Plaster Workshops

Plaster Dipping and Plaster Sculptures

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Over the past two weekends I have been teaching some classes for The Workshop Cabin in Bath in the wonders of plaster, (cue large amounts of hand cream as it is pretty brutal on the poor mitts).  The Workshop Cabin put on really cool workshops, ranging from painting to photography to bookbinding and many more.  Definitely check out their site for inspirational activities… I have my eye on the Pyrography workshop already.

Anyhow, over two Saturdays we built, planned, mixed, dipped, wrapped, made a mess, painted and mounted various works.  The results are pretty great and I think that the participants were pleased with their results – the sculptures were especially amazing.  An added bonus was that it was just before Valentine’s day, so the plaster flowers were put to good use as gifts for some lucky recipients.

All Photos courtesy of Heidi @ The Workshop Cabin

Everyone beavering away with their plaster

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Plaster flowers drying

Happy Valentine pressies

Sculptures in progress

The final sculptures…

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Final sculptures with bronze paint effects, and some very happy punters…eat your heart out Alberto Giacometti….!

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This little piggy went to market….(again)

BAM Undercover Christmas Gift Fairs Advert

This weekend we are off to the Bath Artisan Market (22nd November) for the Christmas Gift Fair.  It is a really lovely fair set in a very grand old Victorian railway station in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and too often I end up doing a LOT of gift shopping there so I must behave this weekend.  It is a covered area, so weather is not an issue and there is a very nice Brasseries for lunch as well as lots of local hot food stalls selling delicious morsels.  There are beautiful handmade items for sale ranging from yummy foods to Art to Clothing to unique items that I cannot even catagorise, but all are made with love and skill.

We will be selling our paper wreaths which come into their own at this time of year, paper cut art, gifts and cards.  And if I say so myself, my wreaths look pretty spectacular in a house in this beautiful city!  There is live music too , and it is the first time that I have started to feel very ‘Christmassy’ this year…

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Wonderful Tattoos that come off!

This is a bit of shameless reblog, but it is so cool I had to share….  I am not even sure if I can get this paper in the UK but I will endeavour.  The post comes from the fantastic Apartment Therapy and the lovely photos are by Ashley Poskin.

Homemade Holiday Gift Idea: Make Custom Temporary Tattoos

Personalized temporary tattoos make the best little stocking stuffers or secret snowflake gifts. Create your own artwork, or find clip art online, and simply print them out on specialized temporary tattoo paper. It’s a fun way to spice up the holidays and pull a fast one on grandma.

What You Need

Materials

  • Temporary tattoo paper (we used this brand)
  • Digital art
  • Design software (Photoshop or software provided by paper company)

Tools

  • Color printer
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Scissors
  • Burnishing tool ( a spoon works great!)

Instructions

1. This first step is the most time consuming, as it requires quite a bit of surfing around the web for art and/or creating your very own one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Once you’ve collected the art you’d like to use, you can create your template in a few different ways. I made a new document in photoshop by choosing “US Letter” which comes out to be 8.5″x 11″ at 300 pixels/inch. I then created multiple layers by dragging all the images I wanted to print onto the sheet, arranging them until they all fit perfectly.

If you don’t want to mess around with Photoshop, most temporary tattoo paper companies will provide free downloadable templates to use, just check the back of the package for download instructions and you’re on your way.

2. My packet came with two sheets of thick, white temporary tattoo paper, and two adhesive sheets stuck to green film. The white glossy paper is what you’ll send through the printer, face up. Wait until the ink has dried completely before moving on to the next step.

3. Remove the adhesive sheet from the green film and press it firmly over the printed designs, starting from the top and working your way to the bottom. Work carefully as the adhesive will cling to anything it touches.

4. Transfer the adhesive from from the top sheet to the white paper using a burnishing tool such as a wooden spoon, popsicle stick, or scraper tool. It’s only necessary to burnish over the designs, don’t worry about the negative space.

5. Cut each design from the sheet, then go back and cut around each design in detail, leaving as little negative space as possible. The area with a design does a great job of masking the film that transfers to your skin, but any space that doesn’t have a printed design (significant space around your tattoo) will show up and look kind of filmy. Definitely not rock ‘n roll.

6. Apply the tattoo to your skin by pressing it face down (paper side up) and holding it in place with a wet cloth for 20-25 seconds. Once set, the paper backing will slide off easily.

YES! I got to go to Dismaland!

Visit to Dismaland

After a nail biting queue online, I managed to procure tickets to visit the Art sensation that is Dismaland, put on by Banksy in Weston-Super-Mare.  This exhibition was not only his own work, but he curated many other global contemporary artists for the show.

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I love Banksy; he is irreverant, political and a perfect commentator on society today using what I see as bleak humour and wit to get his point across.  Plus he is also a local boy and keeps his main exhibitions in this area of the UK, so it was not a long way to go, (thanks v. much Banksy, as there were people there today that I spotted from European countries who had come all the way just to see the exhibition).

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Building a Fine Art Website

dabbling in the html word

I have in the past built CMS websites for people, schools and businesses but purely as a hobby/sideline and via word of mouth, and last week I was commissioned to come up with a design for a very simple and clean website by a private Art Dealer that I encountered in Bristol.

His speciality is Modern & Contemporary Art, with an emphasis on street art.  He has some very impressive and works by contemporary artists that he collects and sells; Damien Hirst, Banksy, Antony Micallef, Peter Blake, Chris Ofili, Laure Prouvost and many more.  It is an eclectic mixture of original artwork, prints, sculptures and ceramics.  It was a really nice project to get my teeth into as he has some amazing artwork that I could study for both the website and my art workshops with children.

site 1

Home landing page

site 4

About Page

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Selling at Artisan Markets

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I have been really busy recently redecorating the house, and have not been running stalls at Artisan or Craft Markets for over a year.  The last one I did was great, and I totally sold out and also took extra orders for my paper wreaths… but WOW was I knackered at the end!  Christmas is a time when people want the paper wreaths, so I need to prepare them early so I have enough, I definitely learned that last time.  However, the advance orders are also good as people can choose their colours to match their Xmas decorations.

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Hand Painted Wallpaper ♥ Want Wednesday No. 1

De Gournay paper and murals from the masters of the most exquisite wallpaper hand made by artisans has always been Number 1 on my dream list for decorating a room, (or Gracie Studios as a close second as well).  However, you do usually pay a small fortune for hand painted wallpaper and murals on silk or paper, and so it has always been out of my reach, and I am not sure my own artistic skills would match the pieces I have seen if I tried to replicate it, (actually definitely not when I think about it).

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All Photos from De Gournay

I love the way the paintings meander over the walls, around corners and are so obviously not normal wallpaper.  These papers cost literally hundreds per roll. A friend purchased a roll a couple of years ago, and hung it like a painting rather than stick it to a wall directly in case she moved house and had to leave it behind.

But, GOOD NEWS, I have just found a supplier of Chinoiserie papers in China (via my lovely friend that is Ebay) that has good recommendations via Jenny Komenda at the Little Green Notebook blog.  They can paint onto paper or silk so you have a choice of medium.   Jenny had some panels from them with the backgrounds specifically matched to a paint sample she sent them, and the results are stunning.  Jenny framed hers as separate panels in acrylic, however I think I would go the whole hog and use them as wallpaper directly in alcoves, and match the background colour paint to the colour on the rest of the walls. The room would then have the hand painted sections in the alcoves, and if you used 2 panels per alcove they could curl around onto the adjacent walls.  Scrummy.

Here is the link to the ebay store where they can be found.  They cost approximately £237 for an 8ft high x 3ft wide panel which is quite a lot less than one roll by De Gournay.

!Bqg7-4wB2k~$(KGrHqEH-CUEu43COgQRBLvzp)R(-g~~_12 !BzJRsogEGk~$(KGrHqF,!i8Ew5judG52BMUufWuWtg~~_12 !BzWi,M!BGk~$(KGrHqYOKjgE)OofPoj3BMVr+sc,nQ~~_12Definitely an option worth investigating further, and not much difference in costs to using a designer wallpaper all over the room from design houses like Colefax & Fowler, Prestigious Wallcoverings or House of Hackney.