Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A commission unfolds... Part 2

I think I left you at the part where we had decided it wasn't working...

So we played around with my italic words until we found five words that my friend liked and we agreed I would make the piece using those words and whatever layout I felt worked best. With any commission it's getting this balance between which decisions get made by whom, in a way.  She knew I was best placed to work out what to do with the words; I knew she was best placed to choose which words worked for her.

So I wrote the words out again and measured them so I had a sense of how they would work in a layout; options being random, left-aligned, right-aligned or centred.

I then traced them onto the milk container, cut them and trimmed them and went on to do my usual embossing. This one's a bit different though in that these words are all hand-embossed; meaning I sit there with my little tools and push the paper through the cut-out letter and try to make them look crisp and beautiful!

This is how they look on the other side. This is a draft/mock up just to check, before I do the final one. Hopefully only once!

When I get this close, and once the final is actually done, I always like to think the work is finished about now - but of course it isn't.  I still have to work out the measurements for the mat board which will sit over the top; the alignment of the folds and how to attach it to the the bottom board and the instructions I need to give the framer.  So close....


  1. Fiona I love this piece and what patience and a love of your art you posess.
    Beautifully worked and there is something about hand embossing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! I hadn't realized how entailed the embossing process is. Can't wait to see the finished piece.

  3. Maybe because I push paint around in broad fields, and when I make lines they are organic tree- bark textures, but the precision of the letters awes me. Beautiful!
    (and maybe because I hate measuring, too.)

  4. this seems like a very beautiful balance of complexity and simplicity ......... a complex commission and process and the result is one of calm and repose - might be the white on white. As with much of your work there is a quietness which is resounding!

  5. Thank you Alison - it is strange in a way this love and care I have about the process and the making. Normally my attention span is that of a flea!

    Thanks Jennifer - it's edging closer and it always takes time. But I think some things just take the time they take to be what they will be...most of my work is slow work I find. Sometimes I sigh and wish I could do more and faster; but mostly I accept the rhythm and the pace as just being me.

    Oh Valerianna; you have no idea how much I don't enjoy measuring and math! I talk to myself over and over again to see if I have got it right; and then I still cut off the bit I need! Never mind - we all have marks to make and we find our own path. Yours are wonderful!

    Thank you so much Susan - I am struggling to re-write my artist statement and have just worked out I need to add quietness to it somehow, so this is perfect timing. I like too how you can see both the complexity and the simplicity - sometimes simple isn't so simple?

  6. How fitting some of those words are Fiona. There is a lot of trust put in your skills and the outcome looks as if it will definitely bring joy. All in all, a win:win. Isn't that harmony?

  7. I can picture you diligently embossing these words, with sore fingers after cutting the plastic so carefully. To say you 'tried' to get them crisp is sooooo understating the fact Fiona. They couldn't be crisper if you'd cooked them in the oven for a few hours.

  8. What a lovely descriptor Lesley - harmony. Thanks so much, go well.

  9. Oh Jo - I laughed! What great way to say it! Thank you for thinking they are fine as they are; I went back in and tidies a few up, but am overall happy with the final piece - to the framers for finishing tomorrow!

  10. Lovely work, Fiona! I think it is always a challenge to construct the letters in such a way that yields embossing as beautifully as you have here. Thanks for sharing!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.