Category Archives: printing

Why are you so obsessed with that bowl?

That’s what my better half keeps asking. I don’t know the answer. There are a lot of bowls in my work.

Some are tea bowls. Some are oryoki bowls.  Some are broken, some are not. Sometimes a bowl is just a bowl.

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Which is nice . . .

So this came in yesterday’s mail. I’m always happy to see it. But this time I was even happier than usual. One of the items chosen for display in the Reader Challenge Results, which featured hand carved stamps this time, was something that looked awfully familiar. This:

My sneakers! They were in amazing company on these pages–such beautiful things the other contributors had made.  I blush. Okay–done now. I’ll try to restrict myself to quiet giggling.

“Look at me making art!”

Monoprint van gogh's baby by floating ink
Quoth a friend of Second Child’s, who had come over to spend the weekend with us.  On Saturday I made large sheet of gelatin and brought out the watercolors, but the girls came nosing around and I turned the place over to them. SC’s friend, who was not having a good day, really got into making monoprints, and at one point threw her arms up in the air and shouted “Look at me making art!”
Made my whole weekend.
Just over a week later, I suddenly realized I’d stored the gelatin sheet out on the porch inside the gas grill, intending to go back to it on Sunday. Then I forgot it. By the time I retrieved it, the gelatin had frozen and thawed maybe 4 times. and it was really in bad shape. Sort of crumbly. Not good. But before throwing it out,  I got out some sheets of paper and the paints–nothing to lose, right? I ended up with some nice pieces–they’ll be perfect for backgrounds for . . . something. That’s one of them at the top of this post, and another that’s become my current header.

Another stab at organization

Magazine holder close-ups by floating ink
Magazine holder close-ups, a photo by floating ink on Flickr.

The art supplies are taking over the house. In an effort to corral some of the papers and paints, tools, brushes, books, and so on, I spent a little check I got for Christmas on some Ikea shelving. While I was there I also grabbed some of these easy to assemble cardboard magazine holders:

This afternoon I pulled out a huge roll of heavy brown kraft paper, some of my hand carved stamps and some Stayz-on stamp ink, and started working up some covers for the plain white boxes. You can see I used my official weights to hold the curled up paper in place, and the very correct pizza boxes that I use to transport my stamps:*
Within an hour or so I had three neatly covered boxes, the ones you see at the top of this post. I’m pretty chuffed about them.  I’m especially pleased with the scissors stamps, which I made by photocopying my two favorite pairs of scissors, cutting out their paper images, then tracing them onto kids’ craft Foamies (is that what those sheets are called?), cutting them out (with their original real-life counterparts), then using a dead ball point pen to make impressions of their details before stamping with them.

Anyway, I think they look great in the new shelves. If only they didn’t show up the way-overdue-for-fresh-paint walls behind them!

___

*Thanks to a generous donation from a friend, I may soon have a much classier way to store and transport the stamps–stay tuned.

Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain

I’ve been working steadily throughout the first 12th of the year and just want to let you know that the art-making has been continual and fairly serious, but there hasn’t really been much to show, for various reasons.  One newly finished mixed media piece was a belated (okay, seriously freaking belated) Christmas present for my mother, which has finally gone out in the mail but which will remain, for the moment, mostly private. The little bit above is a detail from the piece. Here’s another:

The very fetching child in the bottom row is yours truly at about three years of age.  See? I am still working.

 

A (belated) Halloween riddle

Life gives you lemons by floating ink
Life gives you lemons, a photo by floating ink on Flickr.

Yeah, it’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’m only just now getting around to posting this photo of Second Child’s Halloween garb.

Her concept, my freezer stencil printing on the t-shirt and the deep canvas bag (which I stitched together by hand because I have a new sewing machine and I’ve lost the manual already).

She wore the bag over her shoulder, Johnny Appleseed style, and filled it full of individually wrapped LemonHead candies, which she handed out at her high school and at the diner where she was working after school.

People either didn’t get it, or found it highly amusing.

Tea bowls on a tea bag

Tea bowls on teabag by floating ink
Tea bowls on teabag, a photo by floating ink on Flickr.

Remember the old riddle? You throw away the outside, cook the inside, then eat the outside and throw away the inside? At least, I think that’s how it went. The answer, of course–corn.

My newest art project has a similar bent. You throw away the outside (the tea bag wrapper), cook the inside (steeping the tea bag), put aside the inside (the now wet tea bag), and throw away the inside.

I’ve been having a wonderful time rescuing tea bags, hanging them to dry (on my art clothesline across the kitchen fireplace), then unfolding them, dumping out the shreds of tea inside (do dry first, and throwing out the old tea afterwards so that you get the most color out of the leaves and onto the fabric bag), then saving the tea bag paper for printing projects. And, yes, I can already hear some of you saying “Throw out the used tea leaves? Never!” I suppose they’d be good for dying and could also just be composted.

To gaze even further into my own navel, I’ve chosen to start with a print of–you guessed it–tea bowls.  A similar print ended up being incorporated into the encaustic painting I showed back in September. If you look at the larger version on my flickr page. at the top edge just to the left of the green ribbon, you can see (upside down) the tea bowl image printed on a tea bag. And again–faintly, almost directly below it, but right side up.

I’m also sort of digging this rabbit–he’s one of my favorite hand-carved stamps of all time and I’ve used him in many projects.

I’m going to continue to play with this tea bag paper–making a photocopy directly onto the tea bag is in the works, with a success rate (success being defined as not totally gumming up the copier) of about 35% so far.  I’m also piddling with some different kinds of tea, different tea bag fabrics and paper (I’ve got a little collection of silk tea bags I’m eager to try), and different lengths of time leaving the bags in contact with the paper.

Compare the tea bowl image at the top of this post, for instance, with the one below left (which stayed scrunched up with the wet tea leaves in it for almost a week), and take a look at the right-hand image, too–I’ve got some ideas for using the teabags cut up, too. If nothing else, it gives me lots of excuses to drink plenty of tea!