Printed Fan

I have entered this in the Recycle, Re-purpose and Re-invent challenge, please see links below.

Here is my fan.  I made it from a collagraph print on Japanese paper.  I made the printing plate from recycled card and plastic netting bags that citrus fruit is sold in.  I bought the pear wood fan spokes from a Spanish website.

To make the printing plate, I cut and stuck pieces of the bags to a piece of card along with some card and paper to create a flowing, lacy texture.

Then I inked up the plate and took a print by pressing the paper onto the plate using the back of a spoon.  I used oil-based, sienna brown and black printing inks on Japanese paper which is very thin and easily takes up the ink, looks good torn rather than cut and is also very strong like a fabric.

Then I set out the fan spokes to the exact position.  To do this, I counted the spokes, calculated the degrees between each spoke and used a protractor to draw a template.  I blu-tacked each spoke to the template to keep them steady but keep one fan end free (so that the fan closes correctly).  I then marked up and tore the print to fit the fan spokes.

Next, I applied gold leaf very sparsely to  a few small areas of the print.  Then I applied glue to the spokes (except one fan end) and pressed the paper firmly and gently to the spokes.

Then I turned it over and glued the remaining fan end to the right side of the print.  When dry, I carefully folded it up ensuring the folds of each spoke were aligned with the fan end and then creased each fold firmly.  I rather like the torn edges but they could be cut to fit.

Flora and Fauna Assemblage: Recycled Plastic

Flora and Fauna Assemblage
The challenge was to recycle plastic packaging.  The trouble with projects like this is that the result can end up looking like badly adapted household junk. So for me, the challenge was to create an illusion of elegance and grace (at least from a distance).

I have entered this in the Re-cycle, re-purpose and re-invent challenge. Please see link below.

The Boat Project

A friend saw my junk modelling boat and suggested we go to visit this real boat made from old donated wooden items about to be launched on the sea!  I had to go and this is what I saw!  It has made me wonder if I could make Odysseus sea-worthy?

The Boat Project is a living archive of people’s stories and lives, a 30ft vessel made from donated wooden items. From February to July 2011 the public donated their wood to the project but not just any old wood. Pencil or piano – exotic as Zebrawood or as familiar as pine every piece had a story behind it. Donations arrived in their thousands, from the highly personal to pieces of national importance. All of these donations are now being used to build a state-of-the-art seafaring yacht.

Visit the website for more information on this stunning project:

Junk Modelling Boat

Here is my junk modelling project.  It started when I bought something at an auction and with it came an old rickety chair which was not safe to sit on.

So I decided to re-purpose it into a sculpture of “Odysseus Resisting the Sirens”.

First I collected African carvings I had bought at a charity store, some old rope collected from the sea shore, old copper wire, old pewter repousse sheeting.

Then I cut the chair up, keeping the springs.  I used various parts of the chair to make Odysseus’s boat – the leg became the prow of the boat, that chair back became the past and beam for the sail, you can see the springs also form part of the mast and sail.  I screwed and glued it all together and then used a blow torch to blacken the wood taking care not to set it on fire!  the figure head on the prow is a small carved face from a charity store attached to a curved chair leg.  The boat sits at an angle – to look as if it is turning.  This was achieved by stick a wedge of wood under one side of the boat.

Odysseus is a carved figures from the charity store and is “tied to the mast to resist being tempted by the sirens” with copper wire of varying thicknesses which also forms the rigging.  He is burnished in gold acrylic paint.

The sirens are carved heads from the charity store burnished in gold acrylic paint attached to bodies made from a small piece of chair leg.  Their bird wings, tails and feet are made from pewter which I impressed with feather patterns.  This was then aged using a patina fluid.  Once all the pieces were stuck together, I then wound copper wire in spirals around each siren to repeat the pattern of the chair springs on the mast.

One siren is attached to the back of the boat – as if landing on it – the other is attached to a piece of drift wood (which is then attached to the boat) and supposed to look like the rocks.

The boat is then placed on an old leather book which in turn is on an old carved pedestal – both charity store finds.

I did plan to have a torn page with the story of Odysseus or a book mark hanging out of the side of the book.  I think this might be too distracting.