Saturday, May 23, 2015

the experiments begin

A single layer of Washi Paper, coated with Konnyaku Starch, then free motion, machine stitched. You can see where the needle punctures the paper, but it still remains strong. I'm using rayon thread, and a size 12 embroidery needle (I think). Next I will stitch on my multi-layered paper bowl. BTW, another bowl is drying. Not washi this time, but instead a type of rice paper, tan coloured (it actually looks tea stained) with silver flecks on one side. Not as absorbant as the washi, but I'm hoping for some nice texture. it will certainly be pretty, but may not end up stitched.
Actually, the bowl count is now up by one, so two more drying. On the new bowl, I used some machine made Chinese Washi (that I purchased in a weak moment) and a few bits of my Brusho painted papers. The Brusho paper wasn't very absorbant (vellum, I think), so I'm not really sure about the outcome. I also have a layered flat piece, that includes more of the machine made Washi, sandwiched between two sheets of Gelli printed, deli paper. More about all of this in a couple of days!

Friday, May 22, 2015

paper bowls revisited

I've been on a quest to make a stitchable paper vessel, and now I have my answer. Konnyaku Starch! After my friend Cherryl, the queen of all things paper, gave me the solution, I wandered down to The Japanese Paper Place for one of their "Washi Wednesday" demos. To my surprise, the artist of the month was making vessels, very similar to the ones I've made in the past. Of course, I needed to add some of this starch to my stash (and we won't mention the paper I purchased)!!! Weeks passed, but I finally mixed up a batch, and was very pleased with the result. I didn't like stirring the mixture for 20-30 minutes, but the end result, of a smooth, clear, gell like paste, was worth it! I applied it to Washi paper, and after drying, it produced a strong, flexible, matte surface. Very pleasing to the eye and touch! Of course, the first thing I did, was try to bead on it. There is more surface tension than fabric, every needle mark shows, and you need to figure out how to hide the knots. But not really a problem. I've made three bowls so far. A large, small and teeny one. I've beaded on the teeny one, but then had to laugh! I had decided to bead on one side only, but when I set it back down, the bowl was so light, that it tipped right over. So I had to bead the other side. Something to think about!! A little plain right now, but they have huge potential! I made the large one, so that I could try machine stitch on it, and have also made a couple of flat pieces of washi, coated with the starch, to play with as well. I'll post again, after I finish experimenting.
I work with so much colour, that it's hard to believe that I'm working all in white! Don't you worry your pretty little heads about it, as I have plans.....big colour plans! Perhaps not for the first three, but definitely after that.

Monday, May 11, 2015

altered dominos, yes....but what else can I alter?

As many of you know, I love to experiment, and I also love my Alcohol Inks. What better way to play with them, then to design a new workshop? So I did! Details are as follows: If you're interested in learning more about Alcohol Inks, then this is the class for you! We will be working with a variety of techniques, tools and substrates, and I promise that it will be an action packed class! Not for the faint at heart, and definitely not for those that hate to get their hands dirty! Some experience with the inks is recommended. Jewellery and non-jewellery applications will be discussed. BeadFX in Toronto - Sunday, May 17th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
I promise a day full of colour, creativity and laughter!! Stay tuned for more mixed media fun in June...