31 March 2014

Call Me Crafty: Screenprinting

It has been a long time since I challenged myself with an art class. So for the past year I'd been eyeing the continuing education classes offered at the Corcoran. They aren't cheap but I loved all the interesting options they had and I was able to take the audit option. So I narrowed down some options and decided to take the screen printing class. 

After being 45 minutes late to the first class (cross town during rush hour on a bus is the worst) I've gotten a pretty good hang of the process.

We have four projects this semester each one using a different technique of making our design, but the shooting and printing part remains essentially the same. We've just started our third project, so I'm a bit behind on updating you.

The first project was to take construction paper shapes to create a print with three layers of three different colors.

Most of the other students are "art" students either full time or are art teachers learning a new technique. So in the actual design of the projects I find I am much simpler. But when it comes to the actual printing, where being type A is beneficial I am having far fewer problems than the other students. 

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This is a printing screen. When its clean it is the yellow color. We put the green emulsion on it and let it dry in a dark box. Then you lay your design in a light box and put the screen on top. Depending on your design you turn the light box on for a 45 seconds up to a few minutes. Then quickly take it from the box to the dark washing room to wash the emulsion that wasn't exposed to the light out. That area becomes your design. In the above photo I covered the areas I wasn't printing with tape and freezer paper.

So for my first project I did my cow.

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The green was printed first, then the purple and finally the pink. I was just trying to use pretty colors, but my teacher has proclaimed it a Zombie Cow.

For the second project we used india ink to make abstract designs. I'm not so great at abstract. I started slowly and finally drew a few designs I liked. I printed each of them a little different. I used the same three colors in the same order, but printed the designs in different orders and used five different designs. 

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This was one of my favorites. At first I didn't like the project, but I ended up with several that I liked and a few that I hated. I printed on small pieces of paper and was able to do three each pull so these went really quickly.

The third project involves india ink pens and tracing and text! I'm excited to see how mine turns out.

27 March 2014

Call Me Crafty: Mason Jar Planter

If you follow me on Instagram you saw this project a while back. I took tons of pictures during the process then completely forgot to blog about it. So finally here you are! 

My friend Catherine discovered this idea on Pinterest and we decided along with our other friend Jenn to have a craft day to make some of our own.

We met up and headed to Home Depot where we picked up the hardware and wood. We had Home Depot cut the boards to size (which is a fantastic service!) and headed back to Catherine's to get to work.

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Supplies we purchased per planter:
  1. Three Mason jars
  2. Three adjustable plumbing rings
  3. Wall hanger and nails
  4. Three screws
  5. Wood- we took the jars to the store and measured the sizing on the go
  6. Three plants
  7. Cactus/succulent dirt
Supplies Catherine had on hand:
  1. Drill
  2. Hammer
  3. Stain
  4. Paint brush
  5. Rag
  6. Sand paper


We started by sanding our board a little and applying a layer of stain. After letting it dry a little bit we wiped down our board with the rag and then allowed it to dry some more.

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While our boards were drying we planted our succulents in the jars. The jars have no drainage. After planting I wondered if we should of put a layer of rock on the bottom like you would in a terrarium, but not enough to go back and replant. However I think using the special soil for cactus and succulents works well. My plants are thriving so far. I just water them fully when I water them, which is about every week and a half, and then let the soil dry completely  before watering again.

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After our boards were dry we attached the hangers.

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Then proceeded to screw the rings to the boards. It wasn't as easy as we hoped. The slots in the rings were a little bit smaller than our screws. On my first attempt I completely stripped the screw. After that we tried prying the slots open a little wider and got the screw going a little before using the power drill and it worked ok. We were using wood screws, maybe a stronger screw would of just plowed through the ring, but I'm not sure.

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I started in the middle

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measuring was hard
After they were attached to the board I tightened the rings a bit before slipping the jars inside and finished tightening the screws.

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Finished project!

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Once I got home I immediately hung it up on the wall because I wasn't sure where else to put it. I hung it by my bedroom window because while by living room is over run with plants I didn't have any in my bedroom!

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As I mentioned earlier, all my plants are doing well. But learned the hard way that the orange flower on the cactus was glued on! I know! The way the cactus was growing was moving the flower to the front so I pulled it off. I managed to get all of the flower off, but the glue is a bit more challenging especially with all the pokies.  Oh and the plant on the right is doing much better and not leaning so much.