Saturday, January 16, 2010

Project SIX: LinoPrint II

Okay, don't be upset. I know all of you out there were really yearning for my homemade paper. Unfortunately, you'll have to keep your pants on for a little bit longer. Fortunately, my lovely husband has offered to make me a frame at work over which I can then stretch my paper pulp screen. I had tried to use an old picture frame, but it was too big for my pulp bin. So, short story long, paper will be a project for TUESDAY.
(*Also, this is a post for Friday's project)

In the meantime, I decided to practice some more with the linocut print. I used the same materials as before (with the cat print), and this time used a photograph that I took last year as my inspiration.
I think that I will focus on multicolored prints for the next prints

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project FIVE: Wire Hydrant

I know, I know... you were all looking forward to seeing some homemade paper. Unfortunately, I have to push it off ONE more day. Some of my handy items are out of my reach until later tonight, so I will work on paper tomorrow. Call it an End-of-the-week Prize!

In the meantime, I thought I would continue practicing with wire. This 3D design is a bit of a mess, to be honest. Again, I used the floral wire, which as I noted before, has its pros and cons. I should have kept it a bit "cleaner" with the line work, but got a little over-zealous with the wrapping. I've definitely learned from this attempt, though. And, go ahead... call me a sissy- but my fingers are a bit sore. I need to build up my sculpting calluses. (When I start sewing, I'm sure that will help!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project FOUR: Cat on a Wire

As my day ran away with errands and appointments, my originally planned activity didn't happen. I will definitely be working on it tomorrow, however... so stay tuned, folks! Tomorrow I plan on making homemade paper! Oooooo, ahhhhhh!

Another activity that I have been planning is to sculpt with wire. I have limited experience with this, so I decided to grab some floral wire I had laying around and create a simple 2D "line drawing" using my Lino-Cat print for inspiration.

This practice was very inexpensive, since everything I already had in the house. I used floral wire, a nipping pliers, a needle nose pliers, and a flat pliers to aid in bending, crimping, and cutting the wire. I'm sure this cat is not so impressive, but it was definitely good practice to get back into the game. In future posts, I'll be sure to practice this technique more, including 3D wire sculpture. I'll probably purchase some heavier wire- while the floral wire was very easy to manipulate, it was almost TOO easy. One slip up and there goes the entire form! OOPS!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Project THREE: Lino cut Print

I started my day by heading out to Dick Blick for some supplies. Linoleum cut block print was appealing to me. I was supposed to be taking a printmaking class at DePaul this winter, but due to the chemicals, I had to pass (for now). BUT! I did remember making prints when I was in grade school and thought it was about time to bring back the basics.

While I did spend money on this project, I feel that I will definitely use these tools again.
$30. total (with an educators' discount) was able to get me a Speedball Lino cutter (no.1) with 5 tips, two packages of 5.5"x8.5" Strathmore Cold Press Watercolor paper (12 pcs each), 1 (5 liq. oz.) tube of Blick water-soluble block printing ink (black), 1- 4" hard rubber brayer, and 4 pieces of 4"x6" Soft-Kut printing blocks.

1. I should have drawn/cut backwards to appear on the print correctly- OOPSIE!
2. I love using the water color paper because it's so stiff, though the texture, of course, does affect the print quality.
3. This new soft cut material cuts like BUTTER! No more slipping and gouging your hand (or worse)- and no need for a wood table hook. Downside- small, detail cuts are easier with less force, but the material gives so much that it's hard to not accidentally cut into that delicate area; also, when printing, the block wiggles/gives so if you burnish a little too hard with the spoon, the print becomes smudgy. I also think that this material would break down quicker than linoleum- but how many prints do I need to make, anyway?? (famous last words...)
4. Ink on my fingers = smudges on the paper!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Project TWO: Accordion Flag Book

Today I started, and finished, my first Accordion Flag Book. Back when I was at Iowa as an undergrad, I took a bookmaking/bookbinding class that I loved: making and stitching several types of books. Recently I developed a unit plan for high school students called, "Artistic Artist Books," which included an Accordion Flag Book. I realized that I have actually never made a flag book myself, so today was the day.

Making the book itself was not as big of a challenge, as it was to create a concept and apply it to the book. You'll notice that my cover is not decorated, nor do I have any words on the pages. Well, let's be honest. By the time I finished what you see here, I was finished for the day. This would be a great project to extend a few days, for sure. Coming up with an idea/project to attempt, plus concept, plus all the supplies, plus plus plus... seems to be more ambitious of a task than I originally thought. Of course, that's typical for me, though. :)
Thoughts for next time:
panoramic photos, items with words, glue/pva (vs. my wimpy glue stick I had laying around).