Sunday, 9 July 2017

Working Away

I was very disappointed with the run of samples 4:2:9 - 4:2:12, feeling they were hardly worth posting.  I'm not quite sure why this works but tidying my stuff, dusting and hoovering my workroom has helped me start again.  Maybe it was also having firm words with myself. Anyhow, today I set about producing a new set of samples.

So what I've done is review last session's work and pick out what I liked, which were the very angular letters and look for a different tool to work with.  I found a bag of corrugated card in various grades and used both cut and torn edges to apply black ink.  I found quite a lot to like:  the double line, both with a crinkly edge and more appealing still a sort of stitched mark.  Example 7 was just a single tube of the card.  My favourite was example 6, printed with a curved piece of card, forming each letter needed careful thought.

And now for bleach marks on Brusho, using the same tool, possibly there's some potential here though I'm not sure.

In 4:2:21 I've used the print sample 6 and created an allover pattern by working it continuously.

Below are examples of  lettering which has been layered onto 4:2:21.  Immediately below strips of crisp white tissue paper, which were first written on repeatedly with brush pen, allowing the ink to run out, have been cut and placed diagonally across the first layer. The first layer can be seen through the tissue.


In the following two examples a crayon rubbing of an individual PVA word has been cut in half lengthways and overlaid on the first layer.  This time the paper used was 40g Mitsumata Washi which as well as being transparent is closer in colour to the first layer.  The abstract marks also seem to have something in common so that accents and areas of density are created.



Reviewing today's work, I feel better pleased.  It is a relief to feel I have a sense of direction, but these results seem too rigid. I'd like to apply layers more directly.  The samples below show layers of rubbings on black tissue which is thin and soft and takes rubbings well.  On it I've used a variety of materials: wax crayon, pastels, chalk, Woody etc.

Two sorts of rubbing boards have been used for the three samples below: the word "encoded" stitched in string on canvas -- different thicknesses of string for different sized lettering.  I also wrote the word encoded in thick PVA glue.  These letters became very blurred as they dried but were an ideal when applied in black wax.  I particularly liked the black on black effect as it breaks up some of the uniform and opaque appearance of the black tissue.  It also adds depth.

In sample 4:2:27 the tissue was marked with bleached first with chalk and pastel string rubbings on top.




Now for two samples, 4:2:28 and 4:2:29.  In these white candle wax has been used as a resist.  The paper has then been flooded with dilute Brusho, revealing the letters and creating a patchy background.  Finally handwriting has been applied with a thick graphitint.  A final black wax rubbing has been applied to 4:2:29.



In sample 4:2:30 a Brushoed sheet has been printed all over with a corrugated card edge, then turned at right angles and "encode" written on it in gold Woody.  An attempt to add gold rubbings is disappointing.  The thicker paper does not respond to the technique as well as tissue.

Back to thin paper in 4:2:31, his time the Mitsumata Washi.  Whilst it takes rubbings it's really not strong enough and the addition of a wash causes it to tear.  In 4:2;32 two rubbings have been applied over each other on thicker paper.


I like the delicate markings of 4:2:31 so I take a PVC rubbing board with the word "encode" on it, cut it vertically and then reassemble it.  The delicate marks are made in candle wax over-painted with dilute Brusho.


A return to the ideas in 4:2:17, but this time black ink and bleach have been applied to a Brusho wash.  Further writing has been applied at right angles.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Experimenting and Just a Few Glimpses of Delight

Further experiments and I'm still thrashing about producing little that I really like.  This is a familiar feeling and I've learned not to take it too seriously, but to let my imagination play with the ideas and apply some patience.  I'm also looking for a colour scheme.  As I said in the previous post I was particularly taken with 4:2:8, a bleach and Brusho sample which is blue-black, deep turquoise with greens and rich creams.  Many of the successful samples below are created with Brusho.

Lettering Techniques:

4:2:9 shows writing samples using black ink following the suggestions given in Chapter 2.   The final two examples use a cork and a stick.

4:2:10 and 4:2:11 show bleach on Brusho experiments.  4:2:12 rubbing with wax candle on canvas, paintstick writing, glue applied with a card strip and finally glue writing using a pipette. These four samples are all painted over with Brusho.


At last a glimpse of  a technique that appeals -- glue printing. The card printed shapes remind me of an embroidered piece based on the shipping forecast which I did last year (4:2:13).  The letter shapes are angular, reduced to simple unembellished lines.

The rubbing idea also seems to have potential but the canvas surface here is too regular, something rougher and less uniform would be better.  Below in samples 4:2:13 and 4:2:14 I've tried the techniques again.



And what is it I like about this rather rough and ready piece?  Well, the Brusho covers the glue rather than sliding off it and that surprised me. What I'm seeing here are letters subtley gleaming, the slightest hint of a change in texture on the surface.

Now a candle wax rubbing, lettering done on a curved and rough textured fossil.  This time the writing is distorted by the surface, the Brusho runs off to reveal white marks.

Blocks of Writing:

Creating these blocks of writing are the most delightful way to spend time.  They are experiments using a range of writing implements: fine to thick felt tips, some with chisel ends, soft pencils and a water pen. Again the word written is "encoded", sometimes in capitals, mostly lower case and joined.  The paper has been turned, sometimes frequently so that the words run in opposite directions or at right angles to the first layer of text.  A variety of networks are created.  On the two middle samples only part of the square is covered by a second layer.  Tonal effects result. All these samples hark back to 4:2:4 and 4:2:5 in an earlier blog, but this more recent group shows greater intensity.  Each square has been worked into again and again.  None of these though have the appeal of 4:2:5 and 4:2:6.


Below, in sample 4:2:17 the words have been written repeatedly in wax, then flooded with Brusho and further worked into.  I was very taken with this piece, so much so that I printed it out on a piece of silk organza and stitched into it.



This is as you can see is only a start. I like the variegated stitching using the same shaped letters as on sample 4:2: 14.  In the navy markings I tried to hark back to the Alice Fox piece I talked about in Chapter 1 (4:1:26). Each stitch shows the first marks of each letter, resulting in a series of curved and straight lines.  I took this idea a step further and in the ecru markings only an acute accent and line are made.  The thread's too heavy creating a sinuous breaking with the angularity of the whole and part letters. What is attractive is the shadow of the thread beneath, something I remember noticing in Sarah Burgess' workshop.  Overall I think the ideas I'm grasping at here have merit, but the selection of threads and stitch execution need much more careful consideration.

Jewels in my Pocket:

We always talk at home about those facts, insights, stories, memories that you squirrel away as points of reference.  What are mine from this chapter so far?
  • Glue Writing and Rubbings densely worked
  • Angular Lettering with its potential for further reduction
  • The Colour of Brusho which will provide a Colour Scheme