Sunday, 30 December 2007

A busy bee

The last few days have been brilliant as I set up position in the middle of the living room. I've been surrounded by rulers, bits of paper, scissors, sellotape, sketch books while I design a new paper theatre that i've been thinking about for the last 2 months. It's more in keeping with traditional paper theatres, so is rectangular rather than circular. The circular format is nice but it's a problem when it comes to installing things into it and you have no base on which to place things.

Here's a page from my sketchbook.

The line drawing produced after numerous sketches

A digitally coloured rough it to get an idea of what general colours to use

There's a story to go with the theatre and i'm hoping to make the sea creature moveable, which might take some fiddling around and prototypes.

I also managed to finish off one small commission, a hair painting to go with the season:
I have another week off work in which to make a start on the theatre and work out what i'm doing next year!

Thursday, 27 December 2007


I ended up buying some porcelain cabochons and silver surrounds a painting a few brooches..Mainly because I never seem to find exactly the kind of jewellery i'd like to wear, so this is the kind of jewellery I like :) Probably not to everyone's taste, but then what is?

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

How sad am I? Plus - Creatures of the sea!

It's totally sad to be blogging and doing worky things on Christmas Day but there you go! I have had a great day watching 'Star Dust' - brilliant movie, funny and beautiful imagery.

Also I spent the day making collages for prints. They are a mixture of my art and old (royalty-free) nature prints, from Ernst Haeckel.

Fig 1. The all-seeing octo-eye

Fig 2. The sage of the sea

Fig 3. The kingdom tree

Fig 4. Shakespeare flutterby

Fig 5. The bee hive

Unlike all of my other prints I am only running a limited amount of these, 10 of each.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Monstrous love

Recently Unordinary was kind enough to make me a waistcoat and jacket with her monster theme. She was brilliant/unblievable, I love all her work, but I was astonished when I got these! They are so utterly excellent and I feel, well totally unordinary when I wear them. Here's two pics (quite grainy but artily shot by the lovely Victoria) of me at the recent Glasgow Craft Mafia swanking about in the jacket!

I love it! :)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Cowboy doll

I have finally gotten around to making a printable version of one of the art dolls...I have no idea why this specific task really drags on for me, but either way - the Mystical Cowboy is up in the Shop and ready to be cut!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Quick update

Thank you everyone for your incredibly kind response to my last post. I'm so happy because she arrived to her destination and her owner is happy! The perfect end.

I am beginning work on a new theatre over the christmas holidays, it's always the perfect time to make something new. And i'm still wondering what to do with the other paper forest theatre. It's a prototype so it's kind of fiddly and I feel unsure about selling it because of that. I have made prints of the doll that you can assemble for yourself however they're not in the Etsy shop just yet - i'm only selling at markets. But they will probably go up there soon along with the Mystical Cowboy!

In other news i've got a stinker of a cold and am laptop blogging from a cocoon of blankets, tea and shredded tissues. I hate colds but they are really good ways of actually stopping for 5 minutes.

Also, some christmas cards in the shop - they're simple but eh, magical :)

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The lady and the moon

You know sometimes you get asked to do a piece and it's like a dream come true? Well, I just finished one for a fabulous lady who wanted something similar to the paper forest piece. It's based on an old photograph of her grandma sitting on a paper moon. Now, the funny thing is, I was heading in that direction with the paper stuff anyway - moon, clouds, stars etc - it's an obvious step given the classic films and theatre sets which include them. So when she asked I was completely overjoyed.

A still from the classic Voyage dans la lune. And of course there's the Smashing Pumpkins homage to it. I messed around with a few compositions and then made the final sketch:

The idea was to have a wooden backdrop, a circular surround of decotrative wood and 2 layers of cut paper. The moon and grandma hang on a seperate layer. There are also some small accessories like the star and the sun (Who is sleeping in the final one!). I don't have any in-progress photos i'm afraid. I was off work at the time and went into a frenzy of cutting and painting, and emerged without any photos at all. So it's straight to the finished piece:

It was a dream to make it, and now I just have to make sure I wrap it up right and get it there intact!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Etsy just keeps on giving

I am currently at a Flash Conference in Brighton (I work as a Flash developer/Designer by day) and was priveleged to be able to see Jared Tarbell give an inspirational talk. Jared is actually one of (if not *the*) founder of Etsy and also a brilliant producer of generative art. At the conference he also showed (and gave away) some of his beautiful prints (of generative art) and also laser cut wood ...sculptures? I'm not sure of the correct term but they are structures arising, I believe, from his generative stuff.

It was for me the perfect mixture of those 2 worlds. I love generative art and I love well crafted physical things. It never occured to me to mix the 2, but he's done so in a brilliant way. Apparently he may be opening an Etsy shop in the future and he has sold prints on this website previously.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Quick update

Thursday night's Glasgow Craft Mafia Party was great. Lots of good things to see and people to talk to. Unfortunately the Paper Forest did get a bit battered after two young men messing around nearby knocked it over ... twice! Fortunately it's fixable. Since then i've been finishing something off for someone and doing some beards...I just couldn't stop myself. One is just literaly a painting of a face with a beard...the, core principle as it were. I haven't scanned that yet but will soon. The other is an art doll of a Mystical Cowboy. He has a beard obviously. He's also vaguely camp looking, which is all to the good. Here's him scanned.

Haven't cut him out yet but will be doing soon and will post photos then. He's going to have a young girl companion, in the fine tradition of Leon.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Better photos and some accessories

Today I managed to produce a few more accssories. A balloon and a mask. I also set up the tripod and took some non-shakey photos. I still feel the pictures are lacking the right atmosphere. I am just not a photographer - I really whish I was. If anyone's got any handy tips for a luddite on a camera, please let me know! Anyway, here's some combinations:

It is basically finished, I listed it for sale last night and then took it down. I think I should really get better photos and anyway, I *may* make more accessories if i'm feeling like it...It just demands more. I listed it in part just to stop doing things..I could probably make this thing forever and I have other things to do. Anyway, I will probably do a paper doll print with some of the accessories. I would love to have the nouse to make a printable paper theatre - the whole thing, but I didn't make it with that plan in mind so it would be very difficult to recreate it.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Paper Forest Update

Please excuse the dodgy photos. I had a quick moment before the batteries died out and it's just the usual shakey-hand, badl-lighting shot i've become accustomed to taking :) Once it's fully completed i'll definately set up a tripod and do the lighting properly...i'm sure I will!

So, as well as a tree paper inset, we now have flowers/grass surround. Both of these can be removed.

Now, there's also the first accessory! A bird cage, which I really enjoyed making! Sorry about the rubbish quality of the gives an idea though. I'll promise better photos very soon!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Etsy and burning the candle

Last week I was made Featured Seller on Etsy! And a kind of amazing chaos ensued! It was mainly me panicking in my studio at midnight covered in stickers saying '99p' (The cost of the mailing envelopes I used). Turning up to work in the morning late (post office strikes etc) and being, to be honest, amazed at the response.

I have never really gone down the print route, but I had to do it or i'd have had nothing but the Devillish Cake Maker in the shop (old faithful!)..It's been a bit of a revelation in terms of actually funding my own art-making addiction. I could never really do it by making originals..I would manage to service a few bits of paper or wood, but nothing substantial. And also, the first thing I did with the money, the very first thing, was to get my hands on other people's art/creations...It was really weird to realise that I am basically making art so I can own more art.

The forest/paper/girl continues swiftly now that I have 2 glorious weeks off work! I aim to have her, and a special commision finished within the next 2 weeks. There is also the Glasgow Craft Mafia launch on 25th October which i'll be going to. Hopefully i'll be able to display the Devillish cakes and the paper forest and let people mess around with them a bit. That's sort of the whole point isn't it?

Sorry no pictures this time...but soon!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

I'm in love

That's right- in love, but not with a mortal human, oh no...With a trimming shop. Ok, that sounds patehtic, and yet, if you see this place you'll be in love too! The photographs are stunning and are making me desperate to buy supplies and create some kind of bird of paradise head dress...As soon as I get paid..Regard the loveliness:

The place in question is Nicholas Kniel and hopefully something wearable will emerge from me ordering lovely things, and not just me stashing yards of beautfiul ribbon.

Next ace place i've found is Ponoko
It's made quite a splash since it launched a few days ago, and as such the site is practically unusable - well at least you can't log in but you can browse around and find out what it's all about. Essentially it allows you to design and upload eps files to be lasercut from various materials, a local laser cutters (the closest to you) sends you the cut materials....It means it's cheaper and less environmentally damaging for a person to have things produced. If it works out it might just be one of the best services to happen for me...I love to make things from wood, but I am a terrible cutter and I just do not have space or finances for proper tools...This would be a life saver - as soon as I can log in!

Other news is that I joined the Glasgow Craft Mafia yay! They are a great bunch of girls (and one man!) and are getting ready to launch officially in October. I will be helping with the launch as much as possible and will be going to the event, it should be a great evening to see what everyone's doing and do some self-promotion. I will post photos.

Other than that I went out on Friday night and got a bit drunk - well quite drunk actually, and had a great time. Saturday was a tender time which involved a massive lunch with freinds and then a fragile walk up the hill home...It was good to let my hair down though.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Quick update

Aha! This great camera I ave has been taking blurry photos for ages and then I flicked a switch and now it's as sharp as er - a really sharp thing. Wassat all about? I know, I know rtfm.

Ok, so the trees are completed, and here's some pics:
Close up
The only pain in the derrier is that you can't really make out the painted tress on the back panel. Oh well, it's removable. Now for some accessories. If only I had the rest of the week off! boo hoo.

In the forest

So, i've ended up taking 3 days off work in order to make some kind of progress on the forest/theatre scene i've been planning. It's been kinda slow and there's been a lot of interruptions but it is progressing!

The initial scene of chaos - movement of any kind often ended in being glued or cut or both.

Ahhh, finally a solution for the frame of it. I had some thinnish wood veneer, however it wasn't long enough to go all the way around so I divided into 4 sections and had to do something ornamental round the edges to disguise the fact that it wasn't a good circle shape...It worked ok I think.Varnish! Getting high indoors

With doll print-out prototype
Then I had to cut, varnish and assemble the real doll - frightening!
Give it a qick hang to see how it looks. the gold wire will be replaced by some dark greyish wire.
Now, once I got to this point I started to panic because, as per usual I never make plans....So I thought - hmmm, it's very bare looking, even if I start to add other things (Like the bird cage and a floating moon). My original idea had included a cut paper set of trees. But I felt i'd gone too far and couldn't make them now....Then I decided that was rubbish. So now i'm cutting some paper trees which sit *infront* of her, but which she can be seen through easily. They can be removed if not wanted.

Needless to say my fingers are quite sore. Last night I had a couple of glasses of wine and did some tipsy cutting - that's not a good thing! Had to be forced to drop the scalpel :)

Today is my last day off - argh! So i'm going to cut this baby up and tonight am going to a Glasgow Craft Mafia meeting! yay! I was 'made' last week.

Will post the shots of it as it gets nearer completion.