Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mending and Hanging Terracotta Pots with Milliput Epoxy Putty

Milliput Terracotta Epoxy Putty

What is Milliput?

Milliput epoxy putty is used to repair damaged metals, glass, concrete, plastics, brick, cement and wood, and in places where welding is impractical. This malleable putty is also very popular with model makers for its work-ability and smooth finish.

When mixed in equal quantities, the two-part epoxy putty cures to a rock hard, durable finish which can be sanded, filed, drilled, turned and painted. It is self hardening (and will set under water!) and non-shrinking. Although it is not recommended as a thin layer adhesive, it will bond most materials.

In this post, we demonstrate the Terracotta Milliput epoxy putty which is ideal for repairing cracks and breaks in garden pots, picture frames, sculptures and brickwork.

Repairing a Pot with Terracotta Milliput Epoxy Putty

A pack of Milliput contains two sticks of putty. You will need to cut off a slice of the same size from each of the sticks. The soft putty is then kneaded until both colours of stick are fully combined.

Thoroughly blend the two parts of Milliput Epoxy Putty

The chipped edge of the garden pot below was repaired by pressing some of the blended putty into the crack before smoothing it over with wetted fingers.  The repair is almost invisible!

Terracotta pot repaired with Milliput

Making Hanging Terracotta Pots from Milliput

The bonding properties of cured Milliput is so strong that it can be used to make simple "brackets" for your terracotta plant pots. The Milliput was first rolled into a ball and then pressed into a disc shape.

Adding a hanger to a garden pot with Milliput Terracotta Epoxy Putty

The disc of Milliput was then pressed onto the rim of the pot and the join smoothed into the terracotta using a wet finger. An old biro pen was then used to make a hole.

Milliput dried rock hard within 3-4 hours

The epoxy resin set hard within 3-4 hours and the pots were ready to hang!

Hanging pots adapted using Terracotta coloured Milliput epoxy putty

Milliput epoxy resin is available in Standard, Terracotta, Black and Silver Grey grades, and in a finer grade of White for repairing smooth finishes such as ceramics, porcelain and marble. Find out more about Milliput and to buy from George Weil.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Acrylic Painting: help from a Scanner, Photoshop & Imagetrace Paper

I decided to paint my son and his fiancé a painting to mark their engagement. The design needed to be personal to them, and to appeal to their "alternative tastes". I chose to paint three playing cards, the Queen of Spades, Ace of Hearts and King of Diamonds on a large canvas. As I'm not the most confident artist or the most experienced painter, I utilised the help of a scanner, Photoshop and Imagetrace paper.

Tools and Paint
Preparing the Canvas

First of all I sketched the outline of the cards before painting the rest of the canvas in Hookers Green with a 1in flat wash brush. The playing cards were painted in a mix of Titanium White and a small amount of Cadmium Yellow and Mars Black.

The Queen, a Scanner and Imagetrace Paper

The scanned image of the complex playing card was clear enough to produce a reasonable print after enlarging it in Photoshop. The outline of the design was transferred onto the canvas with Imagetrace Paper.

Imagetrace is a wax-free tracing paper with a pure graphite coating on one side. By placing it graphite side down onto the canvas, I could lay my print on top and trace the outlines with a biro. The pressure from the biro caused an imprint of graphite to remain on the canvas.

When I finished transferring the design, I painted the outlines (which took hours!) using a liner brush. Liner, or rigger, brushes have longer length hairs designed to absorb some of the shake when painting fine lines. I used a small round brush with Crimson, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow and Black acrylic paint to complete the remainder of the painting.

This was the stage at which I had intended for the final painting. However, the playing cards did not make the impact I had envisioned so I decided to work up the design by adding poker chips.

Developing the Design for the Painting

I didn't want to add a further element to the painting without first getting an idea of how it would finally look. For this reason I created a mock-up by taking a photograph of some playing cards with some plastic poker chips to help me decide on the layout.

I then designed a poker chip, comprising a logo of the engaged couples' initials and an iconic image in Photoshop. The great thing about Photoshop (or Illustrator) is that you can build up an image in layers and add drop shadows and bevelled edges - very helpful for replicating the behaviour of light when painting from fiction.

Adding new elements to the Painting

The poker chips were designed to scale for the painting, so after printing them at full size, I cut them out and drew around the edge with a pencil onto the canvas. I then painted over the Hookers Green with Titanium White (the only way to cover dark acrylic colours).

The next stage was to transfer the design of the poker chip using the extremely helpful Imagetrace. This was a little more tricky because I had to line them up correctly. I then painted in the detail with the acrylic paint before finally adding the shading and highlights.

The Finished Acrylic Painting

I'm delighted to say that my son and his fiancé like the painting very much!

by Allison Holland