Thursday, 13 November 2014

Polymer Clay Christmas Trees made using an Extruder

Polymer clay is very easy to shape and smooth into shape and using an extruder allows you to create lengths of consistently shaped clay which can be coiled, pressed together to create complex multi-coloured canes, woven or plaited.

The Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder
The Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder

These Christmas Tree decorations were created using extruded polymer clay which has been wrapped around a cone shape and baked in the oven to make the shape permanent.

Extruded Sculpey Ultralight on cone

The extruded clay is coiled around a cardboard cone covered in tin foil.  The cone is used as a former to keep the shape of the clay while it is baked in a domestic oven.

Extruded polymer clay on cone

For further information visit our Fact File page Polymer Clay Christmas Trees using an Extruder at

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Milliput Epoxy Putty

Milliput is a remarkably versatile putty. It can be used to seal or bond metals, plastics, masonry, wood, glass, tile brick and ceramics, and can also be cast or used for mould making. The two-part epoxy putty is cold setting, non shrinking and available in 5 colours; Standard Yellow/Grey, Terracotta, Silver Grey, Black and Superfine White.

To use Milliput, blend equal amounts of each stick by rolling and kneading until the colour is uniform and free from streaks. Once the two parts have been mixed, the putty is at first soft and highly adhesive. It becomes rock hard in three to four hours and does not shrink, even when used underwater.

After hardening the Milliput continues to cure for another three to four hours then it can be machined, drilled, tapped, turned, filed, sawn, sandpapered and painted.  The fully cured clay is heat resistant up to 130 degrees.

A great example of how you can use Milliput is demonstrated below. Pewter Aircraft used Milliput to create the framework for this model aircraft design by adding and manipulating the putty to create the shape of their components. They then used a silicone moulding compound which they shaped around their Milliput masters to create pewter castings.


Visit the George Weil Model Making section for a range of materials and tools.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Penchant for a Pochade?

If you enjoy painting on the move, these robust beach wood pochade boxes are the ideal companion. The boxes are light, practical, attractive and the perfect gift for the travelling artist.

Available in two sizes, they include an easel, a palette, secure storage for materials and space for up to four wet paintings. They also come equipped with a convenient carry handle and detachable shoulder strap.

Designed for oils and acrylics, these boxes are also perfect for use with other mediums such as watercolours and pastels. The storage section can be easily removed from the hinged lid and palette leaving a lightweight easel that can hold canvas and painting boards.

Our photographs show the boxes with an assortment of art materials including a Winsor & Newton Artists' Canvas Board 12" x 10" (305mm x 254mm) which fits perfectly in the large box.

The pochade boxes and all the contents you need are available from the George Weil website.

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

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 to browse these products.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Drawing with Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are a drawing medium that can be used on their own or along with other pastels. The pigment is mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder making a soft, buttery consistency which fills the grain of the paper. They create no dust at all and can be used on almost any surface including slick surfaces that would not hold a regular pastel.

Caran D'ache Neopastels on textured paper

The image above shows the marks made by Caran D'ache Neopastels on a textured paper.

On any surface, oil pastels can be easily blended using cotton buds, tortillons or paper towels.  The oil does not dry, but remains soft so that it can be reworked and more layers can be added over a long period of time.  The Arty Factory's website includes a step by step guide of how the image below was achieved using this technique.

The Layering Technique by The Arty Factory

Sgraffito is another way oil pastels can be manipulated. Colours are applied in layers then scraped away using razor blades or palette knives to reveal the colours below. Robert Sloan has used the sgraffito technique in this drawing of leaves and acorns.

Sgraffito technique used by Robert Sloan

Oil pastels can also be used to create a wash by moistening with solvents, or to add final surface touches to an oil or acrylic painting. Finished work should always be kept away from heat and framed in glass to prevent any damage.

We have a large range of oil pastels, blending and scraping tools and surfaces for oil pastels available on the George Weil website.

by Lewes Goff

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Polymer Clay Cake Toppers

We often send out regular orders to our customers, but our curiosity was piqued when we began to receive an order every Tuesday for polymer clay from customer Cheryl Locke.  Julie (who is an important member of our sales team here, and will often answer your calls) decided to investigate Chery's email address which included the word 'artlockedesigns'.

After a quick google, Julie discovered that Cheryl is a talented artist, specialising in custom-made polymer clay Wedding Cake Toppers.  Each delightful keepsake is created to replicate not just the wedding dress, hair-styles, and wedding bouquets, but also to reflect the personalities of the bride and groom by incorporating other items such as pets, football scarves, musical instruments and squash raquets.
If you go to Cheryl's website you can browse her photo galleries full of previous master pieces, and if you look below you will see the cake topper that Julie had made for her daughter Carly's wedding in August 2014.  This special gift was ordered months in advance to fit into Cheryl's busy schedule and to ensure all the details were exactly right. 

After more than 12 months of planning, we can report that newly weds John and Carly had a wonderful day - and congratulations to Julie on gaining another son!

Above, the stage before the final details are added and below, the finished item.

Polymer Clay Groom and Bride cake topper
Cheryl Locke incorporates an incredible amount of detail into her polymer clay cake toppers.  As we have the advantage of knowing John and Carly personally, we can confirm that this is an accurate representation of the couple on how they looked on the day, even down to the colour of the flowers and the whiskers on his chin!

Polymer clay cake topper from behind
John and Carly's wedding cake
John & Carly's cake topper on top of the stunning wedding cake.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Needle Felted Caterpillar from Somerset

Look who came back from Somerset with Philippa!  This little fella was found at the One Craft Gallery in Shepton Mallet.  We think we have identified the maker; jewellery designer Rachel Kerrison needle felts small animals and creatures when working at the gallery (see Rachel's blog post).

Rachel has shaped the caterpillar so that he can sit on the edge of a shelf or another surface where he can be admired.

Purple dots, green stripes and a detailed red face, all worked into the wool fibre using a felting needle.

Make your own colourful caterpillar using a felting needle and any of the 27 colours of Merino wool tops available from George Weil but if you're not confident you may like to make this simple caterpillar made from a series of different sized felt balls threaded together (find out more about how the felt caterpillar was made).

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Armatures for Model Making

An armature is the framework or skeleton used as the base when making models of figures or animals.

A good starting point for a model is a scale sketch or marquette.  Once the design has been established, the 'skeleton' can be added to a full size sketch which will help determine the size of the armature framework and where any joints will occur.  The image below shows a sketch of the framework which will be used to make a paper mache dog (find our more from Ultimate Paper Mache).

An armature design for a papier mache dog
Ultimate Paper Mache tutorial on making an armature for a model dog
George Weil supply a range of materials which can be used to build an armature.  We offer aluminium modelling wire in three sizes 1mm, 2mm and 3.2mm plus a choice of fine aluminium modelling meshes from Wireform®.

Aluminium is ideal for use as an armature because it is very flexible and lightweight and does not rust.  The mesh can be moulded around a shape or manipulated with pliers and provides an excellent support for most modelling materials.  An impressive example of a model created using modelling mesh can be found on Tom M Jordans Art Page.

Aluminium modelling mesh and wire
Tom M Jordans' Blog Post showing modelling mesh used as the armature for a wing
If your model is being built with a material that needs to be heat cured, such as polymer clay, it is best not to use a wire coated with plastic, foam or anything else that would normally become damaged when exposured to heat as this could cause cracks, breaks or discolouration in the baked clay.

The image below is taken from an in depth step-by-step tutorial by Setti Fine Art on how to build an armature for a clay model.  It shows how to create the wire framework, stabilise it with rock hard, air drying epoxy resin and how to mount the armature onto a sturdy base before building up the model.

Wire armature beside clay model
Image from the Setti Fine Art armature tutorial
Other materials for building an armature depend on what modelling medium will be used.   Rolled lengths of newspaper taped or glued together can be used as the base for paper mache models and wire armatures can be covered in masking tape to help the paper mache to stick to the framework.  Crumpled tin foil, screwed up paper, vilene wadding, or cork clay can be used to create a lightweight core for large pieces such as sculptures.

A wire armature is ideal for making poseable needle felted figures or animals.  As the fibre cannot be felted directly onto the wire because it can break the needle, the wire can be wrapped with pipe cleaners, yarn or strips of vilene wadding to provide a base to work on.  Sarafina Fiber Art - who have a series of YouTube videos on needle felting - shows how to make a needle felted fox using an armature.

The wire framework on which to build a needle felted fox
Sarafina Fiber Art show how to make an armature for a needle felted fox
The full range of materials from George Weil can be found on the website. Our Model Making section includes air-dry clays, polymer clays and Art Clay Silver clays, plus other items including modroc, resin, epoxy resin and paper casting materials.  There are also a large range of tools and products for creating armatures.

The Felt Making section includes a large selection of different fibres and needle felting tools.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Schacht Zoom Loom - Tried & Tested

The Schacht Zoom Loom is a pin loom that is very easy and comfortable to use. The instructions contain a step by step process of how to use the loom and a selection of projects. The loom has been designed for creating woven squares which can be joined together to create scarves, place mats, throws and other items.

Schacht Zoom Loom

I found the instructions very easy to follow and, even though this was my first go at weaving, I completed my square with ease. Below is my finished square which I wove on the Zoom Loom. I then used the fulling process of rubbing the fabric with soap and water so that it shrinks and pulls together to make a denser fabric.

Hand held mini pin loom

Melissa Ludden Hankens shows how to create a three dimensional box using the Schact Zoom Loom in the project featured on her Yearning to Spin and Weave column on the Schacht website.

Storage box created using the Schacht Zoom Loom

I was surprised at how robust the Schacht Zoom Loom is. The sloping interior edge guides the needle effortlessly through the threads and the handy slot holds the beginning yarn so there is no need for knotting. The Zoom Loom comes in a small and compact carry case so you can take it with you and weave at any time or in any place. 

Lewes Goff

Thursday, 26 June 2014

George Weil Art Shop & Craft Supplies

Directions to George Weil & Sons Ltd
You can order your art and craft supplies from our website but if you prefer to visit, we are open weekdays between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. You can find us on the A3100 halfway between Godalming and Guildford in Surrey.

A small selection of the products available from George Weil are photographed below.

Merino Wool Tops for Felt Making and Spinning

Merino Wool Tops in warehouse
Large range of artists pastels

Pencils and pastels

Paper for watercolour, drawing, pastels, inks and acrylics
Papers for watercolour, drawing, pastels, inks and acrylics

Paper and card in a selection of colours and weights

Colourful paper and card 
Shelves full of acrylic, watercolour and oil paints

  Shelves full of artists paints

Wool yarns for knitting, crochet and weaving
Silk, wool, cotton and linen yarns for knitting, crochet and weaving

A corner of our show room
A small corner of our Aladdin's cave - natural and dyed wool and silk fibres and felt making equipment

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Different Types of Lino Cutters

There are two types of lino cutters available from George Weil.

The traditional lino cutter requires you to push the blade away from you in order to cut the block.  It is important to keep your hands well away from the moving blade in case the blade should slip while cutting.  The blades for the handle in our photograph are held in the handle with a tightened chuck fitting.

How to cut a lino block
Lino Cutter with 10 blades
A traditional lino cutter set including 10 blades, the different types
of blades will carry out different degrees and widths of cut.
Wooden handled lino cutter set
A wooden handle with push-in blades
The blades used in the Speedball Linozip Safety Cutter have been designed so that they cut the lino with a pulling motion, much in the same way you would peel an apple or a potato.  This means that the handle is held more securely giving better and safer control, see below.

Close-up of the Linozip Safety Cutter in use
Lino block being cut on a bench hook
Linozips Safety Cutter in use with the Bench Hook / Inking Plate
which keeps the block still while it is being cut
The Speedball Linozip Cutter
The angled blades for the Linozip cutter are
designed to work by pulling towards the body.