A Favorite Book and a New(ish) Video

Years of metalsmithing, pot throwing, beading, fabric cutting and general crafting mayhem have have taken their toll on my hand and wrist. I am having surgery in a few weeks. No hitch hiking for me until the bandages are off and the therapy is over. I would like it if Boris could act as my studio assistant, but I am afraid he sleeps too much.

I have been working with fabric lately and have revisited one of the classics of fabric surface design,  Complex Cloth by Jane Dunnewold.  Complex Cloth covers  dyeing, stamping,  stenciling, screen printing, and almost any other fabric surface alteration technique you want to know.   There are newer books out there covering more techniques, but if you are just getting started and need an intro to the basics, grab a used copy of Complex Cloth and get started.  You can get it here.

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Polymer Artist Ana Belchí’s videos never cease to amaze me.  This one is not exactly new-it’s seven months old-but her demonstration of six variations on the lentil swirl bead is fascinating and makes me wonder what other polymer techniques I could try, change one small thing, and get a completely surprising result.    But that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?  The “What If?”

Happy New Year!

 

This is the best old Mummers video I have seen to date.  It’s from 1930 but it looks contemporary.

From the website:  Old film of a New Years Day Parade in Philadelphia, USA on January 1, 1930. This is raw footage from the early Movietone sound cameras. This footage is particularly neat because most parades of the time were captured from a far distance. Worked on footage and sound a bit. Amazing!”   

I agree!

 

And do check out Guy Jones’ channel on YouTube for more incredible videos.

For more Mummers posts from this site, press here.

 

Is Saltwater Etching Safe?

I’ve been saltwater etching for a long time and didn’t know all the chemistry behind it. Then I watched Nancy LT Hamilton‘s new video on electro-etching and learned how dangerous the chemical byproducts of saltwater etching can be.   As the Reddit article explains:

“Using saltwater as your etching electrolyte can be rather problematic due to competing side reactions. The main one of course being electrolysis of salt, which produces chlorine at the anode and hydrogen at the cathode. So you would have a toxic gas and a highly flammable gas to deal with.  The other product of electrolysis of NaCl solution is sodium hydroxide,[my note: lye] which remains in solution.”  

I encourage you to read the whole article, here.  and to watch the video, here.  Hamilton offers alternatives to saltwater that will allow you to etch better and more safely.

 

And on a lighter note,  my neighbor Bob added some beautiful new plants to his garden.  I just have to show you more pictures.

New Years in Philadelphia Means Mummers

Here is a video I took at last years’ winning champion in the Fancy Brigades, the South Philly Vikings performing Ka “Light” Oscope: Harness the Power of the Spectrum

Want to learn more about the Mummers and see some cool archival footage?  Press here and here.

A New Beading Angle

Well, it’s not really new. I have always had a fascination with beaded beads. I could not rest until I learned how to make the Puffy Heart which is really a beaded bead made from the two strand version of right angle weave known as cross weaving or the Hachinojiami or Kousa-ami stitch that one often sees in Japanese three dimensional bead work. For a simple project pattern, press here.

Arguably the dodecahedron shapes above and below are not really right angle weave because the beads don’t all sit at right angles to one another.

These beads are cubic right angle weave which is a wonderful stitch. It works up quickly and you can turn out shapes as if by magic. I was tearing my hair out trying to learn this stitch until I realized that it started with a beaded cube and the rest of the stitch was just a continuation of the cube. So I was able to figure it out on my own. But my mind works in funny ways. I am still stymied by the fax machine in the office where I work.

Anyway, I looked at a few on-line videos because I wanted to teach the stitch to Beading Yoda, (who is the Empress and number one Ambassador of flat right angle weave).

Most of the videos took a straight forward technique and complicated it to the point where it resembled Chinese Algebra rather than beading. And that’s not a good thing.

But then I came on this video by Heather Collin. It’s lucid, understandable, and you can see what she’s doing. Take a look.

I’m winding up with a picture of some more beaded beads including new Klimt inspired beads. I’ll post more on these later. I am still experimenting and have not gotten them out of my system. Yet.

YouTube College of Crafting

If you are looking for information on how to make something, a craft technique, how to use a tool or ideas and inspiration, YouTube can be a tremendous resource. I have learned so much from watching YouTube videos. But I have also seen some videos that have me scratching my head and wondering about the people who posted them.
Some examples that come to mind: The woman who did a nice job explaining how to dye roving but then explained that she shot herself from the nose up so she didn’t have to put in her teeth. Ewww, did I need to know that? Then there was the young woman talking about a wire working technique. (This is a mistake; talking about how you weave a wire into a chain is like listening to a golf tournament on the radio.)
But the highlight was when she suddenly turned her head and shrieked “Give me a minute!” Was her house on fire? No, her mother wanted to go shopping and was waiting for her downstairs. Don’t keep your mother waiting girl! Get down there! Now!
OK, I’m on a rant. Don’t appear in a video wearing one of those headsets unless you are playing someone who flies a helicopter or works at a takeout window. And you don’t have to be Cecil B. DeMille to know that demonstrating a technique off camera as you chatter and occasionally give the viewer a peek is not effective.
Does anyone know what a tripod is? Shaky cameras give me vertigo, so today’s word is tripod. And if your kid keeps whining. “Mommy I’m hungry,” stop recording and feed the poor child. If your kids are beating the stuffing out of one another as you try to demonstrate how to crochet a lace doily, for heaven’s sake stop recording and separate them before they kill one another. Especially if they are both over age thirty. And get them into therapy. (And yourself while you’re at it.)
Finally, if you make a video in which you demonstrate soldering, put the cigarettes away! I actually saw a video of a man demonstrating soldering who chain smoked during the whole thing. That was last year and I am still having trouble breathing.
OK, now on to the good stuff; here are some YouTube channels that you can watch without retching, sorrow or nightmares and you can learn a great deal. Enjoy!!
Rio Grande has almost 200 videos on all aspects of jewelry making
Joggles.com’s YouTube channel is full of information on mixed media paper art techniques.
Delphi Glass offers a tremendous amount of material the products they sell and on glass crafts.
Stampington and Company, the people who publish Belle Armoire Jewelry, Art Journaling and other magazines offer videos covering a wide range of techniques including resin, paper, jewelry, mixed media
If you are interested in seed beading or bead stringing, Beadaholoque has plenty of videos to get you started.
If Quilting is your passion, the Missouri Star Quilt Company adds new videos regularly.
Happy viewing!