Sunday, April 26, 2009

My acrylic book

Yesterday I got together with some old friends from a stamp group that I belonged to. The stamp store closed not due to economic times but rather family obligations. I really miss this group because there were several talented people who did a great job teaching us new things. The owner of that store(Cindy) and a few others have become close friends with the well known artist Amy Flowers from Shrew'd Arts. She teaches classes all over the U.S. and if you ever get the chance to take a class from her you won't be disappointed. She lives in Ohio but loves to travel. She is truly awesome at what she does and she brings absolutely everything for each person in the class. She is very laid back, easy to learn from and not pretentious.

I have to brag here just a little. While I was working diligently on my book, Amy was walking around to offer help to anyone who needed it. I wasn't aware she was standing behind me and she made the comment "Kim I should pay you to make samples for me". She could have offered my a thousand dollars but it was the compliment coming from a well known artist that was the feather in my cap.

Anywho... Cindy had contacted me about this upcoming event. The class was held at Pat Bober's home (a beautiful place on the water and a studio to die for) and it seemed like family again. I haven't seen anyone from this group in over a year but it was like going home. We all had such a great time and it was nice to catch up on what has been happening in our lives as we shared what we have been up to (it is always nice to hear the other side of the story). It was a small group which makes the class easy to learn especially when it is a 3 hour class and believe me the 3 hours went by fast.

The class was entitled "Heavy Metal Book" because we used a lot of metal tape and did some soldering on acrylic. This project is eclectic and grunge mixed together which is my favorite. There were several times that I had to cover up little mistakes or just let it be. When you are working with liquid inks you can't be as precise, but this is what gives it character. I won't give away all the secrets in how we did this book out of respect to Amy but I can tell you some of the supplies we used.

This is the front cover. We used 3 acrylic sheets and believe me I had to keep moving to get it finished. The window on the front was soldered on. I did add to the book last night when I got home as I didn't have some of the embellishments with me at the class. Amy supplied an enormous amount of ephemera- stickers, paper, stamps, ribbon and clear overlays so I didn't have too much more to do to finish it off. On the cover I added the wings and brad to look like a door knob. I outlined the stamped image with my stardust gel pen for some extra dimension. Stamping on acrylic is difficult; we used Stazon but it still likes to slide. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them for more detail.

This is the backside of the cover which doesn't look much different than the front. Amy said the hardest part of the project for the students is to plan the layout so that once the book is together you can look through it. Meaning when the book is closed you can still see the other pages and they don't compete with one another. Go back to the very first picture of the finished book. See how you can see the lady on the second page through the front cover. This does take a lot of thought and it isn't that easy to come up with an idea and finish in a short amount of time. I only had a small description of the class as to what we were making with no picture so I wasn't able to visualize what my project was going to look like.

This page was one of those that I had to improvise. The stamped lady didn't come in contact with the acrylic in the middle (hate when that happens) so I stamped the word "imagine" in the blank spot. If you hold this page up to the light, the images on the backside show through. I used the new Stazon opaque inks on this page.

This is the backside of the second page. See a faint image of the front. The silver pieces are all metal tape.

This is the last page which was my least favorite. It is the result of the back cover. The leaf was out of Pat's yard and I wanted the skeleton of that and the dime to show on the back. Since it is put on acrylic you end up seeing it on this side. This is the whole idea of using acrylic. If you don't like this look than you would just use a board book. I wished I had colored my acrylic a bit darker so these items were more subtle. I then just started layering and collaging. If you look real close you can see script over the dime which was done with the Stazon light blue opaque ink. I put the dime in there so that if I ever sold the book I should be able to sell it for at least 10 cents-hee hee.

Here is the back cover and you can see the imprint of the leaf in the center. Some of the girls used feathers or silk flowers and they turned out beautifully.
I hope you enjoyed my book. Amy brought new stock of all the supplies we used so that we could purchase them. I bought the inks and a new book which has 6 acrylic pages so I can try my hand at another one. I learned a few tips from this book so my next one should be even better.

Have fun and enjoy!


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