative ones in one sheet to foam board. 

Here’s the cut sheet:



I like getting the negative shapes, like the insides of the spoons and the holes in the handles in the right place, so this is how I do it. Turn the sheet paper side up, and start to peel the backing from the background areas. You’ll find that the sheet tries to lift and curl with you, but you can use the point of a pencil to hold it down:



Now , peel the backing off the details which are remaining on the negative stamp, here, the insides of the spoons and the holes:



Cut the foam board to size, and press it down on top of the sticky backing:



Now, turn it over, and lift the positive stamps out. You may need to lift the backing away so that comes out too:



And there you go,one finished stamp.



Now, all you need to do is adhere the positive stamps to their own foam board, either singly or in a group.



I also got out the second dyed zigzag book from the bag where it had been batching:





Lovely!



Day 89

Today I decided what I want to do as the theme for my piece in Bernadette’s Travelling Book.

I’m going to focus on more lovely kitchen items, carrying on from the jugs in Clare’s book, so I gathered up six of my favourite wooden spoons:



Disclaimer: not all wooden spoons are spoons!

I did a first drawing, folding the page for symmetry where they are symmetrical, then inking the best lines:



I retraced these using the light box for a good pencil line…



…and then traced and overdrew them on the paper side of some self adhesive funky foam:



They are now ready to cut and adhere to foam board, prime with gesso, then they’re ready for a good Gelliping session.

It was very relaxing, listening to Sigur Rós and retracing these lovely smooth lines.