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.

Friday, 6 May 2016

more seaweeds and becoming a freelance artist and illustrator...

Things change. I worked for Cornwall Wildlife Trust for twenty four years. Now I am a freelance artist and illustrator. And as I slowly get my head around this change I am enjoying the freedom to be in my studio more.

Making a new mould for the big blocks. Post coming soon about this. It's been interesting!

But also been casting many small seaweed resins to sell. Shells, feathers and text next.

.. and as I sort through the sheets of acetate and seaweed and look at them on the light box I start to get an idea of what might happen in the new mould when it's finished.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Taking time

Whimbrel calling across Prisk,
sound of spring, hope, winter ending.
Gathering seaweed in rock pools.
Reds, rich silk ribbons,
rags and feather plumes.
Green light layers and amber sheets.
Yellow ochre curves.
Burnt umber creases hiding crabs
and wriggling fish.
Turning stones things scuttle
away from the light.
Slow moving tide lapping,
taking time.
I take time.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Monday, 7 March 2016

making block number 2

I have decided to call the one hundred resins blocks.

This is block 1 so far.

Not sure how many I will make but I want to get them all to this stage before I sand and polish. They are growing from each other so this part needs to be a continuous process. Then I will sort out the wall fixings and lights.

So I've started block 2. 
Unlike block 1, which I set upside down, bock 2 is face up. It is easier to see what I'm doing but the little squares are different depths which makes it trickier to get them all level at the end. Some I want to be clear, some I want to have a thin film of white clouding them. I want the text to read or be obscured, the objects to be near the surface or deep, the light to be diffused or sharp. Lots of variables and things to think about as I go along. This is the first 10mm of white which is the base.

And here is the plan. A vague plan.
As always as I start to place them a few squares move and a few squares get replaced.

My plan though is that this block won't be as dense as bock 1. It will have more white.

It took four pours over two days to place everything. It will be many days before I get it out of the mould. Then I will have to make more little squares to make the next one. I'm thinking Five.

As I make more little squares I put them on my light box and photograph them individually.They are on my Face Book page in an album resins on the light box as I sort through them 


moving towards
a clear space

become whiter
become empty
be full of light

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

white resin and out of the mould

First layer of white resin poured.

Remember this is the back. Detail on the light box. Really like this. Things under the surface not quite seen. Leading me onto the next piece. I will use white resin more.

Last layer and everything is covered. Whilst I was out there, doing my head in with litres of resin, I poured a few more little squares - need to make them continuously now as I plan to make more of these and some rectangular light slabs.

And here it is out of the mould.
A big slab of resin. The first one.

Ready to be sanded down and have the lighting and hanging points installed.

But for now I will put it aside and get on with the next one.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

a secret... one hundred little squares

I have a whole week of holiday before me without all the seasonal distractions. 
I'm free to play and get on with the one hundred resin piece. 

I was going to be all secretive and blog about it once it had all worked out and all the scary, 'things going wrong' bits were out the way. But today I plunged off the cliff of indecision and faffing, stuck one hundred resin squares together and I'm not sure there is any point in being secretive.

Things did go wrong. Of course. 

This was days of arranging and rearranging on the light box. I say 100 squares but actually there are more likely at least 250 as many of the squares are built up by layering 2 or 3 slices. 

The squares are all different heights so I had to place them in the mould face down. That's why I had to arrange them first. I poured 100ml of clear resin in the mould as a 1mm base. Then, when that had set, poured 200ml in and started placing them. 

Of course as soon as I started doing that things changed. I lost the order and lost layers and things ended up in different places. Oh and I was a row short so was making it up as I went along. Then I was covered in resin and - well things changed - as they do
But random is something I embrace and I don't believe my mind should be the only thing that has a say in what I make.

So this it but upside down. The other side, the front, is a mystery, but I get a feel of how it will be by putting it on the light box. OK so far. 

My mind was empty of word as I built up the layers but I can think of words now to describe what I was doing. I won't put them together in a sentence just leave them floating like these little squares I make: 

 light  space  emptiness  growth  hidden  exposed  one  two  another  nothing  small  box  mystery  object  time  circle  cell  contained  sample  relic  treasure  three  ten  hundred  chaos  square  red  word  poem  scattered  joined  number  memory  amoebae  part  section  bee  secret  shell  sacred  egg  random  order  full  seed  white  layer  journey  resin  embedded  detail  preserved  collection  floating  simple  living

Tomorrow I will skim the whole thing in white resin. 
White resin will seep in all over the place. 
More mystery and organised randomness.