Friday, May 9, 2014

New tools

I was reading Laura's blog last week and saw she had decorated a journal cover with circles of corrugated cardboard.  It not only looked cool, but it got me thinking...would this work as a stamp?  or a rubbing plate?  or both?

So I made one and tried it out.
I cut different size circles out of different types of corrugated cardboard and glued them to a 6x8 piece of heavy cardboard.  I covered it with a few coats of matte medium to seal it before I started using it with paint.

Here's how it looks as a rubbing plate (copy paper placed on top and rubbed with a black crayola)

 Here's what it looks like as a stamp (rolled paint onto stamp with a brayer, pressed it onto copy paper):

So far so good.

I decided to try it on the gelli plate.
I rolled on a thick layer of paint with the brayer, pressed the stamp in the paint, lifted it off and pulled the first print:

There was enough paint left on the plate to pull another print, which I liked even better:

Then I pressed the still wet stamp onto the now clean gelli plate and pulled a print of that:
(I like the way the original red paint on the stamp came through on this print)

 I decided to try layering a few of these techniques and I was really pleased with the results. 

I now have a whole new way to paint papers for backgrounds and collage fodder.  Many thanks to Laura for the inspiration! 

But that's not my only new tool of the week.
Every day for the last three days I've walked past the same piece of trash on the side of the road.  This morning I could resist it no longer.  Even though I was more than a mile from home, I picked it up and carried it on the rest of my walk.

 I suspect it was part of a large plastic egg carton, but now it's my new favorite printing tool for the gelli plate.

Here's a simple print after the bottom of the tray was pressed in wet paint:

For this one I pressed both the top and bottom of the crate into the paint:

I then layered the ghost print from the orange paint on top of my first green print:

For this one, there was still orange paint on the bottom of the tray when I pushed it into the blue paint.  Happy accident!

I made a bunch of different prints and then cut some up for a quick postcard:

Fun, Fun, Fun.
I'm so glad I finally stopped and picked this up.

What's you're favorite unconventional art tool?


  1. Corrugated cardboard, yes! Gosh I love textures. I like how your 3 pink squares on the postcard look 3-dimensional.

    I haven't been using anything new this week, though I've been creating every day. Lots of painting with a tiny tiny brush (for painted rocks), lots of collage, lots of printing (getting ready for a craft fair) and more folding of map paper bags (I'm obsessed; I can't stop).

  2. Isn't it fun to find odd things that work? Texture is everything.

  3. I wouldn't have been able to leave it by the side of the road either! You are so inspiring!

  4. Yum, Yum, Yum! Love all those yummy colors. One persons trash is another persons treasure!! Woohoo!

  5. I pick up likely looking trash all the time. Corrugated is great stuff. I never made circles from it, tho, so I'll try that this weekend. Love the postcard.
    What did you use to shade the 3 pink squares? I'm always looking for good shading tools and I like the look of your squares.

    1. thanks Leslie, I used a charcoal pencil and a blending stump.

  6. awesome printing stuffs!

    my fave non-conventional tool is the plastic ring that 'scotch' tape is on. mine is prolly close to 8 years old and while occasionally I scrape off the gunk, it has enough (medium, paint, varying pastes) on it to not give a clean cut circle but one with some depth and age to it. yum!

  7. We have egg cartons similar to that one. Now I know what to try with it. I need a printing session soon. My most favorite tool is the waste from a 12x12 strapbook page of punch out letters. I wound up getting rid of the letters and kept the leftover bit. It prints or stencils this great field of circles. I love to layer it too.

  8. Great collagraph ideas! xox

  9. I love your experiments, Karen, and your finished postcard is just awesome! A milk bottle lid makes a great circle-maker, and I was pretty pleased with the roses I got from printing with cut celery!

  10. I've used a cardboard egg carton several times and it lives in my stash of goodies.. I also use a net wrapped bath sponge, plastic textured shelf liner, and other goodies I found at a dollar store. I actually own any true stencils so I use whatever I find. I love your results!

  11. Love your corrugated cardboard stamp. It worked great every way you used it. Two of my favorite tools are spools and potato masher. You can see how I used them with soy wax here:

  12. Well, I have this love of rubber band art. I haven't done it for awhile, but a thick rubber band, stretched and drawn on, then released, makes me so happy. Then, there are the thinner ones that you can dip in liquid paints and lay them around on the surfaces and weigh down with another card. Then there are the rubber bands wound around cardboard tubes and then rolled in paint.

    The fact is, I resist paying for anything.

  13. I think one of my favorite unconventional texture maker is the bottom of a deli tray that had veggies on it. You can use the bottom or the top and have a positive and negative print.