jeudi 21 octobre 2010


This is my latest venture into testing possible etching materials. May I present you : Rhenalon. It's transparent and flewible and very easy to work into with the drypoint. I want to do some tests with superpositions of plates as well. I'm curious about how it will turn out, but won't be able to find out for the next two weeks - the workshop is closed during the school holidays. *sad panda face*
Hop over to Kootoyoo's blog for more creative space !

jeudi 14 octobre 2010

Grump grump grump...

Today my creative space is grumpy. I have been trying out new materials for drypoint, as working on a shiny mirror kinda hurts my eyes. Yesterday's try-out was a "Schappa" plate. It's a kin d of platic, very soft, very bendable, with one smooth side and one matte side. The engraving was very pleasant, as you can draw in pencil on it and the drypoitn moves easily through the plastic. The printing however, was NOT.
The one problem with the plate is that it is BLACK. And the ink is black as well ! So I never knew how much ink I was applying or wiping off, it was a nightmare. Byt some miracle, the first print I made (the one in the center) is somewhat okay. I want to re-work it a little, spruce it up with a little bit of color. The others ? I almost threw them in the trash right away. I was SO angry. Next week I'm giving the material one more chance : I'll try light colored ink (yellow or white) on a dark background. And I still have to try the matte side of the plate as well... but still, I'm so [censored] that the print didn't work out... I really, really loved the design. In fact, I may re-draw it on another medium.

Hop over to Kootooyoo for more creative spaces !

mercredi 13 octobre 2010

A fight against the skies...

Today, I tried to defy the obvious celestial will, and I failed miserably. The skies were black an grey from threatening clouds... and I wanted to take pictures - pictures of pictures, in fact. In the end, I gave up and just scanned them. there's not so much room for composition or accessorizing, but there isn't much room for white-balance-hair-pulling either.

This linocut I mentionned previously is now up for grabs ! There will only be one like this !
And below is another print now to be found in our shop. It's an intaglio print (meaning the ink is in the grooves of the plate before pressing). The hand-drawn image was acid-etched on a zinc plate. The picture was printed on an ivory velin paper. On a print, there's always some room left on the paper around the plate. The paper is wet when is is run through the press, to it takes the form of the plate and the area around it stays a little raised after it dries. That's something you will only find on an original print. (Lithography is another story, but don't expect me to talk a lot about it - as I said before, it's not my thing)

La Cinq Fois Belle

Between January and June, I kept most of my work focused on fairy tales. this one is an illustration for a greek tale, "The five times fair". It's similar to Snow White, except there's no evil step-mother, there are two jealous sisters instead. And the one telling them that the youngest sister is the fairest of them all is the Sun.

samedi 9 octobre 2010

Tailoring !

Tonight I'm working on a commission for my brother - when the Home Geek and I got married, we made a deal with him : he'd make our wedding cake, I'd make him a "pirate" wardrobe. Shirts, vests, and a coat - or a justeaucorps, as you'd call it in mid-eighteenth century France.
The shirts are done already, as is one vest (Oh dear, it's embarassing, I don't have any picture of the finished product...). The coat, however, is a BIG project for me. It is my first venture into fitted, not sleeveless menswear, and the first one where I actually have to do some tailoring. Luckily, it doesn't need to be either perfectly historically accurate or a Saville-Row. I'm fairly new to tailoring, and I'd like to show you around while I'm learning. It involves padding (placed over the chest in 18th century manner), interfacing, patience and handsewing.
(Don't worry, I'll de-cat-hair it before he gets it !)

Lines and lines of hand-sewn basting stitches... this is what awaits me on my sewing table now (errr... that would actually be the living-room table), and this is what will hold the fashion fabric to the more stable interfacing.

mercredi 6 octobre 2010

Lack of inspiration

I probably have a weird creative process. I start from an idea of what I want to make, I start drawing and then the picture just creates itself, it tells me what it wants to become. Sometimes though, I get stuck, I lack the starting point. That's when I look at places like Illustration Friday or the weekly European Etsy Street Team for prompts. This time I dug up a challenge theme from a few weeks ago : stripes.

(Hard as hell to photograph, evrything is shiny on this !)
This is a good opportunity to show you a part of the printmaking process. This zinc plate has been polished and covered with a coat of protective varnish. I'm drawing on this with a metal point, scratching of the protective layer. When I put the plate in the the acid bath, the acid will attack the metal in the unprotected areas.
I started doodling and thinking about all the stripes one could see in a picture, about their regulatiry and imperfections, and about how rain is often represented by vertical stripes... This is a work in progress, it may well change again before I print it !

There are a few other things going on in my brain right now - actually, there are so many I couldn't sleep !
There's the sewing, and the writing about the sewing, and there's still this drawing in progress on the desk, and two knitting projects, and I have blogs to update, and at least three different plates I want to prepare before our next printmaking session...

I was totally going to stop here, but on my way to my blog en français, I stumbled upon this beauty by Criska.

I'm not usually blogging that much about other people's product, but this is just... wow ! I can't justify buying it for myself so please, let someone take it to a good home...

More creative spaces at Kootooyoo's blog
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