Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Stump Jump Plough.

Having visited the same area of rural Victoria for more than 20 years, I have come to know it all very well. Hidden in the bush on a small island in the swamp are some old pieces of farm equipment including a Stump Jump Plough, which I find fascinating with all its levers, springs and assorted workings. The first photo that I took was in 2005 and clearly shows rubber tyres on the rear wheels of the plough.


       In 2008 the tyres are still there and there isn't a great deal of difference in the vegetation.

                In 2009 however the rubber tyres have disappeared! Why and how I wonder. 

             After 2009 I didn't visit the machinery again until this weekend, 12 years later.

One can just see a bit of growth in the size of the trunk of the tree to the right and the sapling growing between the 'front' wheels is quite a lot bigger. It's a pity that I didn't take the photos from exactly the same angle each year, but it's still interesting to see what has been going on over the past 16 years.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Spirals and Gold.

 While looking for something quite different I came across a bottle of gold acrylic paint in my cupboard. I hadn't used any of it judging by the amount in the bottle and then I remembered that it was a very cheap brand of paint that I was sure wouldn't stay 'open' on the gelatine plate. It did however, and being a cheap bottle of paint I could afford to really use generous quantities of it to test it out.

Unfortunately the sheen of gold reflects strongly in a photo, but these prints are only test pieces anyway. I also used black paper for the first time on a gelatine plate and can definitely see possibilities for it's use in the future. I cut the spirals from heavy duty plastic and the figure masks from shapes in a book.
No more gold in the print below, but more of the spiral masks, used over the top of an old texture print in dark grey.

                                                     More spirals and figure masks below.

Monday, 19 April 2021

The Next Step.

 Having completed the printed background, I went on to pick some small Eucalyptus leaves still on their twigs, and make prints from them on chiffon using the trusty homemade gelatine plate. The chiffon I bought as pieces at a jumble sale about 40 years ago as I knew that it would come in handy one day!

I really like the leaves that have uneven edges where the insects have nibbled them, so I used as many of these as possible. However when I came to cut them out, they were much more difficult to cut. I tried various colours of chiffon, but settled for the off white one, although I did use a few of the leaves that I had

printed on the green fabric. I tried to keep the leaves in small bunches attached to their twigs, but it proved easy to add the leaves to the bunch even when I had cut them off by mistake! These have all been ironed onto 'Misty Fuse' sheer fusible sheets ready to adhere to the background.


Monday, 12 April 2021

Off Cuts!

 When using a gelatine plate to print I have lots of pieces that just don't quite make it. Some parts have interesting corners, but overall they are not up to scratch.

Some recently made full sized prints that I had put into the reject pile all seemed to have interesting texture in places, so I cut them up into pieces and placed them in a sort of patchwork arrangement. However I don't think that I want leave all that white around the pieces.

Here I've pushed them up together and started to think that this might be a background for something more interesting.

Here I've put them into a final arrangement and glued them into place, and with the exception of one piece, I'm quite happy with the colour placement. Now, what's next? 

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Gelatine Plate Printing Once Again.

I haven't worked with an all blue colour scheme for a while, so I decided to print several background pieces of paper in a pale blue on the home made gelatine plate.
Then I pressed a couple of prepared texture plates into gelatine and printed over the pale blue background.

I liked the result so much that I decided to try it again with Van Dyke brown acrylic paint over a 'failed' print in oranges and yellows. I do like this, although I'm not entirely sure what to add next.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Ladybird Larvae.

While pulling out the spent tomato plants this week I came across a huge number of Ladybird larvae on the wooden stakes and what I thought were the larvae shedding their skins and turning into adult beetles. Above you can see the 'baby' Ladybird beetle with 3 others seemingly shedding their skins.
I have now learned that these are in fact the next stage in the life cycle and still not adults. These barely moved even though I was pulling out the tomato stakes and stacking them quite a distance from the garden bed. It turns out that these can't move around, who knew?


Friday, 26 March 2021


   Here is The Juggler framed and hung at the recent Embroiderers Guild of Victoria annual exhibition.

A pity about the reflections, but when photographing something under glass it's very difficult not to see them, and foolishly I forgot to take a photo of the The Juggler with stitching before it was framed. This picture was taken my daughter....................a photo of her picture!

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

The Juggler.

Like many thousands of people around the world, I was in lockdown for many weeks while the dreaded Virus rampaged around the country. Being retired this didn't effect me a great deal, apart from not being able to see the extended family and go to all the usual activities that I enjoy. However, those with school aged children, in the workforce and having to watch the finances had a very different experience, a not quite so pleasant one it has to be said!  I watched my daughter juggling full time University teaching, supervising her childrens' schooling and trying to fit in all the usual domestic tasks, not forgetting to walk the dog.  Even with a very supportive and helpful husband it was not easy. This print above represents my daughter and all those juggling life during the lockdowns, trying to keep all the balls in the air! I actually went on further with this print, transferring it to fabric and embellishing it with free motion machine embroidery. My daughter wants it for her office wall, and of course I am delighted to give it to her.