Monday, December 31, 2012

Papermaking on the Deck

Its that time of year...Craig (my partner) has disappeared to Victoria for some bike events, I've got the house to I can safely set up my papermaking 'factory' on the deck without ruining our wonderful relationship....!

I recently collected some plant material from my brother's property at Gympie.  I wanted to try a few different plants in my papermaking, other than that collected from my own garden.

Plants used include:  Bromelaid leaves (dried and chopped up in a mulcher) - lovely dark chocolate, flecked paper but quite a bit of shrinkage so best incorporated with other fibres and recycled paper.
Lomandra, Bladey Grass, Citronella grass, Bracken Fern, Lemon Grass.

The electric cooker
Rinsing the cooked fibre

Beating/chopping the cooked fibre, with the
outdoor insinkerator.

Bracken Fern, after cooking for 4 hours.

Bracken Fern, after it has been put through the insinkerator.
Very fiberous, not much bulk. 
The resulting paper looked just like a tree fern trunk. 
Not practical paper but very interesting!

The vat, ready to pull the sheets using the mould & deckle.
I have sprinkled calendula stamens/petals and lavender
on top of the vat as decorative colour and texture when
the sheets are pulled.

My new 'toys', from Japan.  These assist me to adhere
the formed sheets of paper onto my board for drying.

Sheets of Citronella grass drying on the boards.
This paper is, well, very grassy!

Close up of the Citronella grass paper. 
Lots of texutre so I won't be using this one for printing on.....
Lovely to touch and admire though!

A sheet of dried Bladey Grass, this is my favourite.
Lovely golden colour with lots of texture (hard to see in the photo).
I think this is one I will use in some future exhibition pieces.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gelli Plate Printing - ho ho ho

WOO HOO!  The Xmas holidays are here, time to get stuck into some new projects....

...firstly just have to duck into the kitchen and start making the potato bake for Xmas lunch tomorrow, but in between peeling potatoes and chopping the onion, there's art to do!

This week I've been working on my gelli plate printing.  For those of you who don't know, for the past year I have been importing and selling Gelli Arts Printing Plates (  They're are similar to the plates you can make from gelatin but are permanent, don't have to be prepared ahead of time and can be stored at room temperature.  I think they're great because they're more practical in our hot, humid climate than gelatin given our recent 30degrees+ temperatures and sticky humidity, I put the plates to the ultimate test.

In the past I had only used acrylic paints on my plates.  So this time I tried oil paints.  Same sort of process, but slightly longer working time.  Colours of course are beautiful on the prints, but after a week, they are still not yet touch dry!  Not good if I wanted to use the prints straight away.

Never mind, its back to the fast-drying acrylic.  In the past I have used acrylic retarder medium to lengthen the working time.  This time I tried Matisse Print Paste.  This is a retarder medium used in screenprinting.  I found the print paste to be better than the retarder, mostly as its thicker and easier to roll on the plate.

From the prints I have done the past couple of days, I have made 2 small concertina books using Cotton Tree leaves.
Some of the photos below show leaf prints that I have also done for an encaustic concertina book based on the ginkgo leaf.  After Xmas I will start working on the encaustic part of the project, stay tuned to my blog for more updates on how this project progresses....

If you're interested in the Gelli Plates, let me know.  I've got another batch arriving in the next couple of weeks, I sell them for $50 each.  I can give you a free demonstration if you like, but there's plenty of YouTube videos on the net to show you how easy it is to print with them.

I hope you all have a very creative Xmas.... after all of the Xmas cheer is over, lets get stuck into some art!   ho ho ho

Gelli Plate 'ghost' print using oil paint, the
detail and colour is beautiful

More prints, both ghost and first prints using oil paint

Ready to print, gelli plate inked up with acrylic paint

Ginkgo leaves, collected on my last trip to Sydney

The plate and leaves after printing

prints hanging to dry (almost instant in this hot weather!)

One of the prints that I'll use in my encaustic book

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trip to Japan Part 3 - so many goodies, so little time

Here are some photos from Japan Trip in November, highlighting the shopping I did at various art and craft shops......

Sometimes I was so overwhelmed with excitement and sensory overload, my hands were shaking!

A shop selling the most wonderful ribbons,
a dilemma "what to buy, what would I use?"
I managed to walk away with only one piece of ribbon, but
now wishing I had bought more.....

Kawachi, art supplies shop.  Not as good as Sekaido in Tokyo,
but I still managed to spend lots of Yen here!

View from the 33rd floor of the Swissotel in Osaka.

ABC Craft, a small view of the 'shop' - rows and rows
of craft supplies.  Imagine Spotlight + Lincraft + every online
craft shop in one location.......but with only half an hour! Urrghh!

In the Sasabe Gazai art shop in Osaka.
Can you see the frenzied look in my eyes?

Just a few metres of fabric in one of the craft shops...

Couldn't resist these, furry hiking pants with built in leggings,
but no, I didn't buy them for fear of how big my butt would look in them.

Cycling fashionista

PAPER, lots of it.  Yum, luckily it doesn't weigh much!

12 Cashiers at ABC Craft + a queue controller man.
Chaotic heaven!

Toraya fabics in an Osaka alley, open till late every night!

Part of my stash when I returned home, luckily we had
extra baggage allowance!