Nikki’s Dragon

A lovely commission, to create a medallion-style pendant for a dragon lover.

Cast from a wax sculpture made using my new Wolf wax carving tools. It was an absolute delight to have 18 diverse and well-made tools on hand for whatever type of cut or scrape I needed. I’m looking forward to many more sculptures using them.

The final dragon is a little hefty at around 16g of sterling silver, even with the smooth, hollowed underside. Available from my Etsy Shop.

I will also be making bronze versions – let me know via etsy or the contact form if you’d like to be notified when they’re available.

Hot Air Balloon Quilts

A pair of patchwork and appliquéd quilts, made for a much-loved pair of twins two years ago. The suggested theme was hot air balloons, to match the nursery. I initially designed them as double-sided (day and night), but even after that, I ended up with a far bigger bite than I’d expected to chew through… My first quilt, and not sure I’d make another, although admittedly many of the problems stemmed from the sheer scale and making it up as I went along!

I actually photo-documented the process in some detail for once, thanks to having an assistant, so you can see how I got through it.

Credits Sequence – Message from Mumbai

For this year’s film challenge, our entry depicts the last contact between two sisters, about to be separated for 30 years as a rogue exoplanet diverts one’s home planet’s orbital trajectory.  Say that five times fast.

In a film challenge, I usually have 20 seconds to cram the credits into, tacked on the end of our 3-5 minute film.  With actors, a team of about 10 and lots people to thank, it’s tricky to fit everything in and make it readable.  I had to drop dramatic impact and the loneliness of space for a dense but elegant arrangement, but I’m pretty pleased with the result. If I’d had more time, I would animate the planets along their orbital paths, and give each ‘page’ solo time on screen, as well as using a better blur which moves across the screen, rather than streaming everything upwards.

Pen-and-inking

Working on improving my use of dip-pen and ink. Very much enjoying the expressiveness of my new favourite nib, and india ink is a dream to use…

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.

Hand-painted tiles – En Suite

I’m working on four sets of tiles to adorn the bathrooms and kitchen of a new build house in the Highlands. The en-suite bathroom is to have a black-and-white nautical theme, so I’ve been working with various tile-decorating media to create individual drawings of a wide range of sea-related things.

Not sure what’s my favourite so far, but I’m really pleased with the textural clouds – exploiting the inevitable streaks left when I brush rather than glob on the paint. Probably at least the same number left to go!

New Entanglement homepage mockup

Continuing from yesterday’s post of doodles and designs, here’s a rough mockup of a more streamlined ‘entanglement.co.uk’. I’m hoping that the new layout will direct people to the various parts of the site more efficiently. Now I just have to design another 3 layouts for the jewellery sub-site, 1 layout for the ‘projects’ page, one for the blog, and one for the actual items you’ll be looking at! Then the question is how to achieve various bits of functionality, what theme to use as a base, and how to hack it to look as I wish… Phew!