Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three weeks 'til launch....

.... and I'm not worried at all.....well maybe a bit of pre-exhibition anxiety....!

I've finished all major works and this week have been focussing on the administrative side of my exhibition - labels, lists, and framing. 

I've invested in a small supply of A3 perspex frames, to complement the ones I'm borrowing from Impress Printmakers.  Thanks to Mum's stash of 1970's furnishing fabrics, I've been busy on the overlocker making bags for them;  they're almost an artwork in themselves - bright orange and lime flower designs.

Another (more exciting) piece I've been working on this week is my 3 panel screen.  I'm making this to 'hide' the kitchen area in the Richard Randall Art Studio, but also as part of my exhibition.  Last Saturday I was at Dion's paper mill north of Gympie making large sheets of paper from mulberry pulp.  This has formed the basis for my screen panels, onto which I have printed some large ficus leaves.  This morning I have been lime washing the wooden screen frame.  Its all going along pretty well, and so far am pleased with how its going together. 

I have also got a couple of large long sheets to hang as part of my exhibition.  The mulberry (kozo) fibre is beautifully transparent with includes the inner fibre (white) mixed with the inner and outer bark (chocolate brown fleck).  I can't wait to see it all in situ.

Below are some photos from Dion's studio last weekend, where I worked with my fellow papermakers creating our large sheets.

I'm working at the vacuum table,
at Dion's paper mill

My sheet on the vacuum table,
at this stage its just the mulberry fibre
 ready to have the water extracted

Ngaire in full flight working on her sheet,
she's tossing her fibre onto the vacuum table
with great creative energy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This week in my art studio...

Today I started a 3 day blitz of making botanical pulp as part of my preparations for my upcoming exhibition "Conservation of the Species".

I'm lucky in that I've got everything I need at home to make botanical pulp - a garden full of potential material, an electric cooker, and an outdoor sink complete with insinkerator.   Its the first time I've used my insinkerator and its great - really speeds up the beating of the fibres.

Today I cooked up corn husks (luckily my chickens LOVE corn, so there's no shortage of husks) and lemon grass (from my friend Floss's garden).  Tomorrow I'll be processing banana leaves, heliconia and ginger.  And Mum will be bringing around a couple of bags of day lilly prunings from her garden as well.

Some of the fibre I will keep for workshops, but most of it will end up as artworks at my exhibition, combining printmaking with papermaking with a nature theme.

my electric cooker
Cooked lemon grass fibre before beating

Cooked and beaten fibre
my insinkerator installed under my outdoor sink

Inky and Pepper supervising my work (NOT).
Pepper is moulting so I've been collecting
her beautiful feathers for my basketry,
nothing goes to waste at my house!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Encaustic Fun

I've just spent 3 days exploring the medium of encaustic with American artist, Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.

I've played around with encaustic before using books and DVDs as a source, but nothing beats having the techniques demonstrated to you by someone who really knows the medium well.  And 3 days of playing around is a luxury too!

Encaustic is a medium made of melted beeswax and damar resin (pure or coloured), layered over collages, drawings, shellac - anything really.

During the workshop, I had my first experience of image transfer, its really easy with the wax.  I found my niche on day two using some of my gelatin monoprints as a base, then layering with wax, image transfers and shellac.

The shellac was just divine - burning the wet shellac with the heat gun produced the most serendipitous marks (and you know how much I love them!).

Although its back to work today, a four day Easter weekend is looming, so guess what I'll be doing???

Not eating chocolate thats for sure!

p.s. I'll be exhibiting some of my encaustic works at my show in May, look out for them - I can't capture their real depth in photos.

Foreground -The wax pots melted and ready to go,
Background - Tricia using the heat gun to fuse the wax

Fern monoprint with image transfered text

Fern monoprint, with shellac and image transfer bee
An abstract piece -
I love the patterns made in the shellac by burning it!

Here I am, working on another encaustic piece,
doing some scratching with a dental tool.
I'd later wipe over the surface with oil paint
so it picks up the lines