Surface Design & Art Process
Stamp Drawers and Sand
In one of our many visits to the local car boot sale, I discovered the old stamp drawers. The demise of letterpress printing, (the standard method of printing for decades https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterpress_printing) has behind lots of unwanted beautiful drawers in which letter stamps have been categorized and stored.
I fell in love with these old and beautiful drawers. A lady offered me a bag full of stamp drawers of different sizes for £30. I couldn’t miss that bargain!
The framing of the Mister View artwork, gave me the idea to use these stamp drawers as frames, with the advantage that they have depth. The drawers are 1 1/2 inch deep approx, so I could place an image in each compartment at different depths to give a more 3D effect.
For my first painting in a stamp drawer, I chose an image of cherry blossoms and the River Hudson (NY). I love cherry blossoms and water reflections and this image had both.
Discovering Sand Art
Sand art, painting with sand.
I discovered sand art at a toddler party. https://sales.kidsbeehappy.com/
The children were given a drawing on yellow sticky paper where the outlines of the picture were already partially cut out. Peeling off sections from the surface of the sticky paper, the children could then apply different colors of sand to each area exposed. Basically, the same stick-on peel-off method that I was using to stencil on my tables (see painted-tables.html) This process was so satisfying in a sensory way, feeling the texture of the sand and the velvety surface of the drawing, that I needed to explore it more!
I started experimenting using sand on paper with glue but it didn’t give the same smooth finish and clear outline. The glue would leave trails and an uneven finish. The sticky paper was crucial! So I bought A4 sticky printer paper (without cutout).
This worked but the paper was too thin. It needed to be glued to a card with a special adhesive to prevent a lumpy surface.
For the colored sand, I searched the web for a broad palette of interesting colors. There is a method of coloring sand with finely grated pastel colors but this type of sand leaves a residue and it is difficult to obtain intense hues with this method. Shopping around, I discovered that the wedding industry uses colored sand for decorative purposes. From these sources, I bought sand in small quantities of 0.5mm and 0.2mm.
There is little control over the sand when it is applied to the paper. For this reason, it is necessary to peel off the sticky paper slowly, bit by bit, to control the area you want to color. Otherwise the colors may mix.
I drew on the prepared paper and cut off the surface, piece by piece, according to each color that I chose to use. In this way, the sand sticks to the uncovered area. As with the table's stencils, it is important to control the depth of the cut that the knife makes otherwise you will cut right through the paper.
The “View of York Minster” is my first artwork using this technique. I wanted to give the impression that the viewer is looking through a window and so I chose “a window frame”. I also assumed it would be easy to work within the sections of the frame.
Stick-on Peel-Off Stencil Method
hand painted Furniture
These tables were upcycled basically with the Stick-On Peel-Off method by using painter’s tape (I have used Frog Tape https://www.frogtape.co.uk/ which I really recommend) on an already prepared and painted base.
To prepare the table, the surface was cleaned, sanded, primed and painted with the background color. Having designed the pattern already on paper, I covered the table with tape and drew my design on it. With a very sharp knife, I cut and then peeled off the areas I was going to paint in a different color. It is important to be careful that the knife does not cut below the tape, otherwise, you may damage the surface. It is about knowing how much pressure to assert. Next, peeled off the tape. This method leaves sharp lines and gives the table a professional finish. Then, I added some more painted details with copper ink to some of the tables, to finally wax and buff the surface.
The Stick-on Peel-Off Stencil Method worked wonderfully! Little did I know I would be using it with a very different medium.
Patterns on Tables
Patterns on Tables
My husband and I enjoy going to the car boot sales around York and the auction house nearby. We look for little treasures, nothing expensive but with potential; old things that we find unique in terms of design that people don’t need or don’t appreciate anymore.
I started buying small old tables that were the perfect canvas for my pattern designs. These tables are well constructed and foldable. I wanted to take advantage of the design opportunities this offered. Because they are foldable, they offer different views, so the viewer’s perspective and angle became crucial for my designs. This is most noticeable in the Spiral Table.
Love for patterns
Love For Patterns
I discovered my love for patterns playing Hama Beads. Hama Beads is a popular craft activity to help children focus and be creative. It consists of little colorful beads on a tray that are fixed together by ironing on top of them and creating little mats of color. I started experimenting with them and I found the whole thing irresistible! I couldn’t stop. It had a bit of mathematics, sequencing, design, and of course, color! It made me want to experiment with patterns on bigger surfaces. Why not try on tables?
Creative Process Description
Where do creative ideas come from? How do they appear, and in which fashion?
I have a very creative mind, and in my case, ideas come when I least expect them, sometimes even in my dreams while I sleep. It is as though the brain creates a collage of concepts and images through the day, maybe, from that flower that I observed while walking? Or that artist that I was reading about? Then, mixes them together to produce a new and unique idea. This process fascinates me. It is the reason why I have decided to start this blog in order to understand the creative process. I want to share this in the form of a blog so any creative soul out there can, like me, use these ideas and produce something new and unique. Let's work with this chain of recycled ideas that we call creativity!