HOW TO PUT YOUR ART ON CERAMICS

ceramic doorplates with images of beach huts, screwed to wooden batons

My trainticketart on ceramics – but first – New stickers for Autumn/Halloween!

I’ve just designed this set of bright but spooky watercolour Hallowe’en planner stickers. They are for sale over on Etsy.

Planner stickers for halloween
Lots of bats and black cats!

So far, I have only sold planner stickers in my Etsy shop but yesterday I grouped five of them (including the halloween ones) into one package and am selling it on Creative Market.

5 sets of planner stickers in contrasting colours
5 sets of planner stickers in contrasting colours

 

To reflect the trend for bigger, brighter photos in blogs, I have also rewritten my tutorial How To Make A Concertina Book and replaced the photos with better, larger and hopefully clearer ones.

And so to the ceramics…

If you’ve been following me on Facebook  or Instagram, you’ll know that I have some of my trainticketart in another Diverse Manners exhibition in the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport for the next 3 weeks – but it is a bit different this time.  When we were in France (see previous post), we were staying near Limoges, a famous porcelain making area, so of course we had to visit one of the factory shops!

I bought ten white porcelain door plates which I thought would be great to put some of my train ticket art on to.  This was my process: 

  1. I scanned the artwork into my computer at a high resolution (1200dpi). I selected 10 of these, cropped to the correct size.  I then boosted the levels in Photoshop to enhance the colour saturation and placed them all together on one A3 sized document.  There was some space left so I added a tile sized piece and some strips to fill the sheet completely. You pay for a whole A3 sheet so you might as well get as many ceramics as possible!  
  2. I then uploaded it to Digital Ceramics in Stoke on Trent (my home town). They printed it on ceramic decals and sent it back to me within 3 days.  I was very impressed with their service!
  3. I took the sheet and the porcelain doorplates to my friend Fiona at Barefoot Ceramics. She is a fellow member of Diverse Manners.  She showed me how to float the decals off the backing paper and smooth them over the doorplates and tiles.  This done, she fired them for me.  They were a great success and I think look impressive as ceramics.
ceramic doorplates with images of beach huts, screwed to wooden batons
To exhibit them, I screwed them on to a wooden baton that I’ve painted to look like weather worn seaside fences.

Here are some photos of the results.  I used several train tickets which have a beach hut theme.  Screwing them to the batons was the hardest part!

chaotic table with a lot of mess
See the chaos on my work table? Screwing things isn’t my strong point! Blood, sweat and tears is more to the point.

The exhibition is on until 22 October.  We have an open afternoon this Saturday 8 October from 2pm to 4pm to meet the artists.  If you are in the area or fancy a trip to South Wales, do pop in and introduce yourself.  You can see some of the other artwork on the Diverse Manners Facebook page.

exhibition of trainticketart on door plates and tiles
Here they are hanging in the gallery in the Riverfront. To the left are the original train tickets (I had to rush home to get another to fill the gap!). To the right are the tiles in box frames.

Hope to see some of you there!

Gelatine plate printing

blue gelli plate print

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I treated myself to one of those permanent gelatine plates at Christmas.   I have done gelatine plate printing before, but my sessions were few and far between because of the need to plan it carefully: to buy the gelatine, wait for it to set and then make sure I did lots of printing before it went mouldy.  Now I have finally bought one, I love it!  I have it out all the time so I can take a few prints whenever I feel the need to get messy, make backgrounds on the train tickets etc and I love the fact that there are so many tutorials and blog posts about it online.

You’ve probably seen evidence of its use cropping up on various photos of train ticket art, but here are a few of the prints I’ve made from it.  They’re not very polished yet but I’m still playing!    Since buying the plate, it has been interesting to see how it has affected my work and especially the train ticket art because I have been making that regularly.  I have noticed that I am most inspired by light and shade and the results of light such as reflections and shadows.  Also  that most of my best art is almost accidental: I make the background on the plate and then observe what emerges once the print has dried and draw it out by highlighting it or adding outlines or details.  Monoprinting, especially printing small things as part of a larger print surface is quite unpredictable and this lends itself well to this style.  I pick a colour scheme or colours which I feel most drawn to at the time I’m playing with it (it feels like playing when I don’t plan anything!) and then just go with the flow.  And using acrylics means that I have to work quickly, there’s no time to stop and ponder or the paint is dry before I know it!  It’s unpredictability that excites me about art, the excitement of not knowing what will emerge or what that paper will look like when I peel it off the plate.

red printed paper with circles
I used a cardboard tube to make shapes in this one

I scanned this into Photoshop and changed the colour (quite drastically!) and uploaded the design to my Redbubble shop – you can see on products here.

another gelli print, orange this time
Can’t remember exactly what I did for this orange one!
gelli print with stamped bunting and beach hut shapes
Bunting and beach huts
blue gelli plate print
I used a home made comb (cut from a credit card) to make these markings
yellow and red gelli plate print
another monoprint

The yellow and red print above came about in an unusual way.  I hit on the idea of rolling gesso on to the plate and then printing it on to the train tickets instead of painting it on.  It works well, allows more of the original ticket to show through and is a lot quicker.  But what I also discovered is that some of the words printed on the ticket were being transferred to the plate – this print is actually on paper and it has picked up the shape of the train tickets and some of what is printed on them!  I think it makes a very interesting print.

black and red printed train ticket
One of the train tickets which have been gesso printed – the red is acrylic paint and the black is Indian ink.
blue and orange printed train ticket with distressed effect
Another train ticket – I do like this colour combination!

Train ticket art progress

Here are a few of my most recent #trainticketart pieces.

train ticket art with Red flower with starry centre
Red flower with starry centre

 

In this photo there are several tickets which I placed on my gelli plate to keep them from moving.  I then used a hand made bunting stamp on them.  I will add details to each one to finish it off.

home made bunting stamp across several train tickets
Lots of tickets all lined up having background stamps added.

 

Background gelli print with red flower stamp on top.
Background gelli print with red flower stamp on top.

 

Yellow bird painted on to altered train ticket
Yellow bird

 

inspiration for this is a medieval tile with picture of deer
I drew this from rough sketch of a medieval tile in the British Museum (it’s supposed to be a deer!)

 

purple and red watercolors painted in shape of leaves
Colourful watercolour doodling!

 

watercolour painting of wisteria branch on train ticket
This is a painting of a branch of wisteria

 

black and white lace design
Another lacey design using texture from gelli print as background

 

red, green and black printed on train ticket
The same red flower stamp as above (these things can be very versatile!) , plus part of a thermofax screen map partly covered by green paint

 

In addition to my trainticketart, I have been busy uploading some of my patterns and designs to Redbubble , which is a print on demand service where you can buy custom designs printed on to all sorts of media such as canvas, photographic prints as well as cushions, leggings, ipod cases and even duvet covers!  I am planning to add more over the coming weeks so if one of my designs catches your eye, why not treat yourself?  If you have seen one of my patterns online that isn’t in my shop yet, drop me a line and I’ll do my best to put it there.  This could even include the trainticketart if I scan it in at a high enough resolution.

Art Plus Family History

A mosaic of some of my train ticket art

Before the new year, I participated in a couple of online courses about blogging, and one thing that I seemed to take away from both of them was the fact that it’s okay to incorporate lots of things about your life into your blog, and that you don’t have to stick to one topic.  Then today, just as I was feeling guilty about not posting here for a couple of weeks,  I read Abby Glassenberg’s post on her blog entitled ‘How to keep blogging when you don’t really feel like it’.  One of the things she said was

“Or maybe you were only going to blog about polymer clay, but you’re also passionate about science fiction and find yourself wishing you could write about that as well? Just do it.”

Basically she said, go ahead, write about whatever you want to….

You may know that as well as art, I am keen on family history and have a genealogy blog as well as this one.  Recently I’ve been struggling to keep up both of them, so I’ve decided to incorporate the family history into this blog – after all, it’s about my life and background as well as my art.  It’s all story and narrative and I hope you find it interesting.  My aim is to build up a picture of some of my ancestors from what I know about them in the records so I’ll start by reworking some of my earlier genealogy blog posts  so that it makes sense in the context of this blog.

Meanwhile, in art news … I’ve been busy stitching together rows of train tickets and it’s looking pretty good!  We are hanging the exhibition on Wednesday – lots of shinning up ladders and getting tangled up in fishing wire I expect… The exhibition itself starts on 8 April when the Riverfront arts centre is opening after the Easter weekend and we are holding a Meet the Artists event from 2pm to 4pm on the following Saturday 11 April – if you are in the area, you are welcome to come along.  If you leave a comment that you’re hoping to come, I’ll look out for you.

Here are some of the rows of train tickets all stitched together, a sneak preview!
Here are some of the rows of train tickets all stitched together, a sneak preview!

Here is the poster about the exhibition; more information is on the Diverse Manners Facebook page.  Hope to see some of you there!

poster showing Beneath the Surface Exhibition, the Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport starting on 8 April.
Beneath the Surface Exhibition, the Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport starting on 8 April.