Friday, 10 October 2014

Felted Spider for Halloween

Felted Spider made from wool
Creepy Crawlies and things that go bump in the night!

We're coming up to Halloween and here is something fun to make during the Autumn half term.  We've put together a Fact File page to show how the spider was made and it includes step-by-step instructions, including how to use pipe cleaners to make his legs poseable.

See our Fact File page Hand Felted Spider for Halloween to find out more.



Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Derwent Graphik Line Painters - Tried & Tested

We love this great new product from Derwent.  The Graphik Line Painter pens are filled with opaque ink which leaves a permanent mark on most porous surfaces including paper, board, leather, clay and wood.  The pens also work on natural fabrics such as silk, linen and cotton and ironing on the reverse will set the ink marks so that finished items can be hand washed.

Within the fine stainless steel nib is a fibre-tip.  The fibre-tip needs to be charged with ink by pressing it down onto a surface and then releasing it.  Repeating the process allows you to charge the nib with the amount of ink you want to work with.  Charging it once of twice will allow for well defined lines (depending on the surface) and charging it a number of times will release a pool of ink.  The pool of ink can be manipulated on the surface by blowing it or spraying with water to make it spread or blend with another colour.

Filling the nib with paint

Artist Carne Griffiths used the Graphik Line Painters to their full potential in his intricate mixed media paintings.
Summon by Carne Griffiths using Derwent Graphik Line Painters

Summon
by Carne Griffiths

Carne uses the Graphik Line Painters in a variety of ways.  He draws directly onto the paper for fine line detail but also enjoys the freedom of the flowing ink created by charging the nib.  He blows blobs of paint across the surface to spread the colour or blend it with another, or flicks the pen nib to splatter ink across the paper.  Carne also uses a Derwent Water Brush to help move the colours around and make them 'bleed' once they have been applied.

Carne's work perfectly illustrates the vibrancy and versatility of the Derwent Graphik Line Painters on paper.  The samples below show how the pen performs on other substrates.

The permanent ink on cotton fabric

The above photos show pen marks on a loosely woven cotton fabric treated with size.  The marks are clear and there is little bleed.  The image on the right demonstrates the opaqueness of the ink; the colours from below do not show through the second application of ink.

Graphik Line Painter pen on cotton and silk fabric

It is difficult to achieve a well defined line on the more finely woven untreated cotton (above left) and even less so on the silk fabric (right), however the paint does provide excellent coverage and adhesion.  Derwent recommend heat setting with an iron on the reverse of the fabric to make the ink permanent and hand washable.  Using a fabric primer such as Jacquard No Flow to treat the fabric first will help to inhibit the flow of the paint and allow better detail. 

We heat set and hand washed the above samples and confirm that the paint did not run or affect the handle of the fabric.  The Graphik Line Painters make an excellent addition to the silk painters' choice of mediums!
Graphik Line Painter pen on leatherOur final sample shows the pens used on a black leather purse. We were delighted with this result.  The opaque colours are shown to their best on this dark background.  The paint dried very quickly and did not smudge or fade when it was rubbed.

Derwent Graphik Line Painters  are available in a range of 20 gorgeous colours or in choice of 4 pen sets containing 5 pens of different colour combinations.  Visit the website www.georgeweil.com to browse these products.