WIP – Tree Sculpture

Further progress on my indoor tree sculpture – testing out full-sized vellum leaves (with odd-coloured sheet), incorporating a more advanced balance mechanism, with branches constructed from foraged plastic sheeting. I think the proportions are off, but I’m very happy with the look of the leaves, with the pleating of the vellum nicely echoing the texture and transparency of real beech leaves. Next: tweaking proportions, testing addition of hinging to the branches.

Mish’s silver stone-holding ‘hug’

I greeted the new year with a replacement setting for a friend’s ‘journey stone’ – a ‘hug’ rather than a cage. A total of 50cm of sterling wire spirals, gradually soldered into a cage to hold the stone, and finally closed securely by interleaving two of the spirals.

Glass notes mobile

A quick craft created during a housewarming party, to welcome the new incumbents and celebrate their musical creativity and general loveliness. Made from two weights of miscellaneous craft/gardening wire, and coloured glass pebbles.

Embroidered star jacket

Inspired by some beautiful white-on-dark embroideries, I unpicked the lining of a very flattering and comfortable black single-button fabric jacket, to turn it into a wearable star field. I mapped out a star field from Orion near the horizon on the tails, to the pole star on the nape of the neck.

The stars are represented by french knots in a shiny polyester embroidery thread, with size and

approximating the magnitude of each one. The constellations are joined up by a simple running stitch in normal navy blue thread.

I’ve been wearing the jacket a lot since I made it, and it’s always made me smile and got great compliments – when it disintegrates I’ll have to embroider a new one!

Costume Antlers Pictorial

I decided I fancied wearing a pair of antlers at a recent event. Here are a few pictures of the process from a foam pool noodle to a wearable set of prongs. I regret painting them gold (mostly an accident!), and if I remake them I’ll take the opportunity to make them more realistically thin, but they’re still eminently wearable.

Kitchen and Bathroom hand-painted tiles

Hand-painted for a kitchen (floral), and three bathrooms (black, blue, and trees-with-bright-backgrounds).

I created these with Pébéo Porcelaine 150 paints, and Marabu Porcelain Painter fine-line pens. They’re baked after drying to become ‘dishwasher safe’, but we have some concerns around durability, so we may add tile sealant or other protective coatings before using them in anger.

The paint is translucent and shows every brushstroke, dries quickly and subsequent layers lift earlier ones, so it’s really tricky to get consistent results with – I especially had trouble with areas of saturated colour, be they solid or gradients. Textures were much easier to achieve. The pen also was tricky to work with – the ink dries onto the special (and fantastic!) nib within seconds of you getting distracted by something, so I had to keep the lid in my free hand so that I wouldn’t forget to cap the pen. When (and I don’t mean ‘if’) the tip gets clogged, I found the best way to clear it was to soak it in warm water until most of the pigment floats away, then flush it through with clean water. I’d then blow through it to get the water out as much as possible (it mucks up the ink), and use a pin and magnifying glass to remove any stubborn pigment from the weird little flanges that channel ink down to the tip of the soft plastic nib.

A very interesting and tricky medium, but I think after this many paintings I’ve got enough of a handle on things to be able to achieve what I set out to when setting paint to tile.