Sunday, February 24, 2013

A project completed

As mentioned previously, a few weeks ago I attended a weekend workshop by Olive Bull with the Buderim Calligraphy Group.  Olive taught us so much and gave us so much to do we didn't get to finish our books in class, but I was keen to make sure that I did, not long after it finished, and here it is.

The workshop was "One alphabet - 26 techniques" and it was really about using a different technique, material or tool for each letter of the alphabet, creating a sampler book that we can refer back to.


I love sampler books - they are such great reminders and sources of inspiration. I used some of my rusty chain paper for the covers...


I really liked how my 'C' worked out - although I learnt a lot about applying watercolour pencil as I did it (thank you Helen!) and I updated my technique later in the alphabet. The 'C' has lots of life and movement and I can see myself using this approach again.


I quite liked how the 'E" worked out - accidentally I got a shadow letter.  Because I held my ruling pen in a less than perfect manner, the screw that tightens the blades was also in touch with the paper. I like mistakes like this one, wet into wet.

I also love the notion of multiple embossings (F). Simple, elegant and giving a sense of movement


This 'P" I love. This is real gold (23K), and Olive taught us the best size to use to adhere real gold which was very helpful. At times I have really struggled to get real gold to lay down properly.  This is also where we used French chalk powder - a light dusting in the area/shape where you want to write , followed by black gouache. It wrote like a dream, and then I made marks into the gold using an embossing tool. All of which has been stored in the memory bank for later recall and use.


The Q is OK, but I really liked the R - the cutting out of the paper to create the letter form. I have seen others do this but never tried it myself, and I love what it does. So once again I expect I will be doing this somewhere, somehow, sometime. Soon.


This is where I got the hang of watercolour pencils a bit better - the subtleties I achieved with the 'U' are just what I was aiming for. I have now bought myself a set of Derwent Graphitint pencils to play with further. And with the'V' we blind embossed through imitation gold - a great effect.


Oh, and a final peek for those who wondered what on earth we did with the egg shells...


The letter 'T' was written with a paddle-pop stick, using a combination of crushed egg shells (really tiny), PVA glue and a few drops of ink. It created an amazing texture...

26 comments:

  1. What a great reminder of all those techniques. Eggs for breakfast. Guess who's going to be saving the shells?

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    1. So funny Annie! Just remember to remove the membrane if you can - makes it easier to glue I think. Have fun!

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  2. Wonderful exploration! I'm especially fond of C, D and E - love that extra mark!

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    1. Thanks Valerianna - I love the shadow mark on hte E as well - gotta love mistakes sometimes. And that C is so playful!

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  3. this is a great sample book on so many levels. thanks fiona for sharing...the eggshell thing has been making an appearance around the web. did you like working with it? like the results? i can't tell too much from your photo.

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    1. Hi V - I do love a sampler book of any sort! I'm not sure I'll be writing with eggshell inky stuff; but it did give a great texture. It would make a great statement somewhere I think. Others added gouache or coloured ink which made it look quite different and friendly - mine was serious.

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  4. Beautiful work Fiona...lovely to keep as a refresher in those techniques.

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    1. Thanks Jo - and they are great reminders aren't they? I feel as if I could spend my days doing samplers and swatches at the moment!

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  5. love the design of this little book - and what a good way to keep all your workshop samples in one place

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    1. An excellent plan wasn't it Ronnie - and we had cut all the paper for the book beforehand so that saved a lot of time on the day.

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    1. Thank you Kelli - so glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Your finished book is lovely Fiona and brings back lots of pleasant memories for me.

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    1. Thanks Helen - I'm glad it evoked fond memories; a calligraphic sampler book is a thing to treasure I think. Go well.

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  8. Oh, those tricky ruling pens!(Just call me Madame Splatter!)Your happenstance is beautiful.

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    1. I laughed out loud! So very much me and so very much you it would seem! Happenstance is a wonderful thing and I do like my shadow E very much indeed!

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    1. Many thanks Marleen, glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Yes, the E has great character. The sampler is a great way to keep your lessons together, and especially nice is your cover of the beautiful rusted paper.

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    1. So true Carol - I like flicking thru it and going - oh I could try that...or that!

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  11. I really like the accordion spine for the binding of your sampler book - how it gives the pages/letters plenty of breathing space. What a wonderful way to record/preserve all of these techniques! Of those you've shown in this post, the ones that intrigue me most are the 'E', the 'P', the 'Q' & the 'R'... Lovely!

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    1. Hi lisa - thank you. It is a good way of displaying the pages, giving them space to breathe as you say. Simple yet effective. The E was about wet paper, ink wash background, dip ruling pen in same colour ink and write swiftly - aiming for that perfect moment when it would be wet enough to bleed a bit, but not run. I am feeling quite a few of these techniques will get another run soon!

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  12. Ah, so the egg shell mystery is resolved! What a fanatastic range of approaches Fiona. I am a fan of that bit of bling with the gold leaf on the P. I was re-reading my Denise Lach book the other day for a bit of inspiration but all I needed to do was read this post. How I wish I was right handed!

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    1. Indeed - eggshells demystified Lesley! Isn't that Denise Lach book just the most inspiring book? I still gaze in awe and wonder and wonder if I could ever do anything like that...it fills me up. Go well!

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  13. Fiona,
    I love this little book and alphabet.For alphabet ALAW 2012, orange and brown with Anne claire we worked like that too. Each letter is different and uses a different calligraphy, a different tool and different materials. For example : the "K" is made eggshell, the "C" is coral, "N" is String (N "node) The use techniques only graphics is very interesting. Good luck
    Annik

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  14. Thank you Annik - it is a fun piece and a great reminder. I like your orange and brown book very much - so good to try new and different things.

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