Friday, 18 May 2018

How to: Bookends

My friend Sarah gave me a pair of brass bookends and I had been eying them up for some time. How was I going to do this? It is not as if I usually have a plan before I begin. But my subconscious works on it somehow. So I started and the red beak is sort of obvious. From there it evolved. 

I have learned there has to be some symmetry but not too much so the second one is similar but not the same. This works really well if you are using up small bits of fabric leftovers as you may not have the same ones. I just use PVA glue to stick the pieces on. When all was good and dry, I brushed on an ordinary wood glue (which is water resistant) and let that dry thoroughly. Then I sand with a very fine sandpaper (140) and I finish it off by 'polishing' it  with the finest wirewool. It leaves the bookends smooth and buffed up so that it has a sheen but is not shiny.

There you go: a pair of bookends like no other!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Making, making, making

This is what I have been doing all winter, all spring (what spring?) and I have finally relaxed. I am so very lucky that people come to the shop and buy my upcycled objects, and if that is in the way of building up stock for the summer, so be it.

Several more artists/makers have joined UpstArt over the last few months and that relieves the pressure on me. So there are now lovely stained glass mermaids, boats and fish hanging in the windows thanks to Debbie Martin,

a shelving unit full of Dan Hides handsome handthrown terracotta in reds, greens and blues,

 painting, prints and cards by printmaker extraordinaire, Michele Brown,

and amazing pictures handformed from recycled aluminium by Kate Kill.

And last but not least, there are the wonderful woollen cushions by Janet Marsh who cards, spins,  and weaves the wool from her own sheep.

All in all, UpstArt is looking cheerful and colourful and I love chatting to customers and showing them how I do my upcycling. I never seem to get bored of making new things. Each object is an adventure and I am learning all the time. The chair below is my third object with turned legs and armrests and I finally got the hang of it.

And today I worked on a monstrous flower and even if I did not improve it, experience at doing such detailed work might come in handy one day when I work on a more worthy object!