two quick galleries without any editing work -
…coming soon… it’ sitting in the press getting flat.
Meanwhile here are the graphics for the covers of “(K) Kicks”
The book pretty much sucks — it’s a one day after all. But I like the graphics.
It took about 8 hours to make these four pieces in a class room. They are construction samples so finish quality is low.
PMC is nice to work with. The tools can be very simple and it really does work like modeling clay. (Though I’ve never been so careful to corral all the scraps of modeling clay.) A good quality finish takes work from the beginning and probably would have doubled the time taken for each piece. Maybe tripled for the embedded glass one.
You can fire pieces made only of the silver using a torch or propane firing cone but to fire pieces with glass (or synthetic stones, or forms) in them you have to have a kiln.
The material is expensive and the firing is a problem because i don’t want to spend $400 on a kiln just yet.
I’ll do more of this but not right now.
A simple die stamped piece:
I made this using the rubber stamp that provided the original version of the Black Dog Farm logo.
It was fired, wire brushed, and given a short tumble with shot. At this magnification (about 3X) and in the glaring sunlight the rough finish shows. (and i think that’s cat hair…)
A layered charm:
Cut with canape cutters. Attached with slip. The holes are hard to get smooth on both sides.
There’s a lump on the back that is result of getting air trapped in the clay while rolling it out. I was in too much of a hurry.
Filigree wrapped glass bead
This is a 3⁄8″ blue glass bead that I wrapped in silver paste squeezed from a syringe.
Working with this fine a tip is hard but with practice the results could be quite pretty. You can also make hollow beads by using a form material that will burn out.
Glass beads and cabochon embedded in silver
There are three green glass beads and a diachronic glass cabochon.
I think the silver is too built up. I did some carving to get better relief but not nearly enough. As the clay dries it hits a sweet spot where carving is easy and enjoyable. So this could be really nice.
From QFC this morning:
More on the screen for Jim’s office.
Once the stencil had had chance to dry I took the fabric panels off the screen (yeay velcro.) I didn’t do any prep work on the fabric — poly(?) canvas. The paint will stick well enough and I don’t expect to try to wash the panels. By the time they’re dirty I’ll be bored with them and want to do something else.
To hold the fabric steady I clipped it to the thick foam core boards that I use to stretch watercolor paper. I measured for a rough placement for the image and then eyeballed the fine alignment.
I used brown paint (oil bar) and a large stencil brush. Because the stencil was paper coated with linseed oil I couldn’t use the repositionable adhesive that I use on plastic stencils. I used a little tape in each corner and then worked carefully holding the little tabs and bits down with my fingers as I painted. It’s messy and a little slow but worked quite well.
Here’s one of the panels finished and propped up for drying.
I had planned to use two images on each screen. One facing each direction. So I started with the two crows facing left. Two panels have the crows in the top half and one has the crow in the bottom half. Then I would clean the stencil and flip it for the rest.
Oil paint takes a while to dry and I needed the flat spaceback in my studio so I hung the panels back on the screen. Figuring that I’d take them down later this week and do the rest of the stenciling.
Oh never mind — FINISHED!
And here’s my celebratory drink.
Lillet over ice and orange slices. The ice cubes are shaped like stars!
I seem to be on a roll here with the purple stuff.
This is a quick book binding project. The text block was purchased from Paper Source. It comes with cover boards but without a spine board. Japanese paper and book cloth.
I like this long format for guest books or albums.
In order to hide the backs of a number of monitors and computers in Jim’s office we put up a cheap three panel screen.
It’s very boring thing. But… the panels are white “canvas” and that means they don’t have to stay boring. So I finally found a stencil that I wanted to use in a new book “Stencil Me In”
The birds on the right — crows! The original is only 8 inches tall and the screens are 60 inches — filling them up with crows would be very busy. So… time to make the little crows into big crows. I have a scanner and Photoshop and a printer, and a lot of tape. And they are — 18 inches tall now.
Next to make a stencil. I used an old manila file folder. (You can still see the label if you look closely.) By taping the enlarged stencil pattern over the top and cutting very carefully with an exacto knife — two fresh blades — I ended up with a decent stencil.
Then I got out the linseed oil and rubbed it into the paper. It takes along time to cover the folder evenly. Not too much (that would be gloopy) and not too little (that would be splotchy.) It took 24 hours for the stencil to dry enough that it wouldn’t bleed oil on the fabric.
Next up — the actual applying of paint!
Took an upholstery class at Pacific Fabrics over the weekend. I want to make new cushions for the porch furniture.
The result of about 5 hours of work is this lovely and quite useless cushion. I like the drip effect of the stripes and dots.
It’s not as hard as I thought but not easy either. Mostly I end up with an aching back.
Well, here we are at the start of a new trials season. I hadn’t gotten nearly as much practice over the winter as I’d hoped, partly due to the pressures of my job, and partly due to the 2 FEET of snow we had around christmas! yikes. That is really unusual for western Washington, and brought a lot of the area to a halt.
Anyway, finally got off my keister the week before the event and put a clean filter in the bike, a new spark plug, and turned the rear tire around, so as to wear the sharp edges off of the other side of the knobs. Only took 3 tries to get the rim band to seat properly and hold air. Needless to say, it was a bit frustrating. Those Montesa-style flanged wheels look better and better all the time! Oh, and I also replaced the fork oil, and while doing so, I added an extra 50cc of oil to each leg hoping it would give me a bit more preload and spring progression than before. I weigh a bit more than you average trials expert, so I figured this might stop some of the bottoming that I’d been feeling. I also cranked up the preload on the rear shock about 1⁄4″. I might actually need a slightly heavier spring in the back, but more on that later.
Got out to the site, found a parking place and unloaded. According to Edward, it was about 38 degrees F. Pretty chilly, but at least it wasn’t raining or snowing on us. Went through my morning ritual: unload, sign-up, dress, set tire pressure, warm up, more coffee, warm up, and wait for start. I felt pretty good, although not terribly relaxed on the bike, and the slightly stiffer suspension felt really good, more responsive to my weight transfers and a bit quicker. Had a short discussion with another rider about Group Check vs. Cross Check. I’ve made my opinions about Group Check known on this forum before, but this time I allowed as how I probably disliked the idea of standing around in 38-degree weather more than I disliked group check. It’s all about perspective, folks!
A short riders meeting, explaining the new marking system, and we’re ready. For those who haven’t seen it, the new marking system we’re using here in PST works like this: for each group (morning, afternoon), each class is assigned a color. When you are walking a section, all you have to do is follow the arrows that are your color. For example, Advanced class was white. So I simply had to follow the white arrows all day. Pretty simple, and I thought it was easy to use. It’s still possible to miss a marker, but it’s harder to mis-understand a section this way.
Gather up into groups and we’re off. Bit of a traffic jam at Section 1, but that’s give a chance to what other riders a bit. Looks like a typical Gold Bar “Technical” section: lots of jumbly rocks, but nothing scary. Should be a cakewalk. Right. My back wheel gets kicked off line at the entrance gate, and I’m so stiff that I flounder through with a 3. Many of the rest of the sections were similar, jumbly, slick, sharp rocks. Nothing dramatic, nothing scary, but challenging of bike control and line control. There were really only two exceptions, Section 8 and Section 9. Section 8 was the Log Section. 3 Crossings of a slick log, seperated by 180-degree tight turns; The first crossing was easy, but you could get spooked going off of it, if you weren’t back far enough on the bike. My first time over, I wasn’t and felt the back end get very light and try to start to go over my head. The second crossing was the challenge, as it was undercut and the approach was littered with a root and some rocks; you had to be perfectly on line and have good timing on the throttle and rear-end weighting. I flubbed this the last loop, didn’t get the clutch out in time; by the time the power hit the rear wheel, the suspension has already started to settle up front and I plowed right into the log! ooof! I tried to recover by doing a standing bounce up onto the log, but didn’t quite get ‘er up on top! dang! oh well. Section 9 was interesting in that it had some logs and some rocks, mixed together with some tight turns. Never did get a clean here, as I couldn’t get the first sharp left-turn log crossing just right, took 1 every time. Ended the event feeling pretty good, I tightened up during the second loop for some reason, then had a decent third loop, except for the above 5.
Overall it was a very technical trial, and a bit easier than a lot of last years advanced trials. I believe the winning score was 34, whereas a lot of winning scores last year we’re in the 45 – 60 range. I don’t have a strong opinion about the score range, although I very much like the very technical trials, as opposed to the event with lots of big-scary obstacles. On one hand, the technical trials give me a better chance of going back to work on Monday with all my body parts intact, but I also understand the sentiment that these types of events don’t really prepare our up-and-coming younger riders to compete at the expert level. I’d very much like to hear what you folks think about this.
All in all a good start to year. I’m excited for the next event, have some ideas for a few more improvements to the bike, and plan on getting at least one practice session in before that event.
Keep those feet up!
Two galleries of pictures from last week’s day-trip to the Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands for the purpose of picking up the pig. (Yummy fresh pork!)
First a general gallery — mostly shots that Jim took.
And a collection, mostly mine — a few of Jim’s, taken at the ferry dock at Lopez Island on the way to Friday Harbor.