EBSQ Spotlight on Artist Made Jewelry: Eclectic Elements by Sam

This month’s featured gallery is Artist Made Jewelry. Handcrafted jewelry is not only an expression of the artist who created it but of the one who wears it.  Whether created in silver or gold; plain or sparkling with gems and stones, artist made jewelry is a coming together of personalities that is unique. Throughout the remainder of March, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of EBSQ’s Jewelry artists.

Eclectic Elements by Sam

I'm Game Recycled Material Necklace & Earrings Set - Eclectic Elements by Sam

I focus on repurposing things that may be thrown away, in particular, game pieces. Many of us have memories of playing games with our families and friends in our childhood and some of us still enjoy playing games to this day. With the emergence of video games, some people haven’t played the games many of us played as children. I think by using the materials I do it can bring memories back or introduce people to the games many of us played. I enjoy hearing stories people tell when they see my work. It is amazing to be able to bring a smile to someone’s face or bring back a good memory. – Eclectic Elements by Sam

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EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper, Part III

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

This is the third installment of Kris Jean’s handmade paper how-to. Today we feature the Pouring Method and Colorings.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

Pouring Method

The pouring method is used for thicker papers. Using a cup or the blender vessel, dip into the SLURRY and pour over the deckle. Try to pour evenly or you will end up with thicker paper in areas.

After you reached the desired amount (as much as it will hold until it starts sliding off the edges), let it drip until the drips slow down quite a bit

Follow the same wringing techniques as mentioned above, but bear in mind you will need to use more felt as you will be WRINGING out a lot more water. This paper will have MUCH more texture.

COLORINGS

The main way is adding different colored paper to an otherwise white batch. This next set of paper I’m working with is 5 sheets of white tissue paper mixed with 2 red, thus making a pretty vibrant pink. (since it’s tissue paper the end product is more delicate)

The wet paper is always more vivid/brighter than the end product.

Finished Product:

Clothing dye is another option. (use gloves)

You could add in food coloring which is what is used for construction paper. (use gloves)

Plant stuffs can be added to alter the color, like rose petals. Red rose petals will produce beautiful purple/pinkish paper.

With all of these methods you will have color loss with time and direct sunlight. For a truly archival color, you will have to use archival dyes which are pretty pricey.

NOTE: These items can also change the PH Balance of your paper. (we will discuss that later)

If using liquid dyes or dye packs add them to the water following their directions. If using fibrous plant stuffs, add them to the MASH. Do this during blender phase if you want bits and more color. Do this after blender phase  if you want more texture and pops of color.

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Be sure to join us next week for more of Recycled Artisan Paper.  The next installment of Kris’ presentation will cover Creative Deckles and Embossing.

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper, Part II

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

This is the second installment of Kris Jean’s handmade paper how-to. Today we feature The Basics, The Sifter Method and Drying Techniques.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

The Basics

This first batch of paper I’m going to make is from an entire Family Circle Magazine and red gift wrap from Christmas that is the same consistency.

First thing you need to do is get your dishpan and fill it 2/3 with water. I prefer to use distilled water to keep out extra chemicals and minerals which might degrade your paper. Thus making it last that much longer.

Though the paper you are recycling has more than likely been treated or exposed to bleach, other miscellaneous chemicals and minerals during its processing and/or printing. We want to keep this down to a minimum when recycling it. Since the paper has already been processed once there is no need to beat a dead horse.

Next we will make our MASH or wet paper.

Now take your paper and cut it into roughly quarter sized bits, or you can tear it. When choosing your paper to recycle; keep in mind your finished product is no better than what you put in it. It’s also a good idea to recycle the same style of paper at one time – this will give you a more consistent final product and more strength.

NOTE: Printed papers like newspaper and magazines result in grey paper. This is what real recycled paper looks like. If you purchase white recycled paper it’s probably been bleached or was pre consumer scraps. I added the red Christmas paper to give it a slightly pink cast.

Place paper in dishpan of water and swish it around, mixing it thoroughly. The goal is to separate any papers that might have clumped together and ensure everything is going to get nice and wet. In ideal circumstances you should let this sit overnight. This way the water penetrates and loosens up the wood fibers in the paper. If this is not possible you can proceed after an hour of soaking, however for thicker starting paper it will be required.

At this point you could actually take this mash and make paper. It won’t hold together well because the fibers will not be interwoven enough to give it strength and it will flake apart at the seams. So in order to ensure our fibers get fully interwoven we need to make SLURRY.

Slurry is paper fibers that are submerged in water, ready for pressing/molding etc. In simple terms, it’s a big mess of wet paper that looks like a nasty sour milk shake.

To make our slurry, we need to pour off the water into a separate bowl (it will be nasty but we are not done with it yet). Use a cup or simply dip the blender vessel into the water and fill it approx halfway. Take a couple of handfuls of the wet paper (without squeezing) and add it in. Be sure to put the cover back on the blender or you will have a H-U-G-E mess.

Use your pulse until it is a nice homogenous mixture of small bits of fiber with juice. As you look at it you might notice it starts to separate. This is ok. It’s natural for the buoyancy of the paper fibers to take over, some will float some will sink, depending on the paper you use.

Normally to really get the paper mishy-mashy I pulse it about 10 times at 10 seconds each.  Due to blender differences, this might be longer or shorter for you. How long you run it can affect your outcome; Longer will lead to softer, weaker paper. Shorter can result in stronger, larger see-able bit paper. The biggest variable is your starting paper.

Now that we have made our first batch of SLURRY, pour it into the empty dishpan. Go back and repeat making more slurry until you have used all of your paper mash. If needed add more water if you run out.

It’s very important not to overload your blender with too much MASH and not enough water. It will not make a fine enough SLURRY to really be effective and it can kill your blender. (My blender is a $2 garage sale find specially purchased for this purpose)

Using your hand agitate all the slurry together from all your batches. Let it stand for a few minutes. Depending on the material you started with, you might notice a black/grey film start to rise to the top. This is an inky residue kind of like soap scum. Use you hand as a skim and drag it across the top. Once you get to the other side slowly drag your hand along the side to the top and wipe it off your hand. This will keep that mess from tinting/affecting our paper further.

Now it’s time to grab our DECKLE. A deckle is the screen contraption we are going to use to make our paper sheets. They are readily available for sale online.

To make this deckle, I stapled the wire screening along the outside edge and wrapped it around. It’s been around the block a few times so it’s well loved and a quick made one. You can spend as much time as you like to make yours – I made this one in less than a minute.

When choosing what you are going to make your DECKLE from it is important to remember these three things:

1. Can the water get through?

2. How long will it last if it works amazingly and I want more later?

3. What size of paper do I want?

If you use an 8×10 frame with 6×8 opening – your end result paper will more than likely be 6×8. The opening is the most effective area to make the paper.

Sifter Method

The sifter method is used for thinner papers. (Keep in mind most of the paper you make will not be as thin as it was when you put it in the mash.) Homemade paper is generally the thickness of 3 or four sheets of paper. This is due to not having hydraulic presses and other machinery to smash the living daylights out of the paper.

Put your deckle in to the slurry all the way to the bottom screen side up. Using two hands slowly move it side to side, gradually lifting it out of the slurry.

Once out let it drip for a few seconds. This is your first piece of paper – albeit it a wet mess.

For a nice uneven rustic deckle edge, I use my thumb and roll bit of paper off all along the edges, usually the width of the frame it’s self. For a regular deckle edge I just leave it as is. For a straight edge, cut it after it’s dry.

This leaves me with paper the size of the opening. A deckle edge is like the thumb print of homemade paper; its thinner and shows the fibrous nature of the paper.

This wet paper is very fragile and will stick to just about anything at this point. Don’t try to press it with your hands or use your roller just yet.

Now we are going to WRING the paper. Wringing the paper means to press the water out of it.

Place a large piece of felt (mine is doubled over) over it and then use your hand to press the water out. Do not lift the felt. If you use colored felt, wash it first or dyes will bleed on to your paper depending on its color. I had issue with purple felt leaving a nasty yellow residue of all things. Lesson learned.

After you wring with your hand as much water as you can, switch over to the roller. This dual one I got from my Grandmother Dorothy many years ago. It really fits the bill size-wise. Hold the deckle at a 45 degree angle to the dishpan and work from the top to the bottom. The water will gradually make its way down and drip out. (hard to do and hold a camera)

The water will bleed through. This is ok.

Now we are going to remove the paper from the deckle.  We are going to use more dry felt to wring our paper. Slowly lift one corner and peek. If you are lucky the paper will be stuck to the felt and not the deckle. If it is attached to the felt slowly lift it off the deckle, keeping the paper attached to the felt. If it’s not attached to the felt, use your fingernail to slowly lift a corner of the paper and push it on the felt – then continue pulling the felt back slowly leaving the paper attached to the felt.

If it decides to cling to the deckle, flip it over and press with your hands from the bottom of the deckle and repeat the above steps.

Once the paper is off the deckle, lay it felt side down. Place another piece of felt on top of it and use your roller.

The paper should want to stick to the dryer sheet of felt, this is what we want. If it doesn’t flip it over and do it in reverse. Remove the wet one and squeeze out the water back into the dishpan.

Take yet another sheet of felt and wring the paper one last time.

Allow to dry

Drying Techniques

Drying really is not that hard, as long as the paper is wrung well.

If you have, it’s more than half way dry already. You can pick it up, and could literally hang it on a clothes line if you wanted.

To dry your paper you can leave it on a new dry piece of felt (make sure it’s dry), but as a result your paper will warp as it dries and will need to be flattened. I would not recommend drying under a heavy weight as this will lengthen drying time too long and yucky things can happen!

As a personal choice I dry my paper on plastic transparencies. I bought a pack of 50 at a garage sale for a quarter. On my final step, I lay the transparency on top of the new sheet of paper and WRING it one last time with the roller. The new paper will easily stick to it. I lay them about the house and they dry relatively flat. Thicker papers will tend to roll and warp. You can hang them or tape them up to get them out of your way. It’s very convenient and won’t mar the paper.

Don’t think you can make thinner papers by WRINGING it between two transparencies.  It just makes a mess – or paper lace if you are a glass half full kind of person.

With the transparencies, you can also use painters tape to ensure flat paper by taping the edges of the plastic down. More often than not, it won’t curl itself off the paper (at least for me) and it’s still a snap to remove. You can even hit it with a blow dryer if it’s taped down. But be warned using heat with certain additives will turn them brown or weaken colors (dried or live flowers, herbs, etc…)

Another way to dry your paper is sandwiching the new paper between two felt pieces and drying it with an iron (steam keeps it wet so no steam) – this method ensures a flatter paper – but again using too much heat can kill your colors and your additives. To flatten your air dried paper, you could also put it in your flower press if you have one, or between the pages of a phone book.

For me, the best method is air drying. In about 10 hours (more or less depending on thickness) the paper is ready to go and it didn’t use any further resources (energy).

If you can’t find transparencies, you can test lots of different things to dry your paper on. Some people use Formica.  If trying something new check it often for signs of sticking. So far I’ve only found one thing that my paper stuck to and that was the bottom of a pizza pan. It took me a bit to remove it.

Now if your paper is too wet when it comes to drying you will see the edges (or bumps) start to darken as the water evaporates. This uneven coloring is the main side effect, but if it’s SUPER wet mold/mildew could set in because it’s taking to long to dry.

For clean up you can a couple of seed packets to the slurry. (after the blender!!)

Mix, then pour some slurry seed mix into a flower pot that has soil already in it. The slurry will act as a top layer of soil (water often). You can also add seeds and mold the slurry into small balls and toss them randomly into your back yard for flower seed bombs. Another option is adding seeds, and make additional pieces of paper (seed paper), and wring softly as to not crack the flower seed casings.

Do not pour down drains as it WILL clog any screens in pipes. Non seed options for clean up include pouring off water, and squishing the Slurry into balls then toss in the trash or put them in your recycle bin after dry. AGAIN, do not pour down drains.

NOTE: Since they are paper, these papers will accept the same medias, but might absorb it slightly differently and not as uniformed (like water media or markers) but work VERY well with acrylics and all types of regular glues you use in your art.

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Be sure to join us next week for more of Recycled Artisan Paper.  The next installment of Kris’ presentation will cover The Pouring Method.

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

We begin with the introduction and a supplies list.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

Hi everybody and welcome to LIVE! In this installment, we are going to explore different techniques for recycling paper and junk mail, to use in arts & crafts projects, mixed media fine art, and beyond.

Making paper is messy, but very simple. The techniques are tried and true, but it takes practice to get good results consistently. What works for me, may not be the standard method because I like to do things cheaply. There is no process to this that is set in stone. Feel free to expand and experiment. Do what feels natural.

I have been recycling my own studio paper for several years now. This is paper from left over projects, watercolor paper trimmings even left over other recycled paper noogies. I do this purely for fun and to cut down the waste from my studio – and I use it for art, and crafty things for family and friends.  Usually paper/cardboard from my household use is dropped off at a paper recycling bin at the local school, as White Settlement does not have an active recycling program for its residents. (BOO!)

The paper I make is used in my own mixed media projects, handmade cards, seed paper, and other nifty little things. I take what I don’t use to work and let the kiddies have a go with it too. When creating your own papers – the sky is the limit!! I’ve made paper out of rose petals and even lint!

Above all else – be creative!

Basic Materials

Paper to be recycled (Stay away from super high gloss papers, waxy papers, papers with adhesives, plastic or hard paint)

Dishpan

Large Bowl

Water

Blender

Scissors

Window Screen Material (I prefer metal over vinyl)

Lots of Felt or Absorbent Material

Rolling Pin or Similar (wood will warp over time because of the water – so don’t use your GOOD one)

Old Wood Picture Frame

Stapler or Staple gun (depending on the hardness of the wood)

Some basic supplies:

Some more advanced supplies (we will have fun with later):

Please join us tomorrow, January 22nd, for The Basics, The Sifter Method and Drying Techniques!

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Wendy L. Feldmann

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompasses sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Wendy L. Feldmann

Quilted Guild ID Tag - Wendy L. Feldmann
Quilted Guild ID Tag - Wendy L. Feldmann

I’ve been interested in all sorts of fibre arts ever since I was a little kid. I remember making a whole collection of soft-sculpture critters that I played with for hours on end. Endlessly fascinated with crochet and my Mattel Knit Magic, I would save my allowance to purchase one more skein of yarn…

When I was rather young, my mom tried to teach me to sew on a sewing machine, maybe before I was ready. I remember her admonishing me that Things Needed To Be Hemmed, and the idea really bugged me. Maybe that really stuck with me – maybe that’s why I love the free-motion/collage-style quilting that I’ve developed. There are no edges to be turned under. It’s just layers of fabric, used to like paint, to create images.

Some of my earliest creations were crocheted outfits invented for my stuffed rabbit companion. Over the years I’ve found myself knitting with lots of colors (inspired by Kaffe Fassett in the late 80’s), weaving on a floor loom (my BFA focused on Weaving), batiking, embroidering, tie-dying, macrame-ing, designing and creating stuffed animals, dying fabrics and fibers, quilting, crocheting cat beds, and currently I’m needle-felting.

I’m a Color-and-Texture junkie. I heed my Inner Magpie. I love things that sparkle, and I dearly love color – lots of it. Some of my favorite moments are spent lost in a yarn store or a fabric store. Or wandering in a thrift store, entranced by the rows of color and texture.

Other art forms fascinate me. I love to create illustrations, to paint things with what I think of as my “Gypsy-Caravan Style”, and I am a professional Henna Artist. But I always seem to come back around to Fiber Arts.

The common thread…? (er, fiber?): I’m fascinated with transforming yarn or fabric. Usually into something brightly colored.  – Wendy L. Feldmann

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Tina Marie Ferguson

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompasses sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Tina Marie Ferguson

Joey Roo - Tina Marie Ferguson
Joey Roo - Tina Marie Ferguson

As an artist, I enjoy experimenting with a multitude of various art forms and the means and methods of creating.  I remember my grandmother designing beautiful quilts from scraps of cloth and old clothing.  I always considered what she did to be a true art form.  Now, as a mature 44 year old, the art forms that I find most appealing are the ones in which I received no formal training.  I guess that makes fibre art a true form of folk art for me.  I find inspiration in the designs, patterns, and textures of fabric remnants, discarded clothing, and upholstery samples.  Socks and gloves especially fascinate me.  They speak to me.  They all want to be something else and I feel compelled to fulfill that desire.  Each piece is an original.  I believe that stuffies hold a mass appeal that other more traditional art forms do not.  People connect more literally with a piece of fibre art. – Tina Marie Ferguson

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

This month’s EBSQ Live: Recyled Artisan Paper

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Kris Jean
Monday, March 9th, at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

A Day or Two by Kris Jean
A Day or Two by Kris Jean

The art of making paper has been around for ages. Recycling paper at home is starting to gain interest again with the new found “Green” attitude we are experiencing lately.

Kris will show you the basics of how to recycle junk mail and scrap paper to make one of a kind artisan papers for use in your art, including easy to understand definitions, using additives and proper drying techniques.

About the presenter

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Please Make a Note of the Time by your Zone:

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!