Batik yin yang cats

I went to a Batik workshop about three years ago when I first got my studio at Spode. I’d never done it before, but basically we used hot liquid wax as a resist to dyes. When you paint coloured dyes over the pattern you make, the colours are not absorbed into the cloth or canvas where the wax had been painted. Then you have to het a hot iron and paper and iron the wax out with the paper between the cloth and the iron so the wax gets absorbed into the paper. There is probably a clearer way of explaining, but as I say I only went to one workshop. My friend made this heavy frame for the yin yang cats. There is glass in it to protect the fabric. I was rather pleased with the result.

Glass hanging

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I would like to do some more glass art. This hanging piece was made last year. It’s made from fused glass. I would like to find a better place to hang it, so that more light can shine through. I’m also notĀ  quite happy with the yellow in it. It slight clashes with the other colours. It’s made with lengths of glass placed horizontally and vertically. It is almost like a plaid pattern.

Fused glass class with Angela Ashton, glass artist. Now based at South Sheilds.

Urban sketchers yesterday

The cat? He got in front of my sketch pad as I tried to take the photos of my drawings from yesterday. They are a large tree and workshop, a gate with a seated artist hidden behind it, and a stone figure half hidden in the bushes. These might make the basis for some new paintings as I work towards creating art for a new exhibition. I took a few photos too so I can use them to work out the colours.

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Today was fun

Long day again, but it was good to see new people, a lot of the purchases of my tiny paintings were children asking their parents to buy them pictures of angels and snowmen that I’d done.

There were printing, stamp designs for Christmas paper, and Christmas ornament making workshops at the waiting room gallery. Everyone seemed to have fun.

There was also Walnut cake, Lemon drizzle cake and scones to delight the customers.

Yes, all in all, a good weekend.

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Today’s 1″challenge

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Day 16…only 15 to go. I’ve enjoyed doing these so far. I’m even drawing them early! Last year I kept adding pictures late.

The glass should be fired in the next couple of days, then I shall haveĀ  pieces I can turn into smaller necklaces. I loved being able to do it, but the lady who runs the workshops is moving away. I shall have to find someone else who does it, or the pieces I did today will be my last experiment in this craft.

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Making glass pieces

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Just been making some more glass work. I used some more dichroic glass to add some sparkle and interesting effects. Now waiting to be fired by my friend Angela who ran the workshop. Hopefully they will come out nice and I can use them for jewellery. Each piece is about half the size of previous ones I’ve done.

Singing workshop

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Quick sketch of people singing at a workshop today up at Penkhull village hall.

We sand lots of autumn songs, including old English songs and a poem set to music by the poet Lemn Sissay and musician Anni Tracey. We also sang a French song written in 1945 and translated into English called Autumn Leaves. It was by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer with arrangement by Greg Stephens.

We got on really we and had a lovely time. The teachers Kate and Penny were very patient and helpful. I enjoyed it

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Blacksmithing

We went to a blacksmithing workshop today and bashed metal with hammers between heating it up in a forge. It took a few hours to learn how to make a coil of metal as a keyring and a letter opener.

Our tutor was Charis Jones, who runs Sculpted Steel at the Forge at Etruria Industrial museum. She patiently talked us through the many steps to turn both a bar and a strip of mild steel into the objects we chose to make. Other choices included a snail and a poker.

I don’t have the grip I used to have and trying to hold a piece of metal in a pair of tongs was very difficult. I dropped my work on the floor a few times, and you can’t just bend over and pick up red hot metal, you have to be very careful. Luckily no one got burned despite handling white hit metal.

The hardest thing is being able to hammer properly, my wrists felt weak and my arms were aching. (They still are).

You can see our efforts and what we were trying to do in the photos. They are next to the examples of how they should look. I overheated my letter opener blade and the tip broke off. Luckily Charis sorted it out (which is why it’s shorter than my hubbies work). He seemed to take to it naturally and it helped calm him down. Very good for concentration and ‘flow’.

I think having an experience like this gives you an insight into how difficult the craft of blacksmithing is. What you realise is that it may look simple, but it isn’t!

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Glass for necklaces

I made these glass pieces in my friend Angela’s glass workshop. Now I’ve bought them to another friend who is going to wire weave round them and turn them into necklaces. Glass is fascinating. I now want to find out about stained glass and glass blowing. I’m only dabbling my toes into this craft but it’s great. I’m going to maybe get an enamel kiln but that’s another story…..

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