There are still some drawings available for purchase. Numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 are still for sale. I’ve just updated my Artwork Images to show all 18 of the Jolly Gerbera Series so you may like to check them out. They are for sale through the Artisan Store of Fremantle which specialises in high quality hand made art, jewellery and craft.
I’m EXCITED to have my work for sale in The Artisan Store Fremantle.
I have a glass cube and a glass shelf quite close to the window. Currently in the cube I have several hair barrettes and a bracelet made using Japanese seed beads. Also in the cube are 2 ceremonial bowls (made by recycling tea bags).
On the glass shelf I have a small easel with Jolly Gerbera #1 (of a series of 18 unique drawings) waiting for a new home. These are all framed by a professional framer here in Ellenbrook with a 20mm plain white frame so are ready to hang (ideal Christmas present for someone special). There is only room on the shelf for one at a time so if you see another one that you would like please contact The Artisan Store Fremantle. Once the one on display is sold they will put another one on the shelf. There are not many left now.
About the Jolly Gerbera Series
The Jolly Gerbera series was part of our MELD exhibition in 2014 and was very popular. My artist statement for the series was:
Gerberas. Jolly Gerberas. Their “essence” is vibrant, colourful, happy. Each one is a miniature natural mandala for meditation and contemplation with the power to transform my mood. These drawings attempt to preserve the “essence of Gerbera”. Pen drawing using archival pigmented ink on 185gsm smooth Arches watercolour paper. Coloured with archival pigmented acrylic inks. Sakura Pigma Micron black pen. Schmincke Aero colour Professional Finest Acrylic Ink and Art Spectrum Artists’ Pigmented Ink. Drawings were begun in March 2014 and series completed in July 2014. Each drawing 18cm square (30cm w x 30cm h including frame).
Keywords: flower, bright, circle, mandala, symmetry, gerbera, daisy, abstract, modern
Amongst other things, I made 9 small collagraphs (printing plates) (4.5 x 3 inches) over a period of a few weeks (quite a bit of drying time for various layers). They were experiments to create texture and to see how much depth variation gives a good print when using the press. The answer is “not much”. The plate at top right has circles punched from an old dilapidated paperback and crocheted cotton thread. The circles printed well but the crocheted cotton thread was probably a smidgen too thick as it trapped a lot of ink. I used (hogged?) the press at PAWA during the last Saturday Skill Sharing Session and the other members were really helpful in showing me how to set the press up, and how I should leave it when I’ve finished printing.
The Prints from the Collagraphs
The second photo shows the prints from those 9 plates. The very first print I did was the one with a big splodge! 🙁 I had too much pressure on the press – and possibly too much ink on the plate as well. The pressure was reduced for the remainder of the prints and I like how those came out.
Top row: 1/ cotton yarn, thin card and sand, 2/ watercolour paper strips, 3/ book page circles, the top of a bread mix bag, thin card strips. Second row: 1/ thin card and carborundum, 2/ eggshell (I put all sharp edges pointing down ie outside surface of egg up, and after I glued this the first time I rolled over it with a rolling pin and then applied another 2 layers of glue so there were no sharp bits sticking up), 3/ scrunched tissue paper. Third row: 1/ the top of a bread mix bag and thin card strips, 2/ crochet cotton, paperback page punches, 210gsm card rings, and thinner card strips, 3/ watercolour paper strips.
When I did these prints the plates had all had 8 coats of spray varnish. When I cleaned them they went a bit soft so I put them in the sun to dry for a couple of days to make sure I wasn’t trapping moisture inside and have since given them another 8 coats. Spray varnish doesn’t obscure detail but I don’t like the smell/effects on me even though I’ve been using a mask and spraying outside (staying downwind). I’m going to try brush on varnish which I was avoiding as I thought brush marks might give an unwanted texture. It’s probably just a question of getting the “knack”.
About the etching class
As I am very much a novice print maker I learned a great deal at this class. I had been keen to learn this print method for 2 reasons. The first is that my drawings are very detailed, with very fine lines, and I wanted to reproduce that fine detail. I knew that etching would achieve that. The second is that I had read that Edinburgh Etch was a less toxic method that could be done at home.
My previous foray into etching used more hazardous chemicals and required a fume cupboard – I only did it once and decided that was not for me.
Preparing the etching plates
For the first lesson we prepared the plates – bevelled the edges, polished the surface, poured on the hard ground, waited for that to dry, and protected the back and edges. Then we drew into the hard ground, and placed the plate in the Edinburgh Etch solution for 45 minutes. Then the tape and hard ground were removed to reveal the bitten image.
Printing from the etched plates
The printing took place during the second lesson and I was very pleased with the result. Some of the other people in the class had a go at adding aquatint but I decided to keep it simple this time around. During this lesson we also prepared another plate so that we could draw into it at home ready for printing during lesson 3.
These lessons were aimed at beginners so we only used one colour. Shana talked about using more than one colour and registration, but what we did was quite enough for me to take in at this early stage. I also asked a lot of questions about the type of paper that is suitable for printing etchings. I need to do some homework on this to find out which papers I like best.
I know now that this method suits my style of work and will be practical for my home studio situation. I will be able to do the actual printing at the PAWA premises where they have a press for the use of members.
I left feeling inspired and with an extra plate to have another go at home. I’ve bought most of the things required – just a couple of bits and pieces left to find. I’ve read 5 library books about printing since the class and am part way through another!
Needle Felting the Bowl
I spent several hours creating two bowl shapes by randomly weaving over a plastic bowl with Courtelle machine knitting yarn. I planned to embroider different designs on the inside and the outside of both of them and then dry-felt with hand-held felting needles to integrate the wool stitching. This was easy to do but took quite a bit of time and I was quite pleased with the overall look.
Then I noticed there were some weak areas between some of the circles on the outside. When I pushed (hard) with my finger I was able to push through and pull the fabric apart at those points. I wasn’t able to pull it apart where there was wool on both the inside and the outside (ie the courtelle sandwiched between the 2 layers). I cannot tear the other unembroidered bowl so clearly it was the needle-felting that has broken down, or cut perhaps, the fibres of the Courtelle. I was unimpressed – it had taken me several hours to dry felt (leave alone the time taken to make the bowl shape in the first place) and in so doing I had destroyed something I quite liked the look of.
I have learned a lesson – I will only dry-felt with felting needles on wool. This was my first foray into dry-felting with needles and now I am wondering how strong some of the embroideries I have seen made with the embellishing machines are when they have used synthetic fabrics/yarns. I am going to put these in the bin – I don’t want to incorporate something I am not happy with into any other artworks. I am going to embroider the other bowl base as I am quite happy with the strength of that structure – but I will not be using felting needles on it because of the Courtelle base layer.
Tonight at 7pm the members of MELD (myself, Margaret Ford, Louise Wells and Julie Devereux) will be giving a powerpoint presentation with informal discussion at WAFTA. We’ll talk about how the group formed, how we came to the decision to hold a group exhibition and how we went about making it happen. We learnt a lot, and had some fun along the way of course. The Hidden Revealed Transformed exhibition was a very positive experience for us and If you’ve ever thought about holding an exhibition with friends we might just persuade you that you can do it too! We will be displaying some work from the exhibition so it will be a chance to see those up close if you missed our exhibition and chat to us about those as well. The venue is Alexander Park Craft House, Clyde Road, Menora (Perth, Western Australia). Visitors are welcome – there is a door fee. We hope to see you there.
I have been busy with paper mache again recently. I had ideas for our MELD exhibition last year and actually started some works but because I always apply a minimum of 10 layers, alternating used office copy paper and brown paper so that it is really strong, my paper mache forms need a long time to dry and harden.
So I abandoned them in favour of other work for the 2015 MELD exhibition. Now of course (a whole year later!) they are thoroughly hard and can be painted/finished off. I’m thinking I could make more for our next MELD exhibition (or some other exhibition of course) if I start now.
I enjoy making 3D forms because of their tactile qualities. I like trying to produce sensuous curves and making pieces that generate that urge to caress, stroke or touch the work. I like trying to make the work reproduce that feeling I get when I pick up a really smooth river stone or piece of sea glass – it’s impossible to resist playing with the stone – turning it over and over in my hands.
Maybe I’m a bit perverse – creating works that give out that vibe to touch or caress and then putting them in an exhibition situation which more often than not has signs everywhere saying “please don’t touch the artwork”.
And pods in nature often rattle because of the seeds inside don’t they? So I’ve added the “rattle factor” to some of them too. But how would the viewer know that unless they pick it up and shake it? Definitely perverse. Grin.
This bamboo armature is the start of the 3rd pod this week. The 3 triangular frames that are tied in place will be removed once the hot glue has set. They were only there to keep the 3 bent “ribs” evenly (roughly!) spaced and the ends together while I figured out how to fix the ends permanently. I tried weaving around the ends but of course as I tightened the weaving it worked it’s way down the tapered shape and off the ends. So hot glue was the solution this time around. I started 2 others as well which have a very different underlying structure.
One of the things that appeals to me about paper mache is that it uses discarded material. It does take a long time because each layer is so thin – but then most things worth doing do don’t they?
Inspiration comes from the strangest of places. With all the printing I’ve been doing lately there have been quite a few painted baby wipes created by the clean up process. They are quite colourful and semi transparent so there were some interesting effects when I layered them (another thing worth collecting!).
They are a non-woven fabric similar to dressmakers interfacing so they can be stitched. They tear easily in one direction only. I have used those to make a background for the Fibres West donation pieces, on which I will stitch some embellishment in red. I haven’t yet decided which red to use – a more muted Indian Oxide type red to match the muted blue, or a bright “popping” Cadmium Scarlet. I’m going to paint the ribbon and the cardboard circles and then stitch them in place. I am thinking about the finishing process while I do all this.
We had a newsletter about Fibres West 2015 recently and there was mention of donating works not bigger than 6″ in any direction for a fund raising sale (all works to sell for a set price). So I bought these 6″ canvases at Jacksons last week with the idea that I would create 4 little gems to donate.
Since taking this photo I have applied 2 coats of Gesso and now I am waiting for inspiration to strike 🙂
I bought these cords from Bunnings today to experiment with. The brightly coloured Polypropylene string (1mm x 60m) was $4 for the 5 reels, the white Venetian Blind cord (2mm x 30m) was $4 and the Grunt cotton sash cord (5mm x 5m) was $4. The Dunn braided cotton rope (15m) was $3.50 in Big W.
I’m planning to experiment with netting, knotting and weaving (maybe even *gasp* macramé) and possibly using them to create more collograph plates. Although with my present luck making/using collograph plates I should probably steer clear of those for a week or so 🙂
The blind cord says it is “abrasion resistant” and although it doesn’t say what is made from the end feels like it has been heated to prevent it from unravelling. I will have fun with all of these I am sure.