Tuesday 11 February 2014

February 2014 - rain, rain and more rain.

It is hard to hear about so many people being forced out of their homes by flooding this winter and it seems very strange to know that Devon and Cornwall are virtually cut off from the rest of the country, at least by train. And still it keeps on raining but every now and then there are rainbows and hope returns. I have been tucked away in my studio making jewellery and bowls.

I love the brilliant blue inside this crab shell that I found on a beach in Cornwall last summer. I did not even enhance it in photoshop, it is simply an aide-mémoire but it has led me to make a series of papier-mâché bowls. I am building up the layers of paint on this one with acrylic inks, although tending to turquoise here rather than colbalt blue.

The platter below is gilded with silver leaf.
The papier-mâché bowl below is built up with just a few layers of paper on the inside to which I have put papier-mâché  pulp on the outside. I made deep incisions in the pulp, then painted inside and outside with acrylic gesso, then with sign writers gold size as this acts as the perfect base for Roberson Metallic Powders. 
These are the metallic powders, made by Roberson, that I have been using, building up designs with various beautiful shades of bronze, gold and copper that start to suggest the pattern of the incisions on the outside of the bowl. They have a wonderful lustre.
A necklace made up with a beautiful, large fragment of mother of pearl that I found on the Thames foreshore and some fragments of clay pipe stems, interspersed with keishi pearls, small peacock pearls and iridescent glass pearls, the last two have been recycled from older necklaces that I found in an antique shop. I am making a collection called Treasures from The River Thames as this is exactly what they are!
I like to make variations on the theme of flowers in papier-mâché. These are made with fine white papier-mâché paste that I harden with epoxy resin, making it almost as hard as porcelain. The centres are gilded with gold leaf. I have added irregular shaped pale bronze fresh water and white keishi pearls.
There are many old oyster shells on the foreshore of the Thames, though this one is from a Cornish beach as I wanted a smooth white oyster shell to add to the carefully selected fragments of chalky white clay pipe stems and white irregular shaped fresh water pearls.
Fine white papier-mâché paste used to make impressions from an Edwardian serving spoon - fragments of images of fruit and flowers. With heat bonded baroque papier-mâché beads and white keishi pearls.
A new batch of scorched papier-mâché  brooches and lapel pins in the making.

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