Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

Gifts–Art Making Leftovers

Monday, May 16th, 2022

Art Leftover

Art Leftover


Piece in Progress–Contemplate Something Beautiful

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

I am working on a piece that has the code–contemplate something beautiful. The code is based on a masonic cipher. Or the common Pigpen Cipher.

Contemplate something beautiful

I upcycled some green painters’ paper that was used as a template for a previous project. Made the blocks from tree wrap and cotton twine. Used safety pins and cotton thread to attach to the blocks to the background. Then used a solution of salt, peroxide, and white vinegar to age the metal. Unfortunately I used stainless washers for the twine icord at the top.

Contemplate something beautiful

This morning the piece still wasn’t dry so I placed it outside to finish drying. When I checked on it, I found that a spent Brugmansia flower had fallen onto it.

Contemplate something beautiful

I think it looks beautiful as part of the piece. Will I keep it? Maybe…


Further From the Truth

Friday, March 11th, 2022

Another piece that I am attempting to complete.

The quote in code is–The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.

Drifts From Truth Layout

January 10 2021

Attached code blocks to tree wrap squares with safety pins.

Drifts From Truth

Drifts from Truth Layout, January 9 2021

Had thought about maybe stitching the blocks together.

Drifts From Truth

March 9 2021

When I revisited the piece last week, I decided that I liked the safety pins.

Attached the blocks to a piece of thin paper with PVA. After a thorough drying, attached the blocks to a piece of roofing felt. Then I applied clear shellac. Didn’t expect the result to be so glossy.

Further from the Truth

Further from the Truth

I used the same processes and materials for the separate test piece. After a thorough drying, I sanded the exposed white bamboo areas, then applied a product that I hoped would replace roofing tar.

Further from the Truth

Not sure what I think of the result.
Further from the Truth

The second test–To dull the finish and age it a bit, I applied a thin application of Rust-Oleum 2X Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Matte Clear Spray Paint.

Further from the Truth

Before I decide how to complete the piece, I am thinking about trying another test with paste wax.

I think that sanding the piece so that some of the code is frayed would be appropriate for the quote.
.

The quote is often attributed to George Orwell, but it seems that the author is Selwyn Duke.

Materials–Bamboo paper towel (white fabric), bamboo thread, safety pins, tree wrap, roofing felt, PVA, shellac.

A Gnawing Ache

Friday, March 4th, 2022

I am in the process of completing all of the pieces that are in progress. A Gnawing Ache is a piece that I started in 2018 when I was dealing with grief.
Gnawing Ache Sketch

I aged the razor blades, hardware cloth, and pins with a patina.

Gnawing Ache

Gnawing Ache

Gnawing Ache

Gnawing Ache

It occurred to be after I used patina on the pins that they would be stronger if I hadn’t covered the entire pin. The patina made the metal a bit fragile.

Code Used
Gnawing Ache Code
One horizontal square for dots; two vertical squares for a dash.

Materials
Cotton, Hardware Cloth, Razor Blades, Pins, Patina, Wood (from an old swing), Cork, Stain, PVA, Sealant


Never Underestimate the Petty Vindictiveness of Those in Power

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

The spikes were aged with a patina.

Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

The pieces received an application of clear shellac with a solution of cloves in denatured alcohol.

Panel 1
The code at the top of the first panel has the–Take Notice.
Completed Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

Petty Vindictiveness1 Detail
Panel 2
Petty Vindictiveness

Completed Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

Materials
Wood, Hardware Cloth, Cotton, Metal Spikes, Cork, Wool, Shellac, Denatured Alcohol, Cloves


Be Yourself Framed

Friday, March 4th, 2022

I thought I completed the Be Yourself piece in September of 2020.

Be Yourself

Not keen that the hardware cloth bows. Ran across a frame that I was planning to use for a different piece that didn’t work out. The frame seemed to fit.

Be Yourself Posted on September 2020

There was still a problem with the bowing so I added a piece of self adhesive Velcro to the bottom. It sort of worked, briefly.

Velcro

I added tacks to the part of the Velcro strip attached to the frame and stitched the other part of the Velcro strip to the back of the piece.

Velcro

Velcro

Piece in frame attached with Velcro.

Velcro

Sort of works, but still is not ideal.

The flannel stitched to the back of the piece is only stitched to the edges. The Velcro should have been attached to the hardware cloth. Learning experience for the next piece.


Fixed Up Box

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Been thinking about making a piece with the quote–“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you; I could walk through my garden forever.”

When I ran across this box in my stash, thought it might be fun to combine it with the quote.

Postcard Box

The exterior bottom of the box had a hand written price of 79¢. Made me smile. The notion of how objects are valued is a curious thing. Some would say the value is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Box Lid Exterior
The lid of the box has a slot for a postcard or photo that is 3.5″ x 5.5″.

Box Lid Slot

I used a piece of parchment paper and bamboo fiber for the code. I applied PVA to the front and back of the code piece for easier insertion into the box slot.

Code Exterior

To prevent the code piece from moving about, I applied some PVA to the right side back of the parchment before inserting it into the slot. Why?

I noticed the postcard was a bit mangled. I thought it was wear from being carried around.

Postcard

But there are thin wood strips on the top and bottom inside of the slot reducing the space. When I trimmed the code piece, it moved about a tad in the slot. Apparently the wood strips aren’t exactly square. The PVA should prevent the parchment code from shifting.

Code Used
The code is based on an altered Masonic cipher, also know as Pigpen.

Code

Code

Box Interior
Postcard Box Interior

I fixed up the interior of the box with a bamboo I-cord, a piece of linen, and some trim that I purchased years ago.

Fixed up Interior

I make a practice of gathering and drying plants to use in pieces. The interior lid has two dried Datura flowers. Why two? For the same reason I have two stacks of bound pennies inside the box.

Interior Lid with Datura Flowers

Code Interior

The second part of the code was stitched onto a piece of tree wrap with bamboo fiber.

Code Interior

I stitched a few flowers onto the flipside of the linen with code.

Interior of Box with Flowers

I placed a beautiful malformed Brugmansia flower on top of the dried flowers to protect them. The Brug flower should prevent the dried flowers from shifting when the box is handled. It should also prevent the dried flowers from flitting away when the box is opened.

Flowers with Brugmansia

Unusual for me, but I did not count the number of flowers in the box. Even typing that makes me anxious. Should have counted them. Maybe I will.

Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers without the Protection of the Brugmansia Flower.

The bound pennies are located in the front left corner of the box. The binding is a dried Brugmansia flower tied with a bit of cotton cord. There are two stacks of two pennies–the first stack is 1963 and 2018, the second is 1973 and 1990.

Bound Pennies

Materials
Wood box, parchment paper, tree wrap, bamboo fiber, cotton fiber, linen fabric, cotton trim, dried flowers, stain, PVA

Masonic/Pigpen Cipher


Memorial Bowl

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Every year on April 11th, I do something to acknowledge my nephew’s date of birth. When my nephew was 17 he had a major surgery. He survived the surgery, but died later that day.

This year feeling a bit done in, perhaps it is partially to do with the past year and the daily COVID news. I recently was fortunate to receive my first Pfizer jab. It is a bit of a relief that I am in the system.

The piece evolved from a celebration to a memorial piece for the loss of nephew, dad, sister, and mother.

Memorial Bowl Photo–Mom, Dad, Kathy

Memorial Bowl Photo–Kathy

Memorial Bowl Photo–Rick

Code
The code on the bowl has my nephew’s, dad’s, sister’s, and mom’s DOB and DOD.

Memorial Bowl Detail Code

Memorial Bowl Placed on Box Filled With Family Keepsakes
Memorial Bowl New Home

Materials List
Wool, Safety Pins, Roofing Felt, Photos Printed on Paper, Fabric Stiffener (Corn Starch and Water)


Dolorous Time Piece

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

My mother’s name was Dolores, not exactly pronounced the same as Dolorous, but I like that the definition is great sorrow.

April 8th is 3 years since we found my mother after the first of her strokes. She died on May 15th. I have been having a difficult time with grief this year. Decided to try to work it out in the studio. I recently worked on a software project, needed images of watch/clock faces for time. When I went through my mother’s things I found two identical watches and one similar. She must have really liked that style of watch.

Dolorous Time Piece

The first watch has code for my brother and his birthdate, the center for me, and the right one for my sister. The watch used for my brother and sister have a date function, they are set at 15. The sections of the band were bound with black waxed linen for birthdates. The knotted fobs have code for names.

The black code above the watches–Great Loss Stops Time. Doesn’t really, but it should.

The woven section has the code–Vertical strands are my mother’s date of birth, the horizontal her date of death.

Dolorous Time Piece

Dolorous Time Piece

The knotted piece on the right has the code for–grandson, husband, daughter. The great losses during her life.

Dolorous Time Piece

I was relieved to complete the piece, forgot to document it. I have it hung in her room. Unfortunately not much light. I used museum wax to make sure it doesn’t move about making it difficult to remove from the wall to take photos.

It was challenging to make the piece. When Michaels was moving to a new location, I bought a bunch of birch panels and frames for cheap. I used stain, paint, vinegar steel wool/salt, oil sticks baking soda attempting to age the wood. I was very close to burying the frame in the garden. After sanding it the umpteenth time, I applied a matte black spray paint. Seems okay with the black linen cord and the silver of the watches.

The tacks should have been easy peasy to attach the parts. Loads of resistance. What was really cheap delayed completing the piece at least a week. The challenge was welcome and was distracting.


Memory Bowl Tests

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Gone back to working on my knitted Memory Bowls. Ran into a problem with the bowls not being sturdy enough. Put them on hold.

The bowls are fiber with some negative spaces within the patterns, a stiffener is in order. In the past I used sugar, shellac, corn starch, liquid starch, floor wax, microcrystalline wax, salt, and miscellaneous other stuff in the past. Wanted to spend some time thinking about how to finish the bowls.

Serendipity?

I have been following Maria Amélia Mendes’ YouTube channel. Her concrete tutorials are easy to follow, with loads of good tips. I really want to make some concrete pieces. Recently she posted a video–How to make baskets with wood sawdust. Thought I would test out her glue formula on a couple of knitted pieces.

The glue was combined with wood shavings and pressed into a form. After the pieces dried and hardened she added an application of her Finishing Glue. It is the same formula as her glue, with the addition of 100 ml of PVA.

Maria Amélia Mendes’ Homemade glue recipe:
1 liter of water
1 cup of cornstarch
50 ml of white vinegar

I made the Finishing Glue for my test pieces. I had forgotten that heated corn starch and water solution can suddenly become thick. Applied the glue to the test pieces. The thickness made it a tad challenging. If the pieces had been fragile, wouldn’t have been able to apply the glue. I refrigerated the left over glue. May try diluting it a bit if/when I use it in the future.

The first bowl is linen with a little plant fiber.

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Because the glue was a bit thick, after I applied the glue I gave it a rinse with the kitchen faucet spray function. The bowl was placed over a form to dry.

The second bowl is cotton with plant fiber.

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

The bowls were placed over forms and left in the sun to dry.

Test Bowls Drying

Both bowls are firm and the appearance of fiber hasn’t been altered too much.

Bowls China Cabinet

My next test will be with wool. Wool can be tricky. My first test using molten wax on wool changed its appearance to a plastic-like surface. Definitely ugly.

Check out Maria Amélia Mendes’ Youtube channel and her excellent concrete videos.