Thursday, 28 February 2013

How I made a statue

One of the props I made for a local production of Annie was a bust statue thing for Warbuck's house to make it look fancy.

The bust started off as a polystyrene head. I kinda miss having this guy around.

Then I stuck the head to a box and added cardboard for the shoulders.

I covered the whole thing in newspaper, papier mache style.

I had a bit of trouble making the bust white.
First I did two coats of white poster paint but they weren't doing much to cover up the newspaper.
Then I covered it in two layers of white tissue paper which was a little better.
Then I sponged on a couple of layers of grey paint which worked ok.
Some newspaper could still be seen but from a distance it was fine, and since the audience of the play wouldn't see the bust up close that was ok.

I painted on some darker grey to define the features and then he was done.
He nailed his performance in Annie.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Miniature progress

I've finally started a new miniature project I've been wanting to do make since October.
I've chosen to make a replica of the Acme Farm Supply building in downtown Nashville.
That's the white building in this photo I took when I was there.
The only other replicas I've made were my bedroom and Holly's fireplace. I think they're more challenging then creating something entirely imagined but  I walked through a lot of Nashville and New York thinking, 'I want to make it all in miniature!'

This was the only photo of the building I took so I've found a really useful image on google, and google map street view has been really helpful as it allows me to see the building from all angles.

Here are a few shots of my progress so far.

The front of the building is made of thick card board.
Usually I would print the bricks on using a stamp made from a rubber, but the bricks on this building work out as 1x4mm which is far too small for a stamp. So instead I've roughly scored horizontal lines, 1mm apart, across the cardboard which should give the impression of bricks.

A major feature of the building is the brickwork at the top which I made from 6 layers of paper, all cut to the correct size and then glued together.

One of the things that I like about this building is how distressed it is with raw bricks showing through the white paint. So today I've been working on achieving that look.

I've made more notes and diagrams with this piece than I have with my other pieces, but I wanted to make sure I do it properly.
I can definitely see how I've improved as a model maker compared to when I started making models about two and half years ago.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

This Week I...

I started the week by making some lemon cupcakes.
It's a pretty good way to start a week.

On Friday I got up early and queued for 2 hours in the freezing cold with my sister outside BBC television centre.
Why? To see Taylor Swift of course!
I got tickets to be in the audience for pre-recorded performances for Let's Dance for Comic Relief.
The tickets didn't guarantee entry which is why we had to get there early.

We saw Taylor Swift perform '22', twice, which will be broadcast in one of the upcoming shows, and we saw the cast of A Chorus Line perform a number, again twice. That performance was on Saturday's show.
That's right, it wasn't live. The magic of television!

Throughout the week I helped out backstage a local kids theatre group's production of Annie.
I thought I'd just be keeping all the props together but I ended up moving bits of the set around every night.
Yes, you can all have tickets to the gun show.

What did you get up to this week?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

My space

When looking for blank pages in the back of sketchbooks I came across this project I thought I'd share.
It was the summer project I was assigned before going to uni in 2009, entitled 'myspace'.
I decided to create a bunch of arty pages around my home town, and here's a few of them

I started with a photo of a young me outside my garage, and then drew the rest of the house around it.

The bus stop where I used to catch the bus to school was right next to a field that had ponies in it.
Nice, right? Not when it's 8 in the morning a pony is weeing right next to you.

This is a view of our watermill painted in watercolours.

A pencil drawing of one of the churches.

A page about the playgroup I went to.
That's a chalk pastel drawing on the right, drawn on my town's section of the local paper. Clever.

Mostly I just liked including photos of me when I was younger.
Too many of my school uniforms involved wearing a tie though...

I think this is probably the closest I've got to 'art journalling' and it's a nice little record to have of my home town and the parts that mean something to me.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Edible Art

The Taj Mahal made of bread and cake I showed you on Sunday was not my first foray into edible art.

A few weeks ago at the arts centre I experimented with different activities for an edible art workshop and this is what I came up with.

A seed picture on a slice of bread.
Butter the bread to make the seeds stick.

Banana art. Or 'bananart'.
Draw into the banana skin with a needle or even a cocktail stick and after a short while the line will get darker.
People have done some crazy awesome stuff using this technique. Take a look.

For edible jewellery, as well as Cheerios and dried fruit threaded into a necklace, I also came up with this baguette bangle. It feels funny putting it on! The 'studs' are bits of bread rolled into balls and stuck on with butter.

Go forth and play with your food!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

This Week I...

I started working on a new miniature piece for the first time in ages.
I've also found a new podcast to enjoy and have been working my way through the archive whilst working on said project. It's Professor Blastoff. Check it out.

On Friday I helped with a workshop in a primary school making the Taj Mahal out of bread and cake!
Everything was covered in butter by the end of the day.

And I finished up making props for a production of Annie.
This is an old timey microphone.

How was your week?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

New necklace

When I was making the tiny furniture for my set model I had a little bit of Sculpey leftover so I thought I would make a little pendant with it.
My thought process of what to make went;
flower > heart > strawberry > fox head

Once the Sculpey had baked I painted it, attached a jump ring and hung it from a chain.

And now it's in my Etsy shop.

And you might as well have a look at the rest of my shop while you're there.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Set Design Scale Model

One of the projects on my set design course was to re-design the set of the Graham Norton Show and make a scale model of our design.
My tutor said my idea was better than what the show has already.
Just sayin'.

I made the furniture out of Sculpey, and you can't really see in this photo but the legs of the table are triangles and are covered in glitter on the inside.
A lot of peoples designs involved glitter.

The guests enter from behind that orange triangle.
I love the gold shiny trim I used on the shapes, and the way it reflects light.

The right hand side of the set is the performance area.
I put the big gold shape in the middle to separate it from the sit-down area and added a fancy light fixture. I tried to make one myself but my tutor said we could just print out a picture of one.
That would not fly on my fine art course! Different worlds...

This was my first time using a scale ruler. With my miniature models I usually just wing it, but I might start using the ruler for my art miniatures as it is useful.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

This Week I...

Finished up all my work for my Set Design course which finished this week.

Went to London for a dentist appointment, and managed to fit in a few galleries too; Royal Academy, Flowers, National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.
Just a few!

And I went out for dinner for my friend's birthday, which unfortunately wasn't as fun due to the dentist appointment the day before.

How was your week?

Thursday, 7 February 2013


I got this piping set for Christmas and decided to try out the different nozzles (fun word) by making some biscuits.

The recipe, for butter swirls, says to use a piping bag anyway.
I tried out three different nozzles, with varying levels of success.

The one on the right worked the best with perfectly shaped biscuits every time.
The other two, which are designed to have a hole in the middle of the finished product, took a bit more practice.

And what's better than one biscuit?
Two biscuits sandwiched together with Nutella.

The recipe I used was from an old book from the 1960s and this photo of 'stuffed cucumbers' caught my eye  as I was flicking through.
Am I the only one who thinks they look like they're topped with fingers?? 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Oceanic Airlines

I like having merchandise from my favourite shows. And often I like it to be a bit subtle.
For example, instead of having a Buffy t-shirt that says 'Buffy' on it or has SMG's face on it, I have a Sunnydale High School T-shirt.
And instead of a t-shirt that just says Lost on it, I have this Oceanic Airlines shirt.
The only problem is that I don't think the people who make the shirts anticipate there being petite fans, so all my shirts are massive and usually man sizes.
They're good for wearing with a pair of leggings if I'm just gonna be in the house all day, but some times I want to take my love for that tv show outside.

This is where the tutorial I found on a.steed' comes in.
How to make a large t-shirt into a fitted tee.

The key is to just use a shirt that fits you really well as a template.
Then you sew up the sides, make new sleeves and hem it if needed.

I was going to cut short sleeves but I quite like these half-sleeves made from the originals.
This shirt fits perfectly now, I love it.
I even think the logo looks better with the proportions of this shirt compared to on the original. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

This Week I...

I finished my 6 month internship this week.
And what did I spend my last day at the arts centre doing? Painting on a tortilla with guacamole, tomato purée, blackberries and raspberries of course!
It's for a school workshop based around edible art, and it's meant I've been making some interesting trips to Morrisons over the past few weeks.

This week I also completed these signs for a production of Annie that I'm helping out with, and the can of spray mount I got on my foundation course, about 4 years ago, finally ran out.

And I had another session of my Set Design course at Central Saint Martins.
They had the fountains on outside the building when I left.
The water goes up and down and the lights change colour. It's fancy.

How was your week?