Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Lesson from the Master.

A delightful elderly family friend plays chess with the youngest grandson. The game was a draw................well it was diplomatically conceded to the youngster.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Getting Better

 The larger notes certainly print better, but it's very hard not to get smudges. I think that I prefer it when the notes are very light and even missing in parts, remembering that they are just the background with more motifs to be printed heavily on top.
I still haven't got 4 perfect prints, and as I know I'll probably have trouble getting good prints from the motifs to come, I think that it'll be touch and go as to whether I'll get my 4 final pages. Here's hoping!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Second Try.

 I've now made a second screen with much bigger notes; here they are for comparison.  I must say that I prefer the look of the smaller notation , but the larger one should print better.  Maybe I'll give the smaller one another try with a more liquid paint mix, just to satisfy myself that it won't work!
 Whilst fiddling about with the screens I noticed how interesting the drop cloth on my table is beginning to look. It's just an old sheet over a lightly padded table top that's permanently set up for printing.  All the stamps and spots where I've cleaned screens have printed onto the sheet.
                               A bit more subtle perhaps, but quite interesting nevertheless.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Back to the Drawing Board!

Apart from the colour of the paint being too dark, the main difficulty was that the paint clogged up the tiny holes in the screen very quickly. The page on the left would have been O.K, except that I tested the screen out on the reverse side of one of the previously botched pages, so it can't be used. The one on the right shows the difficulty, with many of the notes not being printed, as the paint has blocked the holes in the screen. I had intended using the correct ink for the process, but as it's not water soluble and takes a lot to clean the screens, I though that I'd cheat and use acrylic paint as I have done many times before. I don't think that it would have made any difference if I'd used the correct ink however, as it is also thick and would also have blocked the screen. Now to make another screen with a much more open image......

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The New project.

 Using the scan of the dragonfly wings that I found attached to a dead dragonfly some weeks ago, I have made a couple of screens of different sizes showing a saxophone with the wings attached. I want to print these images over a background of light coloured notation.

Unfortunately none of the papers that I printed recently are of any use, as the screen with the notation was not aligned properly.  I have had to prepare some new papers, with carefully measured spaces for the notation screen. I really liked the off white colour of the earlier papers, but I have had to make do with white, as I can't get any more of the off white at the moment.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

New Last!

I forgot to take a photo of this thermofax (print Gocco) screen before I used it, so it looks a bit battered and worn. I wanted to cover an A4 size area of printing paper in music, the problem being that the A4 area has to be in the middle of a larger sheet of paper, 28 cm x 38 cm.
Here I've masked off the A4 area, but getting the music to sit evenly on the page is a little difficult, and I keep getting a margin down the middle that I don't really want. There is a bigger series of motifs to be printed over the top, when I get some screens made, so that may detract from the central margin. I'm also hoping that the blue painters tape pulls off without damaging the paper. I need 4 good copies of the final work, so I think that I'll have my work cut out to achieve this!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Dinosaurs in Town.

 The long awaited Jurassic World exhibition has come to Melbourne Museum and our family group of 6 were amongst the first to see..................and hear the show. This display is located outside the museum entrance and shows a shipping crate that supposedly held the 4 dinosaurs prancing about on top and beside it.
 I rather think that had these 4 been confined to such a crate, there might have only been 1 left after a very short time!
The animatronics of the dinosaurs in the exhibition are extraordinarily good, no sounds of creaking machinery like the ones that I saw quite a few years ago. These move in a very life like way and the species like T Rex really scared some of the smaller visitors as it moved out of the dark into the light, roaring and attempting to tip over a truck on the way. We all enjoyed the morning, young and old alike!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Textured Papers

 This is a collection of textured papers made with a simple mixture of cheap acrylic paint in a cornflour, water, PVA glue and detergent paste. The one above reminds me of foam on the sea.
                              This one is more like a landscape seen from a plane window.
                                  A simple stamp was used to give this one the relief shapes.
                                                       A sunset before a storm perhaps?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Blast from the Past.

 I rarely put any of my finished pieces of art on the wall, but the Egyptian inspired piece above is one exception. A screen print of lotus flowers on painted Vliesofix with appliqued panels and stamped images all on Lutradur, it's still a piece that I really like.
It's companion piece, with embroidered lotus flowers, screen printed images that have been machine embroidered and hand carved stamps also on Lutradur,  sold at an exhibition some years ago. I wonder where it is now.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


 Well, all the pages are now sewn into the cover.  The cover is another commercial dragonfly print which I think has a sort of Japanese look to it. The lining is my hand dyed cotton and I made a twisted cord with various embroidery yarns in colours to match the print. The beads are some rather cheap nasty plastic ones, but they suited the colour scheme perfectly and kept in with the idea of not buying anything new for this project. The beads are threaded onto the cord at the spine and I have sewn them into place on the fabric.
 I tried making little tassels for the ends of the cords, but they didn't work out very well, so I have just used the ends of the twisted cord and glued more beads in place. I sewed a matching bead to look like a closure, it's purely decorative, although I could sew a snap fastener under it perhaps.
 The cover overlaps the signatures, so that it's all wrapped up neatly, protecting the edges of the pages.
 With the cover fully open. It was quite difficult to sew the in dividual signatures into the cover as I chose to do it using the sewing machine and not hand stitching. I used a zipper foot to get as close to the centre of the pages as possible, but it really was a bit tricky.
With the back cover fully opened out. I might fuse something onto this area, but I quite liked the pattern of the hand dyed cloth on its own.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Final Pages.

 The front cover for the final signature. Although it looks as if the butterfly is part of the original piece of fabric, it's actually fused on with careful matching of the grass stem. All the butterflies and most of the dragonflies have the antennae added on with marker pen, as they are too fine to cut and applique.
 The fabric on the left is a computer design that made in Photoshop, printed onto fabric and fused to some hand dyed fabric. Unfortunately the piece of hand dye that I had was a bit too short, so I added a strip and fused ribbon over the top.
Again, the butterfly is not part of the original commercial fabric, it's fused on with added legs and antennae. The lower small dragonfly is also added later. Now I've only got the cover to make and then the task of sewing in all 9 signatures.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Penultimate Signature.

 I haven't been able to do any book pages for a while, but at last I've been able to get back to the little dragonfly book again.
 Vintage embroidered braid with appliqued dragonfly cut from a piece of fabric. More gelatine plate prints of my hand carved butterfly and dragonfly stamps
 The hand made paper has such lovely little inclusions of vegetation that I need to be careful not to cover them up.
                                                            Cut outs from another print.
                                  Yet more gelatine plate prints and hand carved stamps.
On the right is a digitized and stitched out flower which had several faults, but for this application it's ideal.
The back cover of this signature.