Tree – an art book

I made this today. It’s an origami book based on a Turkish Map Fold. It’s about 7cm by 7cm. It needs a little work on the cover, but it’s almost how I imagined it.  The poem is by Dom Conlon.  You can read it and other of his poems here.  I’ve had the idea for making a little book around a poem for a while.. the form came from this lovely blog: Green Chair Press.  I’ll write more about the method another time. Here are the photos:

treebook-3treebook-4treebook-6treebook-7treebook-8treebook-10

treebook-11treebook-12

Making things…

The best part of making jewellery is having ideas and trying out new things.  So far my adventures with shrink plastic have been restricted to drawing, then scanning and printing onto shrink paper.  I did some drawing directly onto the shrinky paper recently, when I had a medium sized child on loan. We used permanent fineliners in bright colours, but I wasn’t very keen on the quality of the line once they were shrunk down. As I like my Rotring pens so very much I thought I’d have a try with those, although I wasn’t sure if Indian Ink would work…  I used two different nib sizes, 0.25  for darker lines and 0.18 for fine lines and shading.

After several experiments on scraps…

making-2So far so good. Next trimming into a slightly irregular shape and hole punching to take a jump ring.  These are the second pair in progress.

making-3And the first pair, shrunk and made into earrings.

houseearrings-3 copyThe next level of experimentation involved working out how to protect the surface, as I’m not sure how durable the ink will be.  I usually spray on a light coat of matt acrylic varnish, but I’ve seen shrinkie jewellery with a shiny domed finish.  Internet research revealed that ice resin was one way of achieving this look, however Glossy Accents (which I already had) produces a similar look.  First attempt… got a few air bubbles. Pretty sure I can get it perfect with practice. 🙂

makingI applied it with the findings still attached because I am lazy and because I wasn’t sure if it would block the hole.  It should dry perfectly clear and hard.  I will post a photo when they are finished.  Then wear them!

I have a few other things on the boil as well, but as they are presents and supposed to be surprises I can’t show you yet. 🙂  Also starting to try bending and shaping the plastic while it’s hot… more news on that to come.

And here are the dry earrings.. complete with air bubbles… which don’t really show when you’re wearing them..

shiny

Fatwans (or further fun with my Rotring pen)

fatwansfinished copy

I have been drawing a lot with my growing collection of Rotring pens lately.  A lot of bears and cats and pug faces.  I thought it would be interesting to try an actual pet portrait.  Fatwans kindly agreed to be my guinea pig. (Obviously Fatwans is neither a pet nor a guinea pig, but a rather beautiful cat with her own Twitter account. Follow her here.)  I’m reasonably pleased with the result.

It looks better in real life, I haven’t quite worked out how to scan pen drawings without the lines dominating.  Tips welcome 🙂

Rotring

portrait-2

I’ve been busy working on a new illustration project lately (featuring Bears, unsurprisingly) or rather, busy trying to work on a new… ripping stuff up, getting cross, having no ideas and drawing in a very uptight fashion.  If you are familiar with my scribblings you will know that my style is generally quite loose.. messy even.  I use a dip pen and ink and water and pencils and crayons and paint and brushes and fingers…  I’ve also got to the point where I think everything I draw or paint looks like crap. (Sorry, I swear and it will probably get worse than that.)

I had a bit of a moan to a very dear friend about how useless I am this morning. Sorry. You know who you are. x  And decided to put the whole thing on hold for a bit and refresh my brain with completely different things, ie not art.  Having a general clear up of my studio* (*corner of the conservatory) I found an old Rotring pen. 0.2 nib. I’ve had it for years, (slight guilt here) it was given to me by a good friend when her Dad died, as she thought I would use it.  0.2 nib. That’s very fine. And fiddly. I’ve used fibre tip type pens that are very fine and not liked them.  I like the variety of strokes that different pressure makes with pencils and nib pens. And wash. And rubbing things with my fingers. And flicking paint and ink about. Anyhow, I thought it’s not really my sort of thing but I’ll see if it works and maybe give it to a friend…

So I drew this (work in progress).  In spite of being really hung up about drawing anything it sort of worked.  I think it’s to do with being relaxed because you’re not expecting anything.  Whatever, the concentration kicked in. I think I’ll keep the pen. And play about with it for a bit.

Bears can wait. But I’ll be back to them soon.

If you want to look at the drawing more closely click on the photo for a larger view.

P.S.  If you want to see an expert with a fine nib at work you should follow @ArtMinxDesigns on Twitter. 🙂