June 2016

Experimenting With Clay Part 2

Clay creations second round

Do you share your makes even though you don’t like them yourself?

I finished those clay dishes over a month ago and hesitated to share pictures because I wasn’t happy with them. I cringe every time I see them sitting on my shelf that I might just hide them away in my drawers eventually. However, there are some days where I look at them and think that they are maybe rather sweet.

For the last few evenings while working on more clay pieces, I thought about why I don’t like them and how I can improve next time.

  • The colours are nice but as a collection, no. For instance, my first batch looks lovely because I’ve only used black, white, and gold. But I have to remind myself that they don’t have to be a literal collection.
  • I feel that those dishes with etchings would be better off in one light colour or left in its natural colour so the etchings stand out more rather than being overwhelmed with 2 or 3 colours.
  • I didn’t like how my last choice of varnish wasn’t completely transparent so I used Mod Podge by a recommendation and it was much better transparency wise but the surface is tacky to touch. Reading the back of the container, it suggests to use clear acrylic sealer to eliminate tackiness when it states that Mod Podge itself is a sealer (as well as glue and finish) so instead of being confused, I’ve bought another sealer and hoping it is a better choice!

I’ve said in my previous clay related post that I didn’t like Das so this time I tried Claydium, which is much nicer to sculpt with.

It is clear that I am still in experimenting phase. It’s been since November. As far as my budget allows, I am finding the best brands of both air dry clay and sealer for me and hopefully new clay collection to sell in the shop. It is so important to me that they are good quality, durable, and ultimately pretty.

My Daily Art In May

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I mentioned in My Daily Art In April post that I struggled to come up with subject ideas but things got easier in May as I found my rhythm again after adjusting my new life in Nottingham. I seemed to be more inspired to paint botanical related subjects and the sun that finally came out got a lot to do with it!

My thoughts on being creative every day in May:

  • I have started to paint with my black indian ink. These ink paintings might not be my best work but I really enjoyed using the medium and want to continue experimenting. In this quick fern painting, I diluted the ink with water to create light grey colour for the shadows.
  • I still haven’t painted with oil that much and I have no idea why.
  • Most of my best original art are listed on the shop.
  • I still haven’t got the hang of filming myself painting but I uploaded a new speed painting video on my new YouTube channel!
  • I love that just one painting could lead up into something bigger. I painted a sprig of basil and it was received well. I then painted more herbs afterwards and with the encouragement from my audience, I turned them into a ‘Culinary Herbs’ print, and you can buy one of yourself over at my shop!

In related news, Crystal Moody – a founder of year of creative habits – launched a brand new website and picked me to be interviewed! People has been very kind saying it is great to know more about me as an artist and my work. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it too – check it out here.

You can keep up to date with my daily art by following me on Instagram or using this IG hashtag – #ksdailyart. Thank you for your support!

Botanical Colour At Your Fingertips E-Book By Rebecca Desnos

Botanical colour at your fingertips By Rebecca Desnos

As you may know or may not know, I recently collaborated with a natural dyer and designer, Rebecca to finish her much anticipated e-book by handlettering the main title and section titles. She was looking for natural and relaxed style of handlettering and she thought that my style would be perfect. I asked her to pick one of my handlettered quotes she liked the most so I could have it on hand to maintain consistency throughout her e-book.

I first tried a few different brush pens and discussed with Rebecca, making sure we are on the same page and that I understood exactly what she was looking for. She was a fantastic person to work with – she was fast to respond my emails, and was very clear with what she wanted so the creative process was a breeze.
Botanical colour on your fingertips handlettered titlesReading her e-book after its recent launch, it is beautifully designed and full of useful advice about natural dyeing – from gathering plants to equipment & safety to colour fastness. It would make a handy reading material for beginners natural dyer and being keen to try out natural dyeing myself, I would definitely recommend it. Personally, a good design is important to me too so this e-book is even more special with stunning photos and clear layouts. So if you are also interested, buy her e-book here!

I am always interested in reading a story behind the creation and this post of Rebecca’s about working on a dream project is a lovely read.

I think it is clear that I am really honoured to be given an opportunity to do a big handlettering related commission and to be a part of this amazing e-book!