July 22, 2004

NeW sTuDiO!

My new studio is up and running! The walls are painted, the shelving is up and the curtains are hung. I'm so excited!! It took three weeks to transfer all my craft stuff from one space to the other, but I also did a much a needed reorganization during the move. I have tons of shelves now, 36 feet to be exact, and yes, they're full already. I thought I'd have room left over for "future growth" but nope, every square inch is being utilized.

The photo shows a neat and tidy workspace - just a fa├žade. I straightened it up before snapping the photos. Normally, I only have about six square inches of work area that's free from clutter and that's where I create my new pieces. Yes, even with all the new storage and shelves my area is still a mess. I think for an artist, having a cluttered workspace is genetically coded into our systems. When my workspace is too neat and tidy my creative juices don't flow nearly as well. So, with that said, I'm off to create!

July 10, 2004

Adhesives - Make it Stick!

Ever wonder which adhesive is the best to use? It depends on what you're trying to glue, but I've listed some options below and you can decide.

Sticky Tabs or Dots Tape Runner: Great for most flat, lightweight embellishments. Generally used to mount photo's and paper.

Glue Sticks: This can be used to adhere any lightweight paper embellishment but I don't recommend it for altered art pieces. It's been my experience that after a short while things glued with the stick tend to fall off. It will help keep the ends of jute and hemp together and can be used for embellishments, foamies, and iron on patches.

Double Sided Tape: Works great for wide ribbons, seed beads, or for putting things in rows, such as buttons.

Foam Squares or Dots: Flat dots can be used to adhere paper to paper, attach photo's, etc. There are also dots (or squares) that are 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick, which can be used to give a 3D effect to your artwork by raising items from the surface.

PVA Glue - Fine Line: Use fine tip glue pens for adhering small items and for delicate pieces that require a fine line of glue, such as paper doilies, rick-rack, or trim.

Xyron Machine: Use this for skeleton leaves, tiny flat items, lace, and small paper items. Run your items through the Xyron Machine and create instant "stickers".

Spray Adhesive: Great for adhering large pieces of paper or fabric to wood or mat board.

Memory Mount: This is a very sticky, thick liquid glue that works well to adhere charms, buttons, and other items. This does require drying time.

Sewing: Another option is to sew on embellishments. This can be done when adhering paper, fabric, mesh, buttons or charms to paper or fabric. It doesn't necessarily require a sewing maching - you can hand stitch.

E6000, Gorilla Glue, 527 Glue: E6000 is an industrial strength gel type glue that works on any type of surface (except for adhering glass to glass - you'll need Super Glue or Krazy Glue for that), dries clear, is waterproof, and is a godsend for adhering heavier items. Gorilla Glue works basically the same as E6000. Drying time is slow but gives you ample time to adjust your item before it's permanently bound. 527 glue is like E6000 and Gorilla Glue but it has a thinner consistency and a pointer tip that allows for greater control of where your glue will be going.

Hot Glue: Works well but will yellow with age and the bond will not last forever. You'll want to consider another type of adhesive if you're adhering something like plastic, that might melt under heat.

Staples: Attach paper, fabric, or mesh embellishments with staples (colored staples are my favorite).

July 06, 2004

Summer Project – Create Art Class Syllabus

This summer I've been putting together an outline of an 6-12 week course in altered art & ATC's (artist trading cards) and will submit it to the Community Education Enrichment department of our school district this fall or winter. They're always looking for local talent to teach things like photography, cake decorating, and beginning sign language.

I noticed that Michael's Craft Store has a huge bulletin board asking for people to teach various arts and crafts classes. Nothing for ATC's or altered art was listed but I'm thinking about talking to the store manager to see if this might be something of interest. Since altered art/assemblage, collage, mixed media and ATC's are "hot" right now, I thought this would be a good time to put my creative skills to work.

If anyone has done this before, any suggestions would be appreciated!