Tag Archive: art


Summer Collages

Here are some of the collages I made this summer while the students were working on their projects… I offer many art classes for adults and during the summer for 8-12 and 12-16 at Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation classes at the Olympia Center.

© Midnight Cat – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Midnight Dreams – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Moon Meditation – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Spring Green – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Starlight Meditation – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Fall Twilight – Nine Lives Studio 8/2016

© Two Cranes – Nine Lives Studio – 8/2016

Managed to get the exterior of the house painted before the rain last weekend and just finished up the odd bits today… did lots of canning: bread & butter pickles, zucchini relish, jalapeno hot sauce, salsa verde, tomato soup base…
Now to get ready for Gallery Boom soft opening this coming Saturday. Need to enter my inventory so bar codes will be prepared.
Keep arting
e

Shibori Fun…

Still didn’t get around to correcting/posting the mixed media collages but the exterior of the house is 98% painted in one week…
I beat the two days of rain over this weekend!!!
Saturday I facilitated a Shibori class with ten very enthusiastic participants at the Olympia Center through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation. Shibori is the Japanese style of dying fabric with Indigo dye. I prepared samples Friday night after I canned two batched [19 jars] of Bread & Butter pickles… was up to 3am finishing the samples and getting the materials ready … so today I rested and made lots of Shibori pieces.
general items to use when pinching/binding the fabric.

cotton, silk or hemp fabric – washed first to remove sizing. Then fold and use string and elastics to make a design – very controlled random of course

whoops – fuzzy image – plastic clothes pins and wooden blocks

silk scarf wrapped on a pvc [plastic] pipe and tied with string… then compressed/slide down to bunch the fabric. I need a bigger diameter pipe. you’ll see why later.

soak in clean water to wet fabric before dying…

remove excess water

Indigo dye – mixed at least one hour before dying – notice bloom on top of dye.

remove bloom before adding fabric – add bloom back after finished dying…

pieces floating in the dye vat

remove pieces about twenty minutes in the dye vat – remove bindings and expose the material to the air. Air is the catalyst that makes the green liquid turn to Indigo.

as I was undoing the bindings on other pieces you can see the green turning to blue here…

after unfolding the cloth, the air is still reacting with the dye. that green will turn indigo.

silk scarves removed from dye

square silk scarf – notice the white area… that’s why I need bigger diameter pipe because about half didn’t dye.

same for the long scarf… I could re-wrap and dye the white side.

this is a large square cotton “towel” – next you rinse in plain water then wash with soap to stop the process…

That’s what I did to day as I recover from dangling off the ladder painting my house last week….

Tomorrow I make salsa and can it… and finish the 2% house painting if its sunny!
back to writing my story
e

Here’s another batch of paintings I did during the Watercolor Techniques and Textures class I taught. The students [12-16] were incredibly focused! Most of these use wax paper or plastic wrap over wet washes. After the paint is dry, you lift off the wax paper or plastic wrap and play with the resulting images. Can you tell my favorite color is Payne’s Grey?


Winter Woods

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
wax paper over the top – plastic wrap over the bottom wash


Winter Woods # 2

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over the wash and then pen and ink to make the trees appear.


Winter Woods #3

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Wax paper over wet wash for the forest – plastic wrap for the field snow…


Crow in Winter Oak

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
cut a stencil of the tree, outlined it and then painted watercolors. Salt on the sky’s wet wash. The crow was a blob of color – whoops into a crow!


Mountain Evening

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
This one has a very Sumi-e feel!!! Wax paper over a wash of various dropped in colors. Tree details added when dry…

OK back to writing
Keep arting – make your heart sing!
e

Here’s a few flower themed pieces before I head to bed…

Poppies and Daisies

© 5/2016 ellen Miffitt
This was from one of my adult classes in May… forgot which one

Tangerine Rose

© 4/2016 Ellen Miffitt
this was from a watercolor pencil class that I taught.

Floral Design

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt
Made this in the Zen Ink class with the 12-16 age students. white gel pen on black paper.

I have lots of collages and other work I’ll post soon…

time for zzzzzzz but I have to back up my writing first!
e

Watercolor and words

I have been writing up a storm… I participated in April and July Camp NaNoWriMo… wrote three stories and have corrected my Nov 2015 NaNoWriMo…

Then it was summer classes at Olympia Parks, Arts and Rec – 10 of the 12 ran.

Finally posting some new art – Win 10 automatically updated and killed my scanner software. Found  the disk last night and stayed up to 2pm after writing to 12:30 to scan some art. Slowly correcting images from light leaks. My camera died a long time ago so its the iPAD or the scanner…

Here’s some recent art:

Evergreen Mandala

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt


Sacred Tree

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt


Tree Meditation

© 8/2016 Ellen Miffitt

These were created in my age 12-16 Watercolor Techniques and Textures class this summer. I had the best kids ever in the older students offerings – very focused and inspiring. I cut a stencil for the various trees. Spattered WC over two of them and the third I traced and painted using WC and watercolor pencils. When dry I used these beautiful stencils to ink the design on top.

Will post more later back to writing
e

A week ago Wed was the The Evergreen State College Spring Fair…

the paper bead earrings and other jewelry was just flat on the table so not displayed attractively…


Then Saturday was the POSSCA Annual Artists’ Garage Sale… forgot to take a photo of my set up. I was really not feeling well and crashed Sunday & Monday. Still coughing but feeling much better.

Tuesday & Wednesday I worked on more blank journals – 24 just need to be threaded with the ribbon. The ones in the plastic bag are the less expensive ones need images and tying… they have regular copy paper instead of the #65 weight paper.

I almost threw out some demo paintings from acrylic class that I taught… then it was chop time to make small sections for the blank books!

More paper bead earrings that I made today…

Now how to display them better… woke up yesterday morning with a aha! Finally found my mini cork board this afternoon and then…

I needed an easel or something…. Someone gave me two travel paint box easels! The drawer is perfect for storing the jewelry.

full drawer

practice display…

Saturday turned out to be Wooden Boat Day celebration so the attendance at the NOVA school Innovations sale was very low. Think my table display looked good. I did work more on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel when it was slow…

little fuzzy image –

there was plenty of room so I set my shelf unit in back of the table.

Below the paint box and mini bulletin board display for the jewelry…

I set the drawer out to display the extra pieces…

lastly the blank journals. the one on the right sold. It was a very delicate looking Zen Doodle design.

I made my table fee yesterday and a small amount more. I do have to say that many shows now are requesting this:      Reporting of sales: At the end of the day, we will pass out a reporting form. The primary purpose of this is to indicate the success of the event overall, as well as the different categories of products. While not required, we request vendors consider making a tax-deductible donation of 10-percent of sales (once covering the cost of the booth) to NOVA School to support the School’s programs and financial aid. NOVA School offers an unmatched comprehensive combination of creativity-building programs, such as visual arts, music, textiles, cooking, robotics, engineering, and more…and over one-third of our students only attend with the assistance of financial aid.

I did not participate in this – the main reason that I did not donate 10% – I grossed so little above the $40 table fee, I did not charge tax for my sales unless it went through the Square so I will have to pay tax at the end of the year and my prices are rock bottom so things will sell/be affordable.

I think its nervy to [after paying a table fee] be guilt-ed into paying 10% of your gross… this also happened at one holiday show I did… I mean really, most art/crafters are not making hundreds of dollars at these events.  Unless you bring lunch, you buy food and of course there is the gas to travel. It normally takes an hour or so to set up and break down. This means a normal 10 to 4pm event = 8 to 10 hours… if you figure that for an hourly wage, I make less than minimum for almost any event I’ve done.

This isn’t sour grapes, just a reality of selling handcrafted items… it is fun to talk to customers and other vendors.

e

 

here’s news about the Broken Pottery Jewelry Workshop I went to yesterday…

It was a nice group of women at the workshop. The presenter facilitates one “recycle” workshop a month at the Estate Store.

Several of the woman volunteer at the Estate Store and the director was there. The presenter experimented with shard jewelry over the last couple weeks before the workshop.  I admit to having done that in my past as an art teacher [ I’m making paper beads like crazy as I’m offering a class two months from now]… so for all it was a learning experience and good company.

When I came home, I looked up some references to broken pottery jewelry and realized we were not using the wheeled cutter properly. Its more to score and then use pliers to snap a clean break. This way it creates a straighter break that you don’t have to clean up as much with a tile stone or various grinding stones using a dremel.

The main tools you need are: the wheeled tile cutter tool, regular & tile nipper/trimmer pliers, glass key cutter, scorer/breaker tool, and safety glasses. A dremel or flex shaft or a tile stone can be used to smooth the sides. I will experiment more as I love how the shards look. You need a really good soldering gun, lead free solder, copper foil tape like they use in stain glass and flux. A hammer can be used to break the plate/cup into smaller pieces but I saw a picture demo that just used scoring and snapping with the nipper/trimmer pliers. Much more control over the braking/selecting of the pattern.

I didn’t stay to put the jump rings on… I had to get home as my son hasn’t been feeling well. As I said, it was fun group and we  played musical chairs moving around from dremel tools or soldering irons all the while chatting away.

Lots of patience to get the sides smooth [see better cutting tool list above] and to put the self sticking copper foil tape around the edges without wrinkles as well as an even edge on front and back of the china piece. Next hold in place with clamp or clothespins, apply flux to help move the solder, apply heat to the solder and melt/smooth over copper foil and finally add a jump ring. A third hand tweezer would be great to hold the jump ring in place while applying the solder.

That’s it – fairly easy process but its deceptively tricky… I think they’re making book clocks next month, then a garden angel and sometime soon Fairy Lamps from tea cups with the addition of a small solar light… great group of women and I’m enticed to learn more. My daughter is bring up some broken plates later next week so I need to get some tile tools!!!!!

http://www.theestatestore.com/

Keep Arting – now to go make some more paper beads and finish my earrings…

I just found a video showing how to glue leather to the back that encloses a wire bail! No soldering…

http://www.ehow.com/video_6035374_make-broken-china-jewelry.html

Futzing around looking for beads to add to my paper beads to make earrings…

Its a scavenger hunt through my collage/mixed media collections because I don’t want to have to purchase beads. As you see I have matched size as best as I could. There is definitely a knack to making the paper beads a consistent size and shape. The paper to make the beads is the same size but sometimes it gets lopsided when rolling on the coffee stirrer.

Thankful that my 4 week mixed media class, 4 week watercolor pencil class and a 6 week drawing class is running…   Thank you for signing up.

My mandala class was cancelled for next Saturday but …. I have signed up for a Broken China jewelry class at the Estate Store on Columbia downtown. “Make a fabulous pair of earrings or a pendant out of broken china! $20 for earrings side option of adding $7 for matching pendant. All supplies included, you are more than welcome to bring a china pattern of your choosing. March 19th 11am – 1:30”

Although Pinterest has lots of how-to and images of micro macrame jewelry, I did find an inexpensive how-to book at Jo-Ann Fabric the other day and I had some coupons. I never go into Jo-Ann or Michael’s without coupons because their mark up is often double a normal price. Many coupon driven stores keep their prices high so they can offer all those coupons which make a product a normal price….

I also stumbled upon alcohol ink that was marked down so I bought that as I was just reading about applying alcohol ink to metal as in copper/brass pendants. That might be easier than trying to enamel on the back side of the etched pendants. Some articles recommended that that the alcohol ink be sealed with a sealant… another adventure.

I also have a plethora of shells that I plan to drill and add a few beads to make recycled pendants. I ordered some finished necklaces [ribbon, faux leather, etc.] to hang them on as well as making my own copper clasps and use my rolled leather or ratail ribbon….

I have 6 weeks until Spring Arts Walk and I plan to have some paper bead earrings, etched pendants, macrame bracelets/necklaces as well as blank journals and those collage boxes on display at the Estate Store in Olympia.

Need to get cracking back to arting!
e

Worked all afternoon on jewelry projects…
First I cleaned copper pieces… these were for etching although I did clean the finished pieces for enameling. This Penny Brite really cleans copper quickly.

Scalex prevents oxidation when enameling. It flakes off after firing along with the fire scale. These were the pieces I etched last week.

Nice thick coat of Scalex

OK it was so thick I had to get the hair dryer out… note to self: make a note of the etched designs next time. When I brought them out to apply enamel I couldn’t tell/remember what the designs were. the hair dryer was handy because – hot air = drying quickly.

While the first batch of etched pieces were drying, I stamped with StazOn permanent ink designs on the clean copper. Note – I bought Sharpie permanent marker…

attached to duct tape…

then to the plastic foam. This time I etched them for 2.5 hours. I wanted a deeper bite.

while the new batch was being etched, I gathered my enamel supplies…

Applied Klyre fire which helps the enamel stick to the copper and then dusted the enamel on with the sifter.

on the rack – ready to fire in the kiln. I used bits of glass to decorate the light dusting of the ground glass/enamel.

I did apply enamel to all the pieces. After 2.5 hours, I came in to rinse the new etched pieces of copper. Very pleased with the deeper bite.

I just applied scalex to the back of the newly etched pieces. Its fairly cold in the studio but I want to have them all ready to enamel at once so I’m not wasting electricity from running the kiln. I’m hoping that the enamel will adhere well. Usually enameled pieces are enameled on both sides.

Time for a heavier coat for me … I want to fire these pieces tonight….

 

interesting results from the enameling.. very disastrous even though I sifted a very light coat of enamel on the pieces. Kiln temperature might have been off; I super cleaned the pieces to wash any grease off the copper; the liquid to help adhere the enamel should have been OK. I wonder if the “Studio” was too cold and the pieces cooled too quickly after being removed from the kiln which might have made the enamel popped off.

Almost every piece blew big pieces to tiny pieces…
Oh well…. I’ll just clean them up and try again.

never give up just shift your direction to keep creating…
e

Long time since I posted. New Year’s ruminations…

I’ve been spending time researching on Pinterest and making inspiration and a how to file for jewelry… I have had all sorts of equipment in that enclosed deck/remodeled studio Finally I have picked a direction. Jewelry making was always my first love so this year I’ve made a personal commitment to follow through and regain skills. To that end, I have made a list of themes, technique, subject and needed supplies. I ordered a few supplies yesterday because… you won’t believe what has been sitting waiting for me to pick a direction since I moved out here. For awhile I taught PMC [Precious Metal Clay] and enameling but gave that up with the downturn around 2008. I will keep working in the other media as I like other artists tend to have Artist ADD and hop around from one technique/media to another.

Prepped some leftover copper blanks for drilling holes:

Drilled the holes – I so dislike the cheap fasteners that are often glued on back:

I just need to file the burr and I’m waiting for etching supplies which of course, I swear I had a bottle of Ferric Chloride somewhere…

I bought a new mold to use with the PMC – it has dragonflies… very tiny ones:

I did try to etch with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and salt with the drawing done with sharpies but it didn’t do too much or I didn’t wait long enough. more research needed. I did purchase a STAZEN permanent ink stamp and Ferric Chloride. The technique is simple: clean your copper, stamp the design with a rubber stamp with the STAZEN ink pad or draw with a sharpie, cover the back of the piece with tape and tape piece to a piece of foam. Let it float face down in the Ferric Chloride and agitate occasionally. Simple etching!

I put liver of sulpfur on some PMC and copper pieces to enhance patina. Those pieces just need buffing. I have stones ready to set on a few older pieces as well. I bought some micro macrame cord and plan to make some of the PMC pendants hand from a simple macrame necklace. I also purchased some ribbon, leather and chain necklaces. I felt my PMC which is 99.9% pure silver needed to have better looking necklaces than simple rolled leather.

The above work, yes a slow start but moving forward, was almost 2 weeks ago when we had a week of sunny days. Today the sun is bright after a week of rain so I hope it will be warm enough out there to do some work today. Slowly getting my mind in order to make jewelry again.

Beside etching and enameling on PMC or copper, I plan to make paper beads [I am offering a class later this spring], small ceramic diffuser pendant with a metal back for essential oils, reduce my Enso images & print to be placed into pendant base with a glass piece on top. Plus work on my various necklace ideas: making chain, macrame, etc… I feel better that I now have goals in mind. I was drifting in a whirlwind of doubt and low art sales for many years.

My classes are not running so I hope this commitment to jewelry pulls me out of a creative slump although I have been working hard on the 2014 NaNoWriMo and am satisfied with that. I have started putting ideas down for a third novel and am ready to start working again on the 2015 novel. I have Spring Art Walk, the Artist Garage Sale and the NOVA school fair comming up in a month in a half…

sun is out, studio is warm, Keep Arting even if you need time to ruminate, keep arting!