Art · Erosion Bundles

The Making Of An Erosion Bundle

This is the post a few people have been waiting for…. ! This post is all about how I go about making my Erosion Bundles. I would like to state at the outset that this is NOT A TUTORIAL. In this post I am simply documenting how I made my current set of erosion bundles. Each time I make erosion bundles they are different – different ingredients, different papers, different fabrics etc. – it’s never the same.

I begin by gathering all of the things I need for my bundles. The primary components are the papers and fabrics….

Fabrics - NB

Papers 1 - NB

These are just a sample of the papers and fabrics I used. Next I need interesting things to go between the papers and fabrics…

Blackberries - NBBlueberries - NBRusty Stuff - NB

Tea Bags - NBEyeshadow - NBPearl Mica - NB

My ingredients above are: blackberries, blueberries, rusty stuff, teabags, eyeshadow and some pearl mica. The blueberries and blackberries I bought fresh from a local supermarket and froze them till I was ready to use them. All the rusty stuff I have rusted myself in my back garden! The eyeshadow was only 59p from a local discount store!

Ingredients gathered it’s now time to start layering papers and fabrics….

Paper & Fabric Layers - NB

Generally, I put the stronger, thicker papers and fabrics towards the outside of the bundle and the more fragile papers and fabrics nearer the centre of the bundle. At the base I started with a fairly strong piece of paper. In this case I used a piece of textured wallpaper as my base – textured side inside. It was approximately A5 size. Then I started randomly adding some of the staining ingredients on top. Then I added some fabric and more staining ingredients on top of that.  I like to vary the staining ingredients on each layer a little so each layer is slightly different. I added some more paper, more staining ingredients. I keep going till I have quite a thick pile of papers and fabrics layered up as in the picture above. You can see some blueberries and a rusty washer at the edges of the bundle in the picture above.

When my erosion bundle was about 4 – 5 inches high I decided that was enough and tied it all together with string….

Tied Bundle - NB

Tied Bundle - Side View - NB

You’ll notice in the first image above that I used quite a lot of string and I tie my bundles fairly tight as I don’t want anything falling out! You’ll also notice in the first image above that some of the string is stained…. that’s because I recycle my string! I always save the string from my previous erosion bundle and use it again for the next one if possible!

I had enough papers, fabrics and staining ingredients left over to make two more erosion bundles….

2 More Bundles - NB

Notice the recycled string again… ! All three bundles went out in the garden on Monday afternoon (24th July 2017). How long I leave them will depend on the weather. But I don’t want to open them till at least the end of September or possibly the end of October.

Hanging On The Fence - NB

The first bundle (above) is now hanging on my garden fence and the second two are sat on an old seat by my back door. It is hard leaving them for 2 -3 months – the curiosity is almost overwhelming – I’m dying to know what’s going on inside! But you just have to be self controlled, leave them alone and let nature and the elements work their magic on them….

For me, erosion bundles are all about experimenting! There are NO RULES – anything goes! In my view, there is no right or wrong way to do an erosion bundle! I’ve just gradually developed my own way of doing them. Some people like to use only natural ingredients in their bundles (fruit, veg, plants etc.) and that’s fine. But me, I’ll use anything! If I think it might make interesting marks, stains, textures, or cause interesting chemical reactions, I’ll try it! As with all experiments, some erosion bundles turn out better than others. Through my process I’m gradually learning what works and what doesn’t.

So for all you lovely people who have asked how I make my erosion bundles I hope this post has given you a little insight into how I go about making them. And maybe you might feel like giving it a go yourself…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 20

Week 20 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is all about using glazes. I’ve tried to be a little bit inventive with my glazes. I used Windsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic Glazing Medium. Rather than producing lots of separate pieces I decided to do just one and divide it up into sections….

Week 20 - Collage Base - NB

As you can see above I started with a simple collage base, about 6″ x 6″, and you can see that I divided it into 6 roughly equal sections lightly with pencil. My idea then was to try a different glazing technique in each section…..

Week 20 - Glazes - NB

This is what I ended up with! Now let me explain a little about each section…..

Top left: very simple, I just mixed the glaze medium with a tiny amount of sepia acrylic paint to create a vintage looking effect

Top Middle:  I mixed the glazing medium with dried paint scraping from off one of my paint pallets. It created some lovely coloured texture

Top Right:  I created a “dirty” glaze by mixing the glazing medium with rust particles scraped off some of my rust collection. Also on this section I went over the right half with a second coat of glazing medium mixed with a tiny amount of light gold pearl mica. It’s created some lovely grunge/bling texture…

Bottom Left:  I mixed the glazing medium with PVA and heated it with a heat gun to create some texture. I then went over it again with more glazing medium mixed with tiny amounts of acrylic paint

Bottom Middle:  It’s not so easy to see in the photo but for this section I simply mixed the glazing medium with a light gold pearl mica. All the collage is clearly visible but it has a lovely light gold sheen over it

Bottom Right:  For this section I simply layered different coloured glazes over the top of each other to create layers of colour

Please view the larger version of the image by clicking on it and you can hopefully see the details better. I did notice that some of my collage papers absorbed the glaze while with others the glaze just sat on top. This creates different finishes – where the glaze is absorbed the finish is more matte rather than shiny…

I quite enjoyed glazing this week. My glazed collage will go into my dedicated STW Sketchbook. Next week back to some basics again with embedding…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 11

This weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about using drawing grounds – ie. clear gesso, absorbent ground or pastel ground. Out of these three I only had clear gesso so that’s what I used. Drawing grounds are used to add tooth to an uneven surface like a collage that’s made up from glossy items and matte items, it kind of “evens” out the surface.

So I started this weeks workshop by collaging two thick pieces of paper. I then covered them with my drawing ground  – the clear gesso. I did actually mix my clear gesso with just a tiny bit of white gesso, just to very slightly tone down my collage a bit. I left it to dry. Then comes the interesting bit – what to put on top. The book gave only three prompts for this – add thin washes of colour, drawing on the surface or a combination of both. I did a combination of both…

Week 11 - Drawing Grounds - Fish - NB
Fish drawn & painted over clear gesso

On my first collage I decided I wanted to draw a fish. I don’t know why, I just did! So I did practice a couple of times on a separate piece of paper first and then drew my very simple fish above. I painted it over with watercolour paint but it looked a bit dull – I think that has to do with the clear gesso. It needed a bit of bling… so out came the pearl mica! I overlaid the watercolour with thin washes of complementary shades of pearl mica. You can click the images to view them larger…

Week 11 - Fish Macro - NB

Above is a macro view of the fish. You can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and also the texture of the clear gesso over my collage. I photographed this image using a 60mm macro lens at f/2.8 and made sure there was backlighting to get that lovely bokeh (the sparkly out of focus bit top and bottom)!

My second collage ended up like this:

Week 11 - Drawing Grounds - Portals - NB
Portals Into Another World

I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to draw on this one but I like circles, so I started by drawing some circles. Then came some lines and then I filled in with some colour, which I overlaid with some washes of pearl mica. It ended up looking a little “other worldly” so I called it Portals Into Another World…

Here’s a couple of macro views:

Week 11 - Portals Macro - NB
“Portals”, a macro view

Above you can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and texture of the clear gesso.  Below is a fun macro shot just because I love bokeh and blur…

Week 11 - Portals Macro 2 - NB
“Portals”, a macro view

Both of my samples for this week measure 13 cm x 10 cm and I have stuck them into my dedicated STW sketchbook. As is often the case, both these samples look better in reality than they do photographed! My sister Carolyn should be posting her samples from last week and this week soon,  so please do pop over and have a look… ! In next week’s workshop we are using Metal Leaf – I’ve never used this before so I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it but I’m up for the challenge…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 9

Welcome to week 9 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week my sister Carolyn and I are experimenting with Fiber Paste. We used Golden Fiber Paste – I couldn’t find any alternatives that claimed to have the same properties. I read through the prompts in the book decided I was going to begin with printing on fiber paste.

I used a cheap sheet of A5 copy paper and skimmed a very thin layer of fiber paste over it with a wet palette knife. I let it dry for a couple of hours and prepared 2 photos in Photoshop ready to print onto the fiber paste. Now, my printer has been a bit temperamental of late so I wasn’t too sure how it was going to react to having Fiber Paste put through it – I was fully prepared for a paper jam, print errors and that nasty little flashing red light on the front of the printer. But to my surprise fiber paste went through the printer fairly easily…

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Mussels - NB
Mussels Print on Fiber Paste

Fiber paste has the feel and texture of hand made paper when it’s dry – it’s lovely! The prints printed out slightly softer and lighter in colour than they would had they been printed on photo paper. If you click the images to view them larger you can see the texture of the fiber paste through the prints.

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Barnacles - NB
Barnacles Print on Fiber Paste

The fiber paste ended up making the cheap copy paper very strong and flexible once the paste had dried. It is a lovely surface to paint on, draw on or stitch into. I LOVE fiber paste and I’m very pleased with how my fiber paste prints turned out! This is how they appear in my STW Sketchbook:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Sketchbook 1 - NB
Fiber Paste Prints in Sketchbook

 Next I simply painted a watercolour wash over some fiber paste:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour 1 - NB

The watercolour paint has highlighted the texture of the fiber paste quite well but here’s a macro view for more detail:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour Macro - NB

You can really see the texture of the fiber paste in this image! Next I did another watercolour wash over fiber paste but this time I overlaid it with some pearl mica once the watercolour had dried:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour 2 - NB

And I also did a macro view too so you can really see the texture of the fiber paste in detail:

Week 9 - Fiber Paste - Watercolour Macro 2 - NB

In conclusion the end result of this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is that I LOVE Golden Fiber Paste! I especially like printing on fiber paste. Once you’ve printed on fiber paste you can easily incorporate the fiber paste print into mixed media art, paint on it, draw on it, stitch into it – anything really!  I will be doing more fiber paste prints…

Carolyn should be posting all her workshop samples this week so please do pop over and have a look! Next weeks workshop is focusing on drawing grounds, so I need to get my drawing head on….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 5

Well week 5 of the Surface Treatment Workshop has finally arrived! The focus for this week is crackle paste. I used Golden Crackle Paste and I have to say it is brilliant stuff! Using crackle paste is time consuming but worth the effort and a little patience!

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blues & Browns - NB

I did decide to go for some blues and brown colours – couldn’t resist! The above sample is on cardboard and will go in my sketchbook. Next are some closer views of the above sample:

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 2 - NB

Week 5 - Blues & Browns - detail 3 - NB

The crackle paste has a lovely texture to it as well as the cracking ability. I also opted for some blue and turquoise colours…

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - NB

… with a touch of ochre – I do love these colours. Next are some close up views:

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Blue & Turquoise - detail 2 - NB

Not only does it take time for the crackle paste to work, I also found it takes more time than I realized to paint the crackle paste too! You have to build up the colour in layers, lots of diluted washes of colour, letting each layer dry before adding another…

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - NBThe above sample I decided to call “Crazy Paving”. It is also on cardboard and will go in my dedicated Surface Treatment Workshop sketchbook.  Next some close up views:

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - detail 1 - NB

Week 5 - Crackle Paste - Crazy Paving - detail 2 - NB

Out of all the crackle paste samples I started with three are complete which I have posted here. Two are in progress but I haven’t decided what to do next with them so I’ll leave those for a while. And one other is not painted at all yet – I will finish it and add it to my sketchbook!

My sister Carolyn will be posting her samples for the Surface Treatment Workshop in a few days, please do pop over and have look! Next week the the Surface Treatment Workshop is focusing on a Faux Encaustic technique – this could be very interesting…

Art · Erosion Bundles

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 3

winter-eb-26-nb

Welcome to part 3 of my Winter Erosion Bundle – the final part! Part 3 is very different to Part 1 and Part 2 – is has no rust and no blueberries! I used just dots of watercolour paint and sprinkles of pearl mica.

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These papers were on the very outside of the erosion bundle. The watercolour paint gave the papers beautiful soft pastel tones…

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The pearl mica gave a lovely sheen to the papers that catches the light…

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Above is a close up view of the previous image.

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I used tissue paper, deli paper and notebook paper, all of which absorbed colour very readily…

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The lovely pastel tones blend and compliment each other beautifully…

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Shimmering gold pearl mica with touches of vintage pink…

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Blues, greens and turquoise – lagoon colours…

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All the colours of the rainbow…

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These papers have been carefully stored. I will use them in mixed media art as and when the right project comes along. These erosion bundles take time to produce, so it’s a good idea to build up a good supply of eroded, corroded, vintage papers well in advance!

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

A spring erosion bundle is in the planning stage…

Art · Collage · Sketchbooks

Warming Up Winter With Red & Gold

winter-rose-rn

I’ve called this “A Winter Rose” – it’s mixed media on paper, 10 cm x 7.5 cm. I actually used real rose petals in this that I had dried quite a long time ago and saved. I stuck them on with acrylic gel and when dry I went over them with and acrylic glaze tinted with garnet coloured pearl mica. They are now perfectly preserved on my art work!

How my winter rose looks in my collaged sketchbook:

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The following two pieces of art I have collectively called “Harbour Lights” as the sequins remind me of the lights round Mousehole harbour (Cornwall, UK):

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The red and gold work well together on the vintage collage paper background. Both are mixed media on paper and they measure 10 cm x 15 cm and 11 cm x 15 cm respectively. They have both been stuck in my collaged sketchbook.