Friday, June 20, 2014

... on Finders Keepers countdown.

With two weeks to go until the next Brisbane Finders Keepers market, there's been a lot of preparing going on around here, and it's just stepped up a notch. Before it gets out of hand, I thought I'd let you know what I've been up to, and what you might see should you come visit me at The Old Museum on July 5th and 6th!

Recently I found a handful of tiny spotted gum nuts that immediately called out to be be-moulded and cast. I liked that they were somewhat warty and carbuncled - I've found that these textures transfer really well to plaster, so I gave it a go. I fancied I could make the wee gumnuts into wall hangings and maybe a necklace, but as soon as I saw the cast result I wanted to put them onto sticks - a handful of which would look a bit nice standing in an old glass bottle, or maybe just one tied into the ribbon of a wrapped gift.
I have filled the interior voids of these spotted gum nuts with plasticene prior to taking a mould from them. This makes the casting and demoulding process a bit tidier.
These are the smallest items I've ever cast - they are only as big as the end of a finger.
I've rummaged about in the garden and found lots of little spotted gum branchlets, and given them a bit of a pruning and sanding. I'm drilling a hole in the plaster gumnuts and glueing them securely to the sticks. I'm quite liking the notion of using actual spotted gum branches for these spotted gum nut casts.
I have also been making some special painted plaster eggs to wear as necklaces. I've figured out how to drill right through an egg without it blowing out, and it requires accuracy, patience, and very strong fingers. As I'm a bit un-blessed with the 'patience' part, C has been doing it for me!

I wanted these necklace eggs to be extra-lovely, so have been building up layers of colour with watercolour and acrylic paint, wiping and/or sanding back the plaster and then painting more, to create a really rich background to add the speckles to. I've written before about how the differing densities of the plaster in each egg allow it to soak up more or less pigment, and I've allowed parts of that variation to show through. I've also tried to make sure that the two sides were a bit different, giving the wearer two options depending on their outfit/mood/preference.
These necklace eggs are ready for speckling.
Two different eggs... extra-careful speckling going on here.
I trialled a few cords, including waxed linen and cotton, unwaxed hemp, and woven polyester. Although I initially wanted to go with a natural product, I settled on the polyester as it proved to be durable, colour-fast and super-comfortable to wear. The cord I've selected is a quality American-made type that makes an excellent adjustable/sliding knot. Wear it any length you choose.
There's also a lot of list-making going on, and I'm looking forward to getting a few more things crossed off. I suspect the list has yet to grow before it gets smaller again but I'm starting to get excited, now. I've got little piles of postcards and business cards and stickers, a stack of my sewn brown-paper packing bags, and two lovely reams of recycled tissue paper to wrap everything up in. That part, at least, is under control!

Now I just need to finish stocking up, sort out my new display pieces, pack up, and make my lunch. See you there!