Sunday, September 21, 2008

It all started last week with this:I needed it for something I was working on and knew I had some. So I went looking for it and found this:Still in its original packaging, unused after ten years! Do they still sell these? Is it worth getting out of the packet?
Next thing in the same box was this:Which contained this:Called a Ribbon Bow Maker. Never used it but must have had it out of the bag at some time because there should be two metal rods that help you make a different type of bow. Thought I had seen these in another box so went looking for them, but found this stuff instead:It’s called Gel Flex and is a remeltable mould making rubber - and that did look interesting.
You can see this has also been hanging around for a while as it has taken the print from the instructions!
So off I went in search of something to make a mould of but of course, couldn’t really find anything suitable. I have several of these Tjaps which are copper Batik printing stamps and a few large wooden blocks too. There used to be a shop on the corner in Covent Garden that sold the wooden ones for a song – but its gone now.Thought I would use this one: So grabbed some Das Pronto, which had dried out on one end, rolled it flat and pushed the printing block into it then left it to dry for a couple of days. The photo makes the patterning look convex but it is actually concave.The Gel Flex was put into an old saucepan and heated. I actually went out and bought a camping stove so I could do this outside and was glad I did, the fumes were incredible.Once melted I poured it into the mould. Although I had made a slight lip on the clay I still wrapped tin foil around the edges just to makes sure I didn’t get hot melted rubber running everywhere. And no, it’s not supposed to have air bubbles on it – I will know better what to do next time.The rubber only took about a couple of hours to completely cool down and set. This is what it looked like when I pulled it off the clay former. Not much of a mould but then my intention was to make a simple paper cast so it didn’t need to be too deep.I put some cotton rag paper in the blender along with water and some PVA glue and spread this mixture on top of the mould.I left it until the next day when it was partially dry, removed it from the mould and put it in the microwave to dry out – and this was the result.I’ve now stitched this piece onto some torn scrim, intend to do some hand stitching then I shall layer it with Gesso and paint it. Will show the finished piece next week.
This product certainly has potential, much easier than Latex I thought, well, less messy anyway. Now all I have to do is find something exciting to make a mould from.
But the beauty of this product is, once you have finished with your mould or decide it isn’t what you wanted - this is what you do: put it back in the saucepan re-melt it and start again. Magic!

I took part in a rusty fabric swap in August with the Dye Hard Surfacing Yahoo group and these are the fabrics I received in return.Why is it that other people’s fabrics always look so much more exciting than your own?

The swap for September is Screen Printed fabrics so this weekend I have been having a go with the Thermofax screens and a silk screen and these are the results.
This piece is cotton velvet and I tried a method on the DVD Improvisational Screen Printing by Jane Dunnewold where you use Caran D’ache water soluble crayons to rub over the mesh, I used a Thermofax screen, and then you print it using an acrylic fluid. Turned out really well once I got the hang of printing.This is gold fabric paint printed on a piece of readymade fabric. Using freezer paper I cut out this interlocking design, using one of Escher’s paintings as inspiration. I then ironed it to a screen and used discharge paste on black discharge velvet. I shall try filling the spaces in with another colour now.This is a piece of ready printed fabric where I have used fabric paint through a Thermofax screen.I didn’t really want to keep using ready printed fabric but found that the screen printing looked a bit bland on white fabric so I tie-dyed these pieces to use as backgrounds, which I will work on next weekend.Couldn’t resist using a metallic paint with a patina activator over the top so tried it out on a piece of calico first. Right hand side is the metallic paint and left hand has the activator on top. Then tried it out on a piece of silk velvet which had been rust dyed some time ago.Wendy and Diane decided to start working through this book:And have now opened a blog and invited anyone who wants to share ideas to contribute. You’ll find the blog here. I have decided to make time to work on this book once a week for at least an hour. It really is a good book and will be very helpful to be able to share ideas.
I have already dug out some bits and pieces to be able to make my own stamps with.Wanted to mention some blogs here for you to go take a look at, you'll find all of them in my blog list.
Thanks to Morna for giving me an award. Very much appreciated.
Becky has a mixed media exhibition running called 'Sheep in the City' from Sept 20th - 29th at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield. If you live near this area it would be great to go along and have a look.
Vicki has a really interesting spot on her blog, under the Categories section 'Blogs to Visit'. As the title suggests it’s a series of blogs that are worth visiting (and I’m not just saying that because I have been listed a couple of times *LOL*) Very good reading – lots of eye candy, tutorials and other interesting textile bits.
And finally, I was just in time to put my name down for the giveaway to celebrate her 100th blog on Tracy’s blog. And my name was drawn. I never normally win anything but this is the third time now in just a few short weeks - my luck must be changing! This journal though is absolutely wonderful. It’s made from a Starbucks brown paper bag believe it or not and the colouring is perfect.The first thing that caught my eye was this fabulous button. Tracy said she was hard put to part with it and I can understand why.And when you open it up the front covers of each signature have cut out dragonflies on them to match the button. Thanks Tracy, it made my day.And what did I use the PVC tubing for? Well, I haven't actually got around to using it yet, but I've put it in a 'safe' place ready for next time :)


Gina said...

That sounds so familiar - go looking for something and getting totally sidetracked!
The printing looks exciting!

sharon young said...

Your Thermofax printing looks great, Lynda, do you have a machine yourself or have them made?
I bought 2 of those Indian wood blocks at the Covent Garden shop too, I love them.
I so nearly bought that book at the Quilt Show but bought another one by C to C instead, but I think I may have to get this one too.
Beautiful note book, you lucky thing.
Thanks for dropping in on my blog I had a fantastic meet up with Val, will blog about it later.

Doreen G said...

About the Quilt so easy thing--I used to demonstrate how to use one of these in my other life and they are good.
No need to hoop up the fabric you just plonk one of the hoops on top of the fabric and you push it outwards to tighten the fabric.
When you have done that area you just lift it up-plonk it down on the next section and off you go again.
Go on use it you'll be glad you did.

Carol said...

Very cool stuff! Love the rubber, I can see so many uses for this. Hope you get time to work on the intended project. I will have to look for the book if you think it is worth it. Have a great week Love carol

Ruth said...

You are always doing something interesting Lynda! That molding stuff looks like fun and your screen prints are great. I just bought a screen and I'm going to start playing with it soon.

Sandy said...

I have some of that tubing from when mom needed oxygen. Now where is it? I thought it would be good to bead around.
Lots of nice examples as usual.

hippopip said...

The screen printing is great especially the Esher, have you tried Deconstructed screen printing very addictive,I have also just bought a Gocco machine to make my own screens from Liz at Dreaming spirals, driving my husband mad with all this printed fabric hanging about the place.With the paper moulding, why not take the mould directly from the stamp?

Susan D said...

Your house must be like an Aladdin's cave, we never know what you are going to come up with next.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

It's no wonder you didn't get anything done with the tubing - you were too busy playing with other things! Wow! I guess I have to put another book on my wish list....

neki desu said...

fascinating finds.
the red white and black fabric speaks to me.
as for other people's fabrics i'm also guilty of that one. my fabrics are yucky and everyone else's are fabulous.always.
oh and thanks for the blog link. been wanting to get that book for a while.

neki desu

Sophie said...

Some fascinating ideas to try there - I'm so glad you went looking for that plastic tubing! I've been eyeing off thermofax screen prints for ages now... perhaps I will have to give it a try. The molding gel looks like it's got some potential - I can't wait to see what you do find to make a mold of. I've also seen that book and almost bought it but haven't yet. I'm heading over to that blog to investigate and will probably then have to go and find myself a copy.

Carol said...

I am coming round for a rummage through your unopened and unused bits, will bring all mine with me LOL

corryna said...

I loved reading your blog today. And I must react to your question about the quilt help. I have a similar one, but it does not work well for me. I'd rather use gloves with rubber on the inner hand side. They are much more helpful for leading the fabric while quilting.

Micki said...

More interesting projects going on. I know that feeling of looking for one thing and getting side tracked by something else.