Thursday, 16 January 2020

Tiles and Resin Tests

I've been making some tests for wall tiles... tiles with lace on them of course!  These are my first batch.  I wasn't completely happy with my mould (the definition of the lace pattern, when seen up close is a bit messy) and now have a much better one which I will be testing very soon.  But I still like the look overall and can't wait to see what they will look like once I glaze them.  I'm already wondering which bit of wall in our house I could install these to!

I thought I'd also try to make a mould from Fimo - I had some at home and thought, by using Fimo, I wouldn't need to wait the way I have to for clay to dry and be fired.  It produced a good imprint of the lace... but unfortunately, it's too sticky when trying to make clay tiles with it.  I will make more bisque clay moulds instead, they work really well.  

And finally I've been trying some small test pieces with resin which I plan on using for part of my main and last project.

What are you guys up to at the beginning of this new year?  

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!

It's arrived!  2020 is already here!  

 I made some New Year's biscuits today which I served on one of my "tatting plates".

And we have enjoyed some pretty amazing sunsets the last few days...

... makes you feel happy to be alive.

I hope you are all spending a joyful and relaxing holiday with friends and family.

My very best wishes for a wonderful and creative New Year 2020.


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Ornaments from Germany & Snowflakes

I am very lucky to know a kind and generous lady from Germany who has been sending me Christmas treats!  It's such a pleasure to open her box and see what's hiding inside...

Among the lovely items I received, I particularly wanted to share with you the tatted ornaments she sent:

 A feathered angel with tatted cap and wings

 A glass angel with a red dress and tatted skirt overlay

A beautiful bauble with pearls and tatting

Thank you so much J.!
Your ornaments are all on our tree.

I would also like to show you my friend's lamp.  She just sent me a photo as I was writing this blogpost.  I've been sending her a new snowflake every year for several years now so at Christmas time, she gets them out and attaches them to her dining room lamp, adding the new one from this year.  I think it looks really pretty.

I wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday season with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas!

Best wishes,

Friday, 13 December 2019

Another New Way to Use Tatting...

I'm still really enjoying experimenting with new techniques.  This time, I printed my own ceramic decals!  For some of them I drew the lace with software but I prefer the decals made using photos of my lace to expose the silk screen for printing.  I then used a special glass powder mixed with medium and printed on specialised paper.

I have now applied the decals to my plates but they had still not been fired in the kiln before we broke off for the Christmas holidays (although luckily you can't really tell from the photos).

Here are the plates waiting to be put in the kiln.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well.  I've yet to get our decorations out!  But now term has ended, it will definitely get done this weekend.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Forced Break!

I'm so annoyed!  I kept hoping it would go away... but no.  I definitely have a problem.  It's been going on for nearly three months now and is getting worse.  I have tendonitis in my left elbow.  And I've sadly had to come to the conclusion that I really need to rest that arm and stop tatting and knitting for a little while in the hope that it will cure itself.  I can't tell you how frustrated I am!  And I've no doubt made it worse by waiting rather than acting sooner.

I'm now grateful that earlier in the year,  I made loads of sample of my last two snowflake designs while I was testing the patterns so that I have enough to put in my Christmas cards for friends and family without having to tat anymore.

I can't tell you how difficult I find it to sit in the evening and not pick up my shuttles or needles!


In the meantime I am carrying on with my university projects involving really large lace.  I've been using 3mm and 4mm rope to make motifs and last week I made a mould of one of the motifs.  

 I put a penny on the lace to show scale
(tatted with 3mm nylon rope)

I made a clay "box" and pressed the large lace into it.
Then poured silicone in the box to make the mould.

You can see the lace still embedded in the silicone below.  I have not removed it yet as I am wondering about making a two-part mould.  To do this I would make another clay box around the silicone, and then pour more silicone on top to make the second part of the mould.  But the complexity of the lace might make it too difficult to pour any material into the mould in a way that would fill all the little spaces.

I liked the imprint left in the clay...
and decided to make a plaster moulding of it:

The detail of the imprint is amazing.
You can see all the texture of the rope.

I'm really enjoying all this experimentation and looking for new ways to use tatted lace in my design ideas.

Best wishes,

Friday, 8 November 2019

An Oldie...

... but goodie?  I wrote this pattern for "Le Flocon Frivole" back in 2011 (my how time flies!) and I had not tatted it for quite some time so I decided to make it.  Looking at photos, I debated whether I liked the empty centre... and made a version with added rings to fill the space:

Below is the original with the empty centre:

What do you think?  Which one do you prefer?

Maybe it's the original for me after all?

I'm also not convinced about the two small rings between the long arms and might play with it a bit more eventually. 

Best wishes,

Monday, 4 November 2019

Giant Shuttle

... and I mean GIANT!  I want to work with rope to make large-scale tatting so I 3D-printed a huge tatting shuttle.  It does "work" but I must admit it's not easy to wield.  The shuttle is a bit slippery and so wide that it's difficult to hang onto!  Also when working at that scale, you can't make the stitches around your hand as in normal tatting.  So I have to wrap the loop around the back of a chair, or even around my knee or my foot while I make the stitches.  When making chains, I also trap the rope under my foot for tension.

You can see it next to a regular shuttle
for comparison purposes:

I have ideas for this giant tatting but many problems to resolve before I can bring them to fruition!

Best wishes,