Saturday, 29 April 2017

Final Solution.

 I've been thinking over how to achieve the soft fluffy look of the Native Rose flower  for a day or so and I think I've come up with a solution. Rather than using velvet I tried out some felt, colouring it the same way that I coloured the plain cotton with stamp pad ink and acrylic paint. The original orange felt is to the right in this picture and the left shows the treated felt.
 This is a much better way to proceed, but the calyx of the plant needs to be changed too, this beige felt is too plainly coloured without any indicated softness at all.
 The beige felt has turned a bit yellow, but I think it'll be O.K when it's all assembled. I need to add another piece to the left as well, now that I'm not appliqueing leaves all over the background fabric.
 Here all the components, including some embroidery yarn for the stamens have been adhered to the background.
 Stitching the flower adds a lot more dimension to it and it's beginning to come together quite well I think. The addition of the small piece of calyx to the left certainly improves the over all design.
 I didn't want to add leaves all over the piece, but just a few at the top left is a definite improvement.
I've added some beads to the stamen area, some white paint to the leaves and bound the back and front together with machine satin stitch. It's finished!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Fun with Tiles.

 Just a little bit of fun today carving a small piece of rubber to make 4 different orientation variations. Unfortunately I wasn't quite carful enough cutting the original block, as one side is a couple of millimetres longer than the other, just enough so that some of the patterns don't quite meet up accurately.
Here are the 4 variations of the one block, made by making each corner  the centre in turn. You need to label the corners if you want to keep track of which one you have used, especially if 2 are very similar as I have made them.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Garden Flower Background.

 I felt like a change from the carving and printing yesterday, so I returned to the third in the series of flowers from gardens that I have visited over the month of April. This new one is of a 'Native Rose' Diplolaena grandiflora, and the flower is indeed grand. Here I'm selecting fabrics for the piece, which will be pretty naturalistic as are the other two in the series.
 As I suspected, getting the speckled velvety look of the petals is a challenge. I tried dotting the base orange fabric with various stamped dyes, which looks O.K close up but doesn't give the almost furry look that I want. I don't really want to go with actual velvet, but it might be the only way in the end.
 Not much luck with the background either, but it's the only fabric that I have in the stash that's possible.
Here I've printed the background on sealed Lutradur. I used matt gel medium on the left which shows more of the Lutradur's transparency and with white gesso on the right which gives a more opaque white look to the print. The more white version is closer to the actual colour of the plant leaves. The lower piece of duplicated print is to add to my sample book for Lutradur, showing the different results of various sealants.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Change of Scene.

 As a change from the garden series of textile pieces I've turned to a lino-cut/stamp block that has been waiting to be completed for some time. I finished this version, but discovered that not only had I made a few quite serious slips of the cutting tool, I had the hands and arms of the little guitarist around the wrong way! The fret board is to the left not right in the printed copy. I'm not sure that I like the cut out boots either, so it's back to the cutting again.
            Allowing for the reversing of the cut block when it's printed, this outline is now correct.
 A stamped try-out of the carving to see how I'm going. These thick blocks of 'rubber' are pretty expensive, so I chose to carve this new one on the back of the old one, big mistake! Not only does it have a defect in the rubber, see the white dot between the child's thighs, but where the boots are carved out on the other side the paper doesn't make a good contact for a print.
 After several attempts with various printing inks and stuffing the boots on the reverse with tissue, I managed to get one half way decent print...below.
                I've painted over the white dot and also a couple of other misprints too.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Out in the Bush.

 This huge toadstool looks just like an illustration from Alice in Wonderland, all that's missing is the sign saying 'eat me'.
The Swamp Wallaby or Black-Tailed Wallaby was keeping a close eye on the dog accompanying me, but of course the dog is well trained to leave the wildlife alone. Pity about the grass seed head across the animal's face, I didn't see it when I took the photo.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Wood Moths.

These are a pair of Wood Moths, the female above and the male below. The male is very much smaller than the female and has long feathery antennae to pick up her scent. The female moth is huge, some 8 - 10 cm long, so when she bangs against a window, attracted by the light at night, she makes a really loud noise.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Glowing Resin

 This amazing formation is solidified resin or sap oozing from an Acacia tree trunk. Just like amber from millions of years ago, it drips around anything in its path and encloses it. I couldn't see anything trapped in this cascade though.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Next Garden Flower.

This is the flower that I have chosen to work on next, which I think will be more of a challenge than the previous two. Mainly because of the speckled colour of the petals, and the velvety nature of the leaves.