Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is a Collograph ??

"Spring" from the 4 Seasons Collection

Many of you know only my jewelry on Etsy.  With the opening my new shop, I will be selling original prints as well as cards, and copies of original prints that sold and are popular.  I don't have a good printer where I live for this.  So I am open to names nation wide if you have one.  For years I explored collographs.  Inspired by a local artist and fellow printmaker Tony Abyeta.  Few people knew how to make a line with this method of printmaking.  I was determined I could.  And did.

A collograph can be made may ways. These were made by carving, layering paper, leaves and then gessoing over them.  When it all dries, I coat the plate with acrylic so the ink does not permeate the plate and break it down while printing. The plates get quite thick and I used carpet padding as a blanket when printin.    The 4 Seasons Crosses were multiple plate images.  Each plate holding a different color.  Registration is complex, but doable.  Below are the Winter, Summer, and Fall from this series.

I had the slides converted to digital files.  I am not a photoshop person, so the colors are a bit off. "Summer" is actually a peach with the blue.   One step at a time.

Thanks for reading.

Each day is a now.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Helll-llooo

First I want to say Happy New Year to you all.  We were so fortunate to spend New Year's Eve with both my kids and grandson.  Our son's fiance Carm and their friend Hilary also  helped ring in our new year.  For New Years Eve dinner we had crab legs, turkey tetrazzini, snow pudding with home baked Christmas cookies and Hilary's killer brownies.
Silly glasses and silly faces !!

A family gathering would not be complete without games. "Apples to Apples" was great for all ages. "Quiddler, 5 Crowns" and a 5 hour poker game with Ethan, Grandma and Grandpa.  Grandpa took all Grandma's money, and some of E's.

Christmas Tree bottom slices of years ago with family history written on them.

Close up of this year's tree bottom.

Bob took us to the shooting range on New Years Day.  Kelley, Ethan and named "G-Dog" shot at zombie targets.  E had taken the NRA's safety class with his Colorado Grandpa this summer.  Bob was like a camp counselor with us all. Safety, safety, safety.  If anyone would have told me 20 years ago that I would be shooting a sniper rifle at a range...I would have laughed out loud.  But I did and loved it. Who knew? The line from Thelma and Louise kept going through my head. Louise asks Thelma: "Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"  Thelma answers: "On TV!" 
Kell reloading !!

"G-Dog" knockin' out those zombies

Bob is getting ready for the Tactical Invitational Show in Las Vegas.  He's made some awesome knives for this special show.  I used my new Nikon "big girl camera" to photograph some of them.  That was my anniversary gift.  And I in turn, got Bob a video camera to document all his knife making techniques for all those who can't get enough.  He made a killer video of knives in progress. However, he is still having difficulty with uploading them to YouTube.  I will let him work that out.  :-)
Starfighter with M3 Bolsters + ebony handles
Eagle Rock with superconductor bolsters and lightning strike carbon fiber handles

My second Etsy shop is live.  THE Polkadot Magpie.  I moved all the non personal jewelry to this shop. I will have my artwork, items for the home as well as vintage items.  This has been a huge undertaking. But I'm about half way there.  Reshooting every item in both shops is lots of work. The original shop Polkadot Magpie will have only personalized items.   I have had many dies made this year of the birds, bunnies, leaves, cats and will have more that I can punch out of recycled metals.  I have also found a laser cutter who is local and good.  Kenji and I are working on laser cutting items for the home.  So soon there will be art, cards, clocks, kitchen and bath items, leather, wood and bamboo accessories  ALL   THE Polkadot Magpie brand.  Textiles will be later. 
Big girl camera photos

More big girl camera photos (acrylic resin and real lace)

my latest find...I call her "Athena"  she models 24/7

My plans to travel this year are shaping up.  I will make a quick visit to Chicago before the East Coast Show and then head to Germany: Berlin and Stuttgart to see friends.  Trying to squeeze Prague in there too.  We'll see.  Then if I can,  Roma for at least a month this summer.  This means dialing back on the garden.  There are many of you I want to see.  Please come and stay, you are always welcome.

Bob and I also decided that since we like to make things, we'd take a ceramics class together and later this spring glassblowing.  We had our first class last Saturday.  Each of us threw 3 pots.  I had not thrown a pot since high school and Bob since he was at NYU.  You do the math!  It came right back to both of us. So he is making feeding bowls for Buddy. I am making serving pieces: covered casseroles,
creamer/sugar set.   We had such a good time together! Our teacher is such a lovely woman.  She was a bit surprised that these "new" students were so productive.  It's also very good physical therapy for my weaker left side after the TIA.

That's all for now.  I promise to be more vigilant in writing this blog.  Not daily, but at least 3 times weekly.   I have met some wonderful women on Etsy through Project Embrace.  Etsy has a Team Discovery which I am now a proud member.  We find new shops for Etsy and make treasuries with them.  Thanks for reading...I'm still amazed that you do.
Sunset from my studio New Years Day 2011

Life is a gift. Open now.