Monday, 16 January 2017

still life drawing...

First life drawing session of the year last night.  I am managing to go life drawing fairly regularly now.
I spend much of my time painting very detailed, small things, so it is wonderful and very important that I can occasionally be free with a large piece of paper, a large chunk of charcoal and a big paint brush.

I put all life drawings in albums on my Face Book page

Saturday, 7 January 2017

new year garage update...

It wasn't that long ago that I did a big tidy up in my garage. Yet it was back to busy chaos again almost immediately and by Christmas it was looking like this. Many things happening at once but no room for anything to happen till I tidy up!

Today it looks like this.

All the things I'm in the middle of doing set out neatly, ready to go.

These two need their batteries fitted so I can finish them...

This one and the other two beside it need the LED's soldered up and tested. Soldering is the best job for when I am feeling a bit over whelmed by life...

This one has the led's soldered together and now needs setting in resin then the wall fixing sorted out ...

I have new moulds to try out ...

and my painting room is full of boxes of things I can't keep in the garage over winter because they go mouldy or get eaten. A casting is needed to clear the decks ...

oh and there are boxes of resins that need polishing ,,,

... so when me and Marmite are having a little break from painting, I can now get out in my garage and get on with some of these goodies. I like that I have something practical to do when my eyes need a rest and I can't paint any more. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

more lego and mould making

Busy with illustration and other things but slowly plodding on in the garage with the 100 led peices. Another one soldered up and ready to set but no resin so that will be next year now.

Meanwhile making new moulds so I can make tiles. Fun playing with lego again...

 ... and finding alternative uses for Christmas baubles. 

Thinking of making door handles, beads, tiles and coasters. Small things I can sell to fund the big things. 

When these are out I'll make another set of the square ones.

I wasted a bit on this pour. Overestimated how much it would take to fill these. I could have made another small mould and it's expensive stuff. 

Next time be more efficient!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

the first 100 led block lit

So I finished one of the 'one hundred LED blocks' and had it hanging at the Art House this weekend. Good to see it working. Didn't manage to get brilliant photos of it but there will be other times. One day I will have all of them hanging together.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Art House Christmas arts and crafts party 2-4 December

I will have some of my things at The Art House Christmas arts and crafts party this weekend. Will be there on Friday evening from 5pm. Then Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11.30am to 5pm.

Have finished one of the 100 led blocks, so that will be there and have I filled my new light box with small resins to sell. There will be some 3x3 light boxes and a few other pieces.

Please come and say hello.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

starting to light the hundred LED blocks at last

Finished making the five blocks with the big mould and after much sanding and polishing I'm ready to start the lighting.

A few soldering lessons and much note taking with my electrician genius friend Mike and I'm off.

Did the three small blocks first.
They work OK!

So started drilling the hundred holes in one of the big blocks.

All good and started soldering a resistor to each LED bulb. Hopefully will have some time soon to get this one soldered together and lit up.

Meanwhile a wildlife update.

Buff tip caterpillars have been falling on me as I work. I gather them up and put them on the ground underneath the silver birches where they came from. I think they drop to the ground when they are fat and ready to pupate so they should be OK.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The story of the mould making near disaster ... what happened when I was making the big mould? Now it's all over and the ending is happy, I can tell you.

Everything was ready to go. The master was polished and carefully levelled. The big tin of silicone, catalyst added, carefully stirred and looking like very sticky custard, was ready to pour.

The Captain was looking on.
It was time to take the plunge and pour.

Ah but I should have known from his wicked grin that I'd done something wrong!

And so I started pouring. Carefully and slowly and all was good. 5 litres of silicone, just enough to fill the mould.

I haven't photos to show you how beautiful it was because when I turned around to get my camera was when it all started to go wrong. I looked back and noticed a dip. It looked like the level was going down? The level was going down, but where was it going!
No leaks, then I realise the master was beginning to float!
You learn a lot at moments like this don't you. I tried not to panic and put my hands in the sticky goo to push it back down - gloop, gloop -great big sloppy bubbles came out. It slid sideways so I pushed it back to more or less central. All that time levelling it, wasted. So now I had to stand there holding it down (and it really wanted to float up and was very slippery and sticky) Luckily I got the quick set catalyst. Only 3/4 hour or so before it set enough to let go. And as I stood there arms aching I went over my stupidity. I had done small moulds before and fixed the master down with double sided sticky tape so I did the same for this one but of course it's bigger. Lots of air. Air lighter than silicone, wants to float up. In hindsight I should have glue gunned it down. Next time!

Anyway it set in the end. You can see the holes where my fingers were holding it all down and how much silicone disappeared. I had to buy another litre of silicone and hope that was enough to level it.
It wasn't quite but that was it.
I'd spent enough. I'd sort it out somehow.

So because it wasn't quite enough there was a bit of a curve and the base would need support. It would just flop round the edges when I turned it over the way it was and my resin blocks would be really distorted.
Solution. I made it a fibreglass bottom so when I turned it over and took the master out, it would stay flat.

But had it worked? I still had no idea if all that drama meant it now had bubbles and missing bits. After days of work it could all be useless.

I knew when I turned it over I would have to cut the big slab of silicone out that had 'disappeared' underneath the master. And here it is. Great, I will use it to make a wall so I can split the mould and make rectangular things in it. This was my plan anyway so nothing wasted.
I finally pulled the perspex master out. And there it was. Perfect.
What a relief, not a single bubble and beautifully smooth. It had worked!

Then another problem. Getting it level again.
Not such a problem in the end. I sat the mould on its fibreglass tray, on a board, with big blobs of silicone (nicked the bathroom sealant my husband was using recently to reseal the shower) and got it level from the inside. It is very important it is level as I want the blocks to be the same depth and so far they have been a bit uneven. I intend to re-level the three I have already made using this mould.

Then I gave it a wooden jacked to support the sides and it was ready to go.

This is the first time I used it.
It's great knowing it isn't going to leak out the edges and it's so easy to get the blocks out, then there it is ready for the next one...
... it was definitely worth all the effort.

I love my new mould.