Thursday, April 28, 2011

Batman IV Audition

I had a vision and instead of coming to my senses - I ran with it. A clay bird I made needed a Batman Cape. From here it goes a little sideways...

I got a new Toy - I mean tool - a mini compressor. First I played with Copic markers and painted the bird a soft blue. OMG! This was so cool! Next, using a picture of George Cluney in his batman suit, I used Super Sculpy III in black to sculpt a Batman cape on the bisque bird. The clay removed the Copic marker - not a big deal. Legs/feet were made with wire. The feet were covered in the black Sculpy and the legs with paper clay. The sculpy clay was baked on the bird and wire feet for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.

After baking, the body was painted with acrylic paint and all pieces were sprayed with a matte fixative. I highlighted the body and legs with distress inks and glued the legs to the body. The bird was sprayed one last time with a matte sealer.

He is 5" from beak to tail and 4" tall and makes me smile everytime I see him.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Find The Key, Win My Heart - Finished!

My sculpture "Find the The Key, Win My Heart" is finished! I apologize for the pictures - but you get the gist.

It hangs on the wall: 13" tall / white earthenware clay / underglazed / bees wax on face and hands / Minwax over hat, shirt & shoes / vintage metal key hole / paper clay heart / key

I've read articles from artists who feel the interpretation for the meaning of their art should be left up to the viewer. It's not me. It's not that the viewer shouldn't interpret my art work for themselves - finding their own meaning. My art usually isn't random - it comes from a specific emotion.

I began this piece to learn how to make a full bodied person. As it progressed I was looking for a feeling, a statement - I didn't have it in me to just make a body. I opened my "Old Junk Treasure" drawer and came across a metal key hole (the muse). That led me to think I could use a red enameled heart that my sister had on a pin as it's heart. Thus began the meaning of this piece, what I feel makes a person -their heart - and my emotions kicked in.

Here is a person who isn't throwing their heart to every passer by but is saying "I'm here, I'm worthy, if you're truly interested, pick up the key". I think that's what we all want, even as children - to be wanted, to be included, to be loved, to be relevant.

In short, this piece is saying "Pick Me".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Germany Trip - Good reason as any to make a book.

Time has passed by so quickly in the last few weeks and I don't have much to show for it other than the three days (three FULL days) it took to clean my half of the garage.

Just cleaning the garage (only my half) and taking care of some of the last of Mother's things (she would have been 83 this Sunday the 24th) has freed up some mental space I didn't realize was stuck. Today I took her wheel chair to her Dr's to give away where he sees a need and gave him her unused medicine to dispose of properly. Then I took her many pairs of glasses to a place that will distribute them to charities for reuse. WHEW!

ONward and UPward - We're making plans to go to Stuttgart, Germany! Why Stuttgart? That's where the Porsche factory is. My husband has been in love with Porsche's since he was a kid. He's got a vintage 1972 Targa taken apart in the garage. Aside from me - it's his only hobby. He turns 60 this year - three months later is our 30th anniversary - three months after that I turn 60. I've never been out of the country so we're celebrating these milestones with a trip to the Porsche factory - ya hoo! Not sure where we'll go after that - maybe on to Italy. Any ideas?

Last week I found some mould-made 100g stone grey colored 19 x 25 paper at Dick Blicks. It appealed to me because it was inexpensive and it wasn't stark white or vanilla (actually, I heard it say "buy me"). Now I have a reason for buying it - I can make a journal to take with me on our trip. I'm undecided about a cover. I think it should be flexible and since I want to take colored pencils and a glue stick with me I may want to incorporate pockets. Not sure yet whether they'll be fabric sewn in with the signatures or part of the cover. I'll keep you posted with photos.

Happy Birthday Mom,
#3 of 5

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple Saturday

I have to share - Saturday was serendipitous.

Our daughter Laura visited Saturday - my art room gives her hives but it's usually the first place I take her to show her what I'm working on (then we quickly leave ;). I uncovered the clay sculpted head "Heart Strings" (first picture on the left) to show her that I changed him up to "Hot Head" (I added a gas cap I found at a car swap meet that read "Do Not Open Hot" to the middle of his forehead). His head looked great - I was refining the eyes before dropping him off to be fired.

I covered Hot Head back up and we were walking away when we heard "Tha - Thump". He had rolled off the table onto the carpeted floor.

When we turned him over and saw his face - we cracked up...

His little foray into the wild side gave him some character and me an opportunity to use a vintage cast iron Hot Point timer I re-found while cleaning out the garage.

Oh Happy Day!! Hot head is done and on the shelf to be fired.

PS: What you can't see in this picture is that his head is hollowed out in the back so I can add some collage elements.

PSS: Humpty Dumpty got dressed this week and will get arms and legs next week. Just to be fashionable attired when he falls ;(

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tacketing Stationer's Bindings

This past weekend I attended a bookmaking workshop.

I'm always looking for a new book/box-making class in Atlanta - they're not plentiful. So when the Guild of Bookworkers SE Chapter offered a workshop by Chela Metzger on Tacketing I responded immediately reserving my spot - then I asked - what's tacketing? I found a few references on tacketing on google that, to tell you the truth, still left me a little confused.

However, you get the benefit of my googling today. This is an explanation of Chela's workshop presented at Syracuse University... This course was inspired by the varied and beautiful lacing and tacketing found on account-books, or stationery bindings in medieval and early modern Europe. These blank books were created to hold records of businesses and organizations, and have a different set of aesthetic and structural practices than the bindings found on regular scholarly and religious books. Lacing on these books is somewhat like appliqué or lacing on western gear and can be as complex as the Islamic inspired mudejar star patterns found on stationery books in Spain, or the simpler lines and X patterns found all over Europe.

Tacketing is a sort of “staple”, usually of twisted parchment, which holds the pages to the cover, or holds the cover together, and tackets can also take many forms. Participants had an opportunity to make their own parchment tackets, practice lacing and tacketing techniques off the book, practice making loops and buttons off the book, and then create at least one traditional stationery binding, combining techniques as desired. Prior experience hand sewing books is useful, but not required. ( Follow this link to Chela's attachments - they're amazing)

Back to this workshop - it was absolutely fabulous. Chela is a great teacher - knowledgable not only about the techniques of tacketing and bookmaking but also about the history. I still can't get over how giving and flexible she was. You'll see in the pictures below that we varied the cover a little (maybe not strickly historical) but the inside block and tacketing with strips of vellum are authentic.

Starting out with 6 signatures prepared for us before hand - we designed our covers, then punched and sewed the signatures to thin leather straps. The next step was making the real vellum covers by folding the vellum and lacing on leather strips. The last step was "tacketing" the signatures to the cover.
The highlight of this workshop for me was working with materials and techniques I've never used before that can be used with other media. For example: the wet strips of vellum that harden like rawhide...I can't wait to use that on something else. PS: Don't burn real vellum - it smells and hardens like a rock.

Here are a few students books.

Fairy Magic

OK - At a yard sale last year I found some old metal fuse boxes (1 1/2" x 1 1/2") with clear plastic covers that slid out to access the small fuses. I also found a tiny person with a ball in her raised hands - in pretty bad shape. The definition for "fairy" was cut out of a dictionary and glued to the back of the inside of the box. The fairie's ball was replaced with a flower and she was given wings (after all what's a fairy without wings?). Holes were drilled in the sides of the metal box and wire inserted to hold the cord necklace. Holes were drilled in the bottom of the box so leaves and flowers could be added to dangle. The back was sanded and stamped. One thing got glued to another and this pendant was born.