Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Made It: Frameables

Because I just can't stick to one thing, I started making these 8 x 10 frameable 2D art pieces before my Oklahoma show.  I mean, two days before the show, because I didn't have enough to do.  As with most of what I make, these pieces confuse patrons.  So here I'm going to share with you about how they're made, because if this saves me from explaining it just once, I'm going to call it a victory. 

I found all this cool old fabric!  Tucked safely in a metal garbage can since the '40s (I found it all with a newspaper from June 17th, 1945 and feel pretty confident in its legitimacy) I knew it could be sold via The Retro Ranch and that some talented people could use the material to make something awesome.  So far I've sent yardage off to Michigan, Alaska, and The United Kingdom!  So anyway, I have all this old fabric and thought it would be cool to photocopy it and use as a background for this idea I had during a power nap.  FRAMEABLE!  This way I can make some non-clock items to shake it up a bit and not have to hassle with lugging around heavy work, smudged and/or broken glass, or scratched paint on frames.


Ok, so...
Found material, including hankies and yardage.

The photocopied fabric...looks like the real thing.

Rubber cement!  So. Much. Rubber. Cement.

Left over matte board sold in large bundles at a "craft" (shutter) store.
Conveniently, they're 8 x 10 inches, which is just a little under the standard
page size of 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  Meant to be.

After letting the cement dry on both surfaces, slap them together!
Flip it over, trim off the excess paper, peel off the cut vinyl decal, make 100 more.

I particularly like this one.  And, no, that actual fabric isn't for sale because
I get to keep whatever I want, and I want that.

Remember that application technique from the Union Jack project? 
It makes and appearence here, too!
Black cat on cute reproduced vintage fabric.  This piece sold in Iowa City.

Tiny love for my homeland.  This is approx. 4 x 5 inches on a French-to-English
dictionary page from the 1920s (? ish).

Letters!  Spell yer name or something.  On "fabric paper" and found papers/
book pages (you didn't need that math book from 4th grade any more, right?)

The display of smallies in Iowa City.
I found that wooden thing in one of the barns,
of course, and turns out it works perfectly for this!
The size is perfect to just throw in a standard frame, or you can matte it out and get all fancy.  I like the "smallies" because kids love digging through to find their initials or spell their name, and I can use images from magazines and illustrated books as backgrounds and cut my hoarded papers down a little.

I've been doing/will be doing several shows this month, so I've been slacking here.  I've also been slacking on uploading stuff to Etsy and, oh dear, especially my website.  But you can see what I'm up to on Facebook, especially at shows, since I now have a "smartypants" phone and can do the posting and updating and whatnot.

Tell everyone you know to head to the Other Art Show in Des Moines June 29th and 30th!  I'll be there!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Made It: Custom Heart Clock

A customer from the OKC show wanted a custom clock to commemorate a loved one.  Needless to say, I was excited and flattered to work on this piece for her.  First I sent her a mock up based on our conversation at the show.  She wanted brushed aluminum with hearts in different colors, saving a random heart to be red.
Brilliant photoshopping here...that's why I make work with my hands!
Out of a few to choose from, the image above is the one she liked the most, so I got to work sanding down the aluminum to give it a nice brushed texture and cutting out hearts the old fashioned way.
This is how my aluminum comes--industrial flatness.

Left side: unsanded.  Right side: sanded.

I used a circuitus motion to get this look. It makes it a bit softer than
just straight back and forth sanding.  Worth the sore tricep.

Turn over that vinyl and put down a stencil!

Trace it!  Best, most useful thing I learned in first grade, bar none.
Once I cut out all my colorful hearts, I had a nice pile of love to work with.
Ready and waiting.
Then I got to work laying them out, matching as closely as I could the design we agreed on.
Pretty much set.

Stick it!
I was very pleased with the final result:
12 x 12 Brushed Aluminum Custom Heart Clock
I might just have to make some more heart-themed work!  I've probably cut more hearts in my lifetime than any other shape, due to my obsession with homemade Valentines starting all the way back in my elementary school days.  I was so happy to be able to make a special piece for my client (thanks, Angie from OKC!).  Knowing that something I helped bring to life gives another person warm-fuzzies gives ME warm-fuzzies.  Not to get too goopy here, but lately I've been feeling sentimental, and this really made me feel great.

Last weekend I was at the Liberty Arts Squared event in Liberty, Missouri.  It's a young show (only four years old), and the crowds picked up since last year, so maybe we can keep the ball rolling in years to come in that adorable little northeastern suburb of Kansas City. 

This coming weekend I head off to Iowa City for the Iowa Arts Festival.  I've never been there and am looking forward to meeting a whole new group of people and seeing a new town in my dear Midwest.  I'm even going to make some special Iowa themed items just for them!  And I'll keep the corn jokes to a minimum...we all know it's mostly grass up there, anyway, just like Kansas and Missouri.  So, spread the word and get all those Hawkeyes out to downtown!