Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Project update - done for now.

Good news, and bad news. The good news is that my carving lesson went well and I am happy with the results. The bad news is that the one section took me 6 hours, and there is no way I can have this gourd ready for the North Carolina show, because we leave tomorrow morning, and I have half a dozen errands to run today. I still have to paint, gold leaf and coil the rim before putting it together.

Gary is done, however. He just needs to seal the exterior and line the inside. His carving is exquisite, and yes I know I'm biased, but I've never seen anything as delicate and fine as his work.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tapestry done

I'm done the tapestry section, FINALLY. My fingers are tender and the skin is peeling off the tips. There are 29 rows. Now I just have to figure out how to insert it into the side of the gourd. It was flat, and the gourd is round. It's curved now, because I heat molded it to the side of the gourd with a hair dryer. I'll need to adjust the shape of the cutout I planned.
Up close, it looks pretty confusing, but from a distance it looks somewhat like a flower. Ah well, the best laid plans of mice and men...

NC project update

I finished the base for my gourd. It's gold leafing with 8 rows of coiling. The design is supposed to be a leaf motif.
I have dowelled the top to fit into the top portion. I'll have to do this last so that I can carve and coil the bigger section without interference. If I get this thing ready for the show, it will be because I put it together at my son's house on Friday night. LOL

Today is my carving lesson. Not so easy being left-handed since I have to push the bit away from me instead of towards me. Hope I don't ruin my project.
The tapestry is nearly done. I've got 20 rows done and need to do about 4 more. I've learned a couple of things that I sort of knew, but ignored. One, a beige background doesn't stay beige. Even though I wash my hands after every row, and keep wipes ready to clean the wax off my fingers, the thread still picks up the dye from the coloured threads. I tried washing it (on the back) but that made it damp, and then the colour bled through even more. SIGH.
Also, trying to angle the edges is difficult. Oh well, if it wasn't a challenge, I'd probably lose interest.

Gary has finished the carving. This is a large gourd, and created a ton of sawdust, which of course is all over the house. It also smells very unpleasantly, which makes my house smell like a dirty wet dog.
The things I do for my art!
He has started painting it. The top will be a grey sponged technique. And the bottom will be painted as water and sky etc.

Friday, September 4, 2009

NC Project update

Gary has finished one section of the waves for his swimming dragons. The theme of the NC show is "by the seaside".
He had to add a few more waves than he planned because there was too much empty space.

I've painted the Bird of Paradise flower using a small brush and stroking on multiple layers of colours. I used eight different colours on the leaf and flower. I may still touch it up a bit.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NC Project update

Photo 1: I have base-coated the flower painted side of my gourd and sealed it so that when I'm painting and make a boo-boo, I can wash it off without ruining the background.
Photo 2: Using a reference photo of large tropical leaves (actually a philodendron leaf, rather than a B of P leaf) I've drawn on two leaves that I plan to carve out.
Stick around to see if I have any luck with that!

Photo 3:Gary has started the waves by outlining the edges first.
Photo 4: He has finished one dragon.

To see a much closer view, you click on a photo to bring up a much larger picture. To reduce it to screen size, hit 'control' and the minus sign at the same time. Hitting 'control' and the plus sign makes it larger.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Project update - September show

I started working on one piece of my project. It's a coiled tapestry insert that goes into a section of the gourd that will be cut out once I find out what size this tapestry ends up being. In theory, it's a rectangle on a slant, measuring 5"X5". Right now, the slant isn't angling as much as I planned. So much for plans!
The theme of the gourd is Bird of Paradise flower. I will paint a Bird of Paradise flower on one side, and attempt to coil another flower to inset on the opposite side.
On the other two sections, I'm going to get hubby to teach me to carve (that should be interesting!) and make tropical leaves, which I'll paint.
So far, I've completed 15 rows of pattern on my tapestry, and have about another 12 to go. I'm finding it tedious, taking almost an hour each row, because I'm working with 8 coloured threads which have to be untangled every time I take a stitch.
In the photo you can see the B. of P. flower and then the chart that I created on Excel to do the design. You can see how my tapestry matches the chart, and hopefully will look like a flower from a distance.
Right now, up close, it looks like a bunch of coloured threads wrapped around paper.
I'm obviously NOT going to get this done for our upcoming trip to North Carolina festival next week.