Monday, 15 February 2016

Recent finds and favourite resources

As my work has changed recently, I've been finding several different resources useful. Today's post features a few of my current favourites, some new and some old and resurrected.

I somehow acquired a little set of Japanese screw hole punches by Ponchi. I can't find them exactly on the internet, though several similar ones are available on Amazon. Many seem more expensive than I remember paying but the closest would appear to be the version by Micro Trader (at £7.94 in the UK). It's called  a screw punch because when you press down on the handle, the spring type mechanism in the shaft forces the punch down into whatever surface needs a hole. If, like me you want to be able to punch holes wherever you choose, and not to be restricted by the usual pliers type device, this tool is really worth the money. Small holes made with the Ponchi can be seen in the little black and white piece below.


As I mentioned in my last post, Delicate Surface Frogtape has been the other great new find. Really a gentle masking tape intended for the building trade, I've been finding it to be a great help while designing and adjusting work. When applied in small strips, it allows the positioning and repositioning of paper, photographs and fabric and it continues to stick as I stitch things down. The best thing about it though is that it doesn't seem to pull off and spoil the surface of watercolour paper as it's removed.


For printing out images onto fabric with an inkjet printer, I'm finding that the US letter size (almost A4) sheets from Crafty Computer Paper are excellent. They are not as cheap as fabric I prepare myself but are much less fiddly. They come ready prepared on a peelable backing paper and treated so that they are waterproof once dried. There is a good range of fabrics, including premium cotton, silk, linen and organza (choose the waterproof version in each case). Each one feels very good in the hand even after printing and is a pleasure to stitch on. The sheets are also available in A3 size if you're lucky enough to have access to an A3 printer.


Old friends from the past have proved themselves particularly useful. I have been drawing quite a bit and have found both black Pitt pens and graphite sticks and pencils particularly appropriate during my current fixation with black and white. A favourite selection mostly by Derwent is shown below, although I have yet to try washing water over the Graphitone stick shown left. 


One of the things I find most enjoyable about working in a different way is the need to change materials and learn new techniques. I like the way it keeps me on my toes and investigating ...


8 comments:

  1. Oh what fun! I bought a screw punch locally a couple of years ago for a bookmaking class and paid $50 for it. Who knows what it would be now. And I confess I was somewhat disappointed with it because it seemed to get dull very quickly. Still, when it works, it's magic! And one can buy the replacement punching bits.

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    1. Hi Marny. Good to hear from you. I suspect my screw punch was so cheap that the punch bits won't last very long, but meanwhile, it's great and I've been using it quite a lot as I experiment.

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  2. The crafty computer printing fabric is great but I hadn't realised they did silk, thanks for the tip.

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    1. Indeed they do sell silk, Debbie. I have yet to try it but I have a trial sheet sitting in my fabric box. It has a lovely feel and I'm just waiting for the right time to give it a go. There is even A3 size at a price.

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  3. Ooh! It's always wonderful to hear about the tools & materials that other artists use (and how)...

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    1. Reading about what other artists use is the quickest route I know to spending money on materials!

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  4. Replies
    1. Yes indeed ... holes - and their enclosing sisters, circles - are great. I'm having enormous fun experimenting with them, both large and very, very small. There are lots more to come - even ovals and near-circles in about half an hour!

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