Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lucky Legs

I married into a family with lucky legs . So the family joke goes, lucky they don't break as they are so thin. I do not share this physical attribute, my legs are more sturdy , good walking legs with robust ankles and calves - I'd like to think.
So faced with the challenge of making a pair of felted slipper boots, as a Christmas present I knew I had to make the ankles roomy - I just didn't realized how roomy. So I did all my calculations, made wide looking ankles,and set off.
What a mistake.!
There is quite a lot of work in a pair of felted slipper boots and I was about halfway though  when I split them into two , and realized that it was looking unlikely that I could get my feet into them. I tried stretching and felting simultaneously, in the bath with my feet in as far as they would go , but it was no good.  If I couldn't get my feet in would the recipient be able too. Did she have lucky legs?   I did not think so. Though related the lucky legs genes did not transfer to her.
It was so impossible that the only solution was the slash the boot down the foot not once but twice.  I could get my feet into them now , but they did not look so good. In fact I was not happy with them at all so unhappy I am not going to show you a photo.
I have today tried again with ankles that are significantly bigger than at my first attempt. It has worked. My feet slip in easily. Suitable I think for all ankles styles and shapes. 
Only task now to deliver next weekend as a very late Christmas present. Hope it's appreciated.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Printing Press

The printing press was invented in 1440 in the Holy Roman Empire by the German - Johannes Guttenburg, according to Wikepia. That is a very long time ago.  I wonder if Johannes had the same problems with printing that I am having? Interestingly print and stress are the same word in Dutch -- Druk-- . Very perceptive of the Dutch.  

 This is the problem. I need to using mono prints , in Black , white and brown, to make A4 prints onto A2 Paper inspired by the Deluge from Leonardo de Vinci. Well, there is a very fine line , between no paint at all transferring from my A4 sheet and a big blob transferring . Timing, amount of paint, pressure are some many factors that determine if it is a sucessul print , that Johannes was a clever man I think.

 Timing and the amount of paint seem probably the two most important factors of determining  between a dot and a blob, and I can't control either. I put my paint on using an old ice-cream plastic spoon. Scrap it up and down , and print.  Quick Quick or its dry before I try. I quickly learned, one colour at a time , or it just looks like sludge.    With this technique and your eyes half closed the print  does kind of look like rain. 

 Swirling is even more difficult , as it closely resembles a blob in the first place. So I am using a cork to spread , as it is a least round to begin with ,and thinking to creep up on beautiful swirls , by a gradual build up . This of course requires , lots of drying time , and it hard to know when to stop, another print here or there , might just make it a master piece or a total runination. 

Why am I doing this. I am not sure exactly but I am at module 13  of by ArtyBird course, I am sure all will be revealed by the time I reach the end module17.   I think it all to do with control of design processes, or in my case lack of control and I have to say I am enjoying it loads.

Here it is.

The question is , is it finished or does it needs a another blob or line?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The perfect storm

January is here.  Gone are the bright orange and blue sunsets, and the warm sultry skies. Bad weather has taken its place and not just ordinary bad weather but a deluge.  I am now trying to draw very bad weather using Leonardo de Vinci Deluge as inspiration. What a good match for the grey January skies, and the current  lashing rain and the gale force winds.                                                       

Options for drawing are extensive as long as they are black . Felt pens, charcoal, ink, pencils , paint . I can ever add water and smudge it all.     
I would have never thought I could draw anything , but I found I can make black marks on a piece of paper. I can draw straight lines , swirly lines, and make shade and dark. I can use candle wax to keep part of it white.  Then the only snag here is  I can't see what part.  I add water and turn it all grey and then I can imagine the rain lashing down outside and the rough sea beating on the shore. Grey on grey, and black on black- all a bit of a scribble really.

Perhaps I can imagine the perfect storm