Taking Inspiration From A Walk In Dodd Wood

The sky was blue yesterday instead of the usual dripping grey that comes with rainy days so we headed out for a walk. It’s so muddy everywhere we decided to walk up Dodd, one of the lower fells with good paths.

It felt really good to be out there surrounded by nature, it’s been a while since we were last out walking.

The beck was quite full, it’s usually a trickle, but what I was attracted to most were the textures.

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The colours and textures of sap  Untitled

Of bark

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Leaves and reflections in puddles

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Light branches against dark conifers

UntitledRock textures and lichens

UntitledThe view from the summit wasn’t so good as it was hazy but that didn’t matter, my attention was on the details.

I gathered some leaves and ferns from the ground and brought them home to dye with, will tell you more in my next post.

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Eco printing on silk

My fish kettle arrived so I was keen to try it out for eco printing . I bought some broom handles and cut them to the right length. I found plastic pipe would collapse when it was steamed.

UntitledThere aren’t many leaves about now but a lovely lady sent me some vine leaves to experiment with so I was keen to try them, especially the purple ones, I know cotinus gives a lovely purple print so I was hoping these would do the same.  Also I had picked up a bag full of leaves on the way to the shops the other day, I might be getting a reputation as the village mad woman. The mix included oak, beech and sycamore leaves, and fortunately my garden is full of geraniums so plenty of those leaves which print very well.

Here’s some closeups of my new silk scarves which are now in my Etsy shop

Eco printsilk scarvesI love the element of serendipity involved with eco printing, opening the bundle is like Christmas morning. Look at the detail and colour on this vine leaf, I love the way the colour has bled, just like a watercolour.

silk scarf with leavesGeraniums, (that’s cranesbill, not pelargonium) are my favourite leaves to print with, you never know what the colour will be, look at the chartreuse one above and the mottled one below.

silk scarf hand printed

Eco prints on silkThese geraniums are different again, and do you see those seed heads they are burnets. I used to gather those with my Grandpa, he made a wine with them that was a deep purple red like port. I hoped to see that colour but maybe they were picked at the wrong time so I will try again next year.

eco gifts for womenI found some beautiful papers that were in my flower press which I’d forgotten about. I would love to have framed them up but in the end I listed them as craft packs, or folks can frame them themselves.

Eco printed paper for scrap booking bookmaking journaling card making

Eco printed paper packs for paper craftsI’m still waiting for the arrival of the eucalyptus leaves which I ordered ages ago, I have given up on them so if anyone has some I’d happily pay the postage for them.

Enjoy your day 🙂

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Tick tock….clocks

I have been busy making things all week but I couldn’t get any decent photos as it’s been so dull and dark, so those are for later.

I can show you my raku clocks that are now adorning my walls, I thought they should be tested for a while before I go into production.

I made this one with the intention of keeping it as I need a clock in the lounge, the shape echoes a metal and glass lamp. This clock has some copper in the texture and at the bottom where the flame licked the surface.

Raku clocks

I didn’t intend keeping this one but when I hung it on the wall in the front room it looked perfect, it’s the room where my raku leaves live. I think you might agree that the colours are perfect and the play of light on the texture looks great.

There was a round one but as is the nature of raku it looked like something a cow had deposited so it went in the bin.


Raku clocks

I hope to have some clocks in my shop next year. Sounds strange saying that, where has this year gone?

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Art Elements Theme Challenge – November – Stars

When I saw the topic for November’s Art Elements theme challenge I knew exactly what I wanted to do. However things kind of went downhill all the way, I thought maybe I shouldn’t tell you about it but as I enter these challenges to basically challenge myself and either expand my range of work, make something for me, or learn a new technique I am posting my journey, to evaluate how I could do better next time.

It’s nearly Christmas so I thought a hanging star decoration would be lovely.

18 years ago my friend helped me make a couple of stained glass windows and lurking in the loft there was a box that I discovered the other day containing glass and copper foil and a soldering iron. The windows were made with lead came, I’ve never tried copper foil technique before so I thought I’d give it a go.

The copper foil looked a bit dirty and tarnished but it was a full roll so I would see how it worked (mistake 1)

Stained glass starI had some gorgeous cobalt blue glass, I love this colour glass.

Stained glass star

It cut really nicely so I decided even though I have a glass grinder not to grind the edges. I really really hate using the grinder. ( Mistake 2)

Stained glass starWhen I tried it all together I realised my triangles were a bit too wide but I thought the way they overlapped would make the star shape stronger and it would look ok, (wrong)

I cleaned the glass and stuck on the foil

Stained glass starThen I rubbed it down onto the glass with a lolly stick as I didn’t have a proper tool              ( maybe another mistake)

I didn’t have any flux or solder so while I waited for it to arrive I painted a little snow scene on the glass, I had several white glass enamels to choose from.
Stained glass starAfter painting the glass I fired it to 580C.

Stained glass starAt this point I was really pleased with how it was looking.
Stained glass starThe solder arrived and after watching loads of Youtube videos I couldn’t wait to get started. This was when things started going horribly wrong.

Firstly the soldering iron didn’t want to melt the solder, then when it did it went very very lumpy, but I can go over and smooth it off, right.

Oh I forgot to mention the solder stuck to the star and in trying to melt it off I think I must have pulled some of the foil away from the glass, or maybe being old it wasn’t sticky enough.

I gave up, cleaned the soldering iron with emery paper and left it for another day.

The soldering worked much better, maybe too well as it was flowing all over the place, and where there were tiny gaps where it flowed through to the other side. Next time I will grind the glass and make sure the foil goes on well enough to give a perfect fit.

I did some smoothing off with the iron once everything was soldered, there were lots of solder drips and I could see where the foil was coming away so I decided enough was enough and so I soldered a wire on the back to hang it up, that worked very well so I felt a little pleased with myself.

UntitledSo now I know how not to do it I would like to have another go but I don’t have much time this month so it will have to wait but I will come back to this technique and have another go . I do love the colour, and my little painting is just how I wanted so it’s going to be my studio decoration this year.

Here’s a list of all the Art Elements blog hop participants, enjoy!

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Screen Printing On Ceramic Tiles Using Silhouette Cameo

I was asked me to make some ceramic coasters with text on them, this was the perfect opportunity to try out doing some screen printing using the Silhouette Cameo to cut the mask.

If you remember a while back I took a screen printing course with Dionne Swift , I used various methods of masking the screen , which was applied to textiles. Since then I have wanted to explore further  especially on ceramics but I just haven’t had the time.

I wanted to try masking with vinyl cut on the Cameo, cut and transferred to the screen in the same way I would normally do for etching projects.
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I thought about working with overglazes but I really wanted to try out Velvet underglazes for printing so that’s what I used. I printed onto bought bisque tiles so the surface was nice and flat. You will notice I removed the tape so I could easily see the edge of the tile to line them up.

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I fired them before glazing so the print wouldn’t bleed as I was using brush on glazes.

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They were glazed and fired again, I got a lovely crisp edge to the text, no bleeding.

Screen printed coasters

Screen printed coasters

I have other screen printing ideas I really want to try including making my own printing ink, if you haven’t already read it there is a great article by Caroline Dewison over on the Art Elements blog, can’t wait to try it out. Thank you Caroline 🙂

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Eco Printed Silk And Cotton Scarves

I’ve had such a lot of fun eco printing scarves this week. I could happily keep them all, as I  look at them oohing and ahhing,  but as there is so much I want to explore with this technique, and there are only so many scarves a woman needs I have decided that I need to sell some in order to delve deeper into the mysteries of eco printing.

So in order to put them up for sale I needed some good photos, this was easier said than done, I don’t have a mannequin and my neck is a bit too old to show the scarves off to their best.

So I tried laying them out on the floor, as they are eco printed there are some incidental areas and I feel any potential buyer should see the whole scarf.  I didn’t like the look of them on the carpet.

Eco Printed ScarvesI tried taking a video along the length of the scarf.

Then I folded them on a white background, this was better but I want to show the whole scarf and all the delicious details ( more about that later).

Eco Printed ScarvesAfter taking some photos of the details I thought the closeup pictures don’t show that it’s a scarf.

My Mum used to say “Where there’s a will there’s a way” so I got thinking of what I could use as an alternative neck, so I tried the newel post on the stairs, which worked but it was too distracting.

I used a coat hanger, which I hooked over the cupboard door, the scarf is not opened out enough to show the detail.
Eco Printed Scarves

I hung the scarf over the cupboard door which was good in the fact you can see all the pattern detail of the whole scarf in 2 photos.

Eco Printed Scarves

Eco Printed Scarves

If I’m ever going to add  eco printed textiles to my Etsy shop I will have to work on my photos, and get the iron out 🙂 It’s not the best time of year to take great photos, it’s just too dull and dark.

Now back to the detail photos, there are some amazingly detailed and beautiful areas that I want to share.

I mentioned in my last post cotinus leaves are some of my favourites to print with, and how at this time of year they give a purple print and a beige print dependant on how Autumnal the leaf is on the bush. Not sure if that’s the best description, but the ones that are turning give a different colour.
Eco Printed ScarvesYou can also see a rose leaf in the photo above, I love the ghost outline, but others, as you can see below print as a dark leaf, maybe it depends which way up you put the leaf.
Eco Printed Scarves
This photo also shows another lovely printing leaf, geranium (not pelargoniums), here it’s a lovely textured olive green but below it’s not so textured

Eco Printed ScarvesSome have a halo effect
Eco Printed Scarves
Some were a bright yellow green colour

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I also got great results with ferns, oak leaves and wild strawberry leaves. I used natural dyes made from logwood, fustic and madder roots for the backgrounds. These gave a lovely rich purple, pale yellow and a soft shell pink respectively.

I find the whole process totally fascinating, and I’m hooked. I want to play around with mordants and pH values to see what happens, and I’m feeling the need to buy a fish kettle so I can work larger.

These scarves are available on my Facebook page.

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It’s all about leaves – eco printing and ikebana bowls.

It’s been all about leaves this week, partly because it’s the time of year when you better hurry and pick some before they are gone, and secondly I got the hosta leaf ikebana bowls glazed. You might have seen them on social media but here they are if you missed them.
ikebana vase from Kiln Fired Art

ikebana bowlsI had to go out and pick some plant material to get my photos done, there wasn’t much about but it only shows you can make a beautiful ikebana arrangement with a few twigs and sprigs.

ceramic leaf ikebana containerWhile I was out picking I realised if I wanted to do some eco printing then I would have to do it now, my cotinus had very few leaves left on it.

I wanted to explore printing on wool, the fabric I have was fairly expensive so I’ve been saving it, but I’m not going to progress if I don’t jump in and have a go, so I did.

My fabric was soaked in alum mordant, then the cotinus and dried Acer leaves laid on half the fabric, the other half was folded over smoothed flat then rolled on a plastic pipe and tied with string. Then put in my tin with vinegar , water and a bit of rusty water and boiled for 45 min, turned and boiled again. When I say boiled it was a very very gentle simmer.

After cooling I opened up the bundle and picked off the leaves and washed and dried the fabric. You have to leave it until it’s dry before you can really see how the leaves printed.

I like the way the design looks graded from the outside of the roll to the inside of the roll.

Eco dyeing on wool

The right side was the outside, it takes on more colour and you can see the string marks, which look quite interesting.

UntitledThe background is cleaner in the inside of the roll. What I noticed was the cotinus leaves have printed differently.Untitled

The fresher looking red purple ones printed purple, as they did in summer.

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The more Autumnal ones printed an ochre colour

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I decided to have another go with some geranium leaves, this time I put some turmeric powder in the water bath.

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This is how it looked after 2 hours.

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This one doesn’t really grab me, but there’s another challenge. I intend making 2 cushion covers with these. I’m thinking of having the string design on the bottom edge on one side and the lighter fabric to the top and on the reverse.

I think I’m going to have to do some more work on the fabric, maybe some stitching, leaf outlines possibly, or just running stitch, or stitched mark making. Or maybe something else, only I don’t know what, so if you have any ideas please shout up 🙂

UntitledThe other side of the cloth is an even darker mustard from the turmeric, I was surprised how deep the colour turned out. I will certainly use it again.

The postman has brought me some wood chips and roots for dyeing so I think I better grab more leaves before they are gone. Lots to do.

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Porcelain Ceramic Jewellery Components

Hello campers, just a quickie post today as I have so much work to photograph and list today.

I did intend making some jewellery for my shop with these porcelain pendants and earring charms but I just don’t have the time so I’m listing them on Etsy today and tomorrow.

I do love the ‘watercolour’ effect on these , some have platinum lustre as well. There are a few more to photograph so I better get to it.

Porcelain Jewellery Components from Kiln Fired ArtThere are some other designs and colours as well.

Oh, I have also added some succulent pots too, ikebana bowls to follow soon 😊

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A day trip to Capri

Take a day trip with me to Capri, on various modes of transport.

If my children are reading this I’m sure the music will make you smile 🙂

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Amalfi, Positano and Ravello

I am sure the Amalfi road has to be one of the most famous drives in the world, however having noticed that every Italian car seems to have been knocked about, (not surprising when you have seen the driving) we opted for a bus tour and an experienced driver to take us along the narrow winding road with hairpin bends and sheer drops.

Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast

I have wanted to go to Positano for a very long time, my mother had a painting which I think was Positano, I loved looking at the ice cream colours of the buildings.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

We love mountains and the sea so the Amalfi coast was perfect.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

We took a boat trip along the coast, this is where the rich and famous live. The house below belongs to Sophia Loren, there is a chair lift to take her up the cliff if you look closely.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

On our way back up the beach in Positano we saw Mr Bill Nighy taking some photos. I didn’t want to interrupt his moment so waited until he walked off to get a photo.

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Amalfi was bustling with people. It was hot so we sat on the steps in the shade with a gelato.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi is famous for handmade paper, I found this beautiful shop but decided to call in on the way back to the bus, but unfortunately I forgot.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

There of lots of shops selling colourful majolica ware, lemons feature everywhere.

Amalfi Coast

Then we headed up into the mountains for lunch.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

Ravello, known as the music town was much quieter than the coastal villages and towns but it’s not like that when the music festival is on.

Amalfi Coast

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The view was rather spectacular too, don’t you think?

Amalfi Coast

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