Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taking a Break from the Bags

Well, I made a big fuss over bags in my last post, so I thought I should actually look into some of them to see what could be put away. What a Concept! Ah--but away where? Every square inch is occupied. Still--I need to find my black and white Ranger enamel to finish off some fat book pages I am working on, so going through the bags just might be useful. I have so far emptied five bags, and have not found the enamel. Maybe I can just use clear glaze and be done with it. And I have managed to stuff things into their appropriate drawers, but it's getting close to full everywhere. Sigh.

My husband is off teaching gun safety today, at the big gun show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. He called a while ago, to ask if I wanted this cool new blade sharpener he found--I am always on the lookout for good ways to sharpen my carving tools--and of course I said yes. Is there something wrong with me? I was positively thrilled about getting a new sharpener. Well, much as I may seem scattered and careless, I am pretty careful about my tools. I try to get the best, and then keep them in good order. (Some of you are snickering now, I am certain of it.) It's really hard to carve smooth edges on even the soft stuff I use when the tool is dull.

Carving stamps is great fun. I belong to a group that does a trade every other month, called Raplica. There are some awesome printmakers in that group! In August, I am teaching a class on carving stamps and using them with acrylic paint to make patterns on cloth. Here are some examples of what we might do. The ginkgo leaves were done with two different stamps of the same scale; the quatrefoils are an example of an allover pattern using two stamps of different scale; and the other one is of borders, one not joined and one joined. The joined looks hard, but is really easy is you mark up the back of the stamp to show where the joins are. One of the things to remember with hand printing is that often one gets blurry and uneven images. There are ways around this, but my feeling is, if you want it perfect, go to the fabric store and buy it. Otherwise, enjoy the obvious handmade look.

Well, bag to the bags! Until next time, Nan

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