Friday 29 May 2009

Comic sketch success!

Honestly, I didn’t think placing a time limit on the comic book buscrafting would work, and I’m not sure how it did, but on the Friday commute to work I finished roughing out the last page! Magnifico! Still not sure what the next step will be with the comic, but it feels good to have the whole 22 pages roughly sketched out. I’m thinking the next stage is to actually figure out how to take it to a finished product, then decide if that’s do-able.

My next buscraft ought to be to try out tatting. A woman at the knit club that meets at the 8th day was showing me how to do it earlier this week. As I decided to try new things this year, it would be ideal to start on that next week. But I don’t have a tatting shuttle, a pattern, or a clue how to start. So again, I need to figure out what

to do.

Which is nice in a way, because it will give me a chance to do some of the weaving projects that have been building up- my DIY Weaving Club Membership Card, a postcard and, assuming I finish the second clanger, a clanger dress.

Monday 25 May 2009

Screen printing: not a buscraft

Yesterday, I went to one of the Handmade socials at Urbis- it was a session about how to screen print run by Ayesha Ansari, an enthusiastic community artist. I knew I wanted to make a stencil from one of P's photos, but Ayesha thought it was too small, so I added the house to it.

Screen printing is really fun. Ayesha's enthusiasm for it is catching! I'm glad I went to a session where I could try it out, because I've read about it but didn't understand the process until yesterday. The whole point of the screen is to hold the stencil in place. We just used thick paper for the stencils, but I can see how a plastic one would be more durable. I'm now wondering about using confetti, leaves or feathers; and could you use a thick screen, like a bit of hessian, to have a patterned painted section?

It is tempting to buy some basic equipment, but I think I need to let the ideas brew for a while. Lots of other stuff in the pipe already, but if I can find space for a screen in my craft area I suspect it will go on my wish list.

And for the buscraft report: I've now roughed out 11 pages, but finding it very slow. I hadn't realised how mentally taxing the layout of the comic book would be, and honestly, I'm just not at my sharpest first thing in the morning or right after work. Twice I've thought I should just put it away and try something else, but then had fresh ideas and made progress with the comic again. Frustrating. I'm going to stick at it this week (just 4 days) and maybe next weekend try to finish this stage off.

Sunday 10 May 2009

This comic writing malarkey

Tuesday to Thursday, I did rough sketches of seven consecutive pages, Friday I did nothing, and today I've decided that pages 4-7 are too rough and need re-sketched. I'm also flummoxed about how to show an aerial battle scene. Also, the comic is going to be much shorter than I originally thought.

As a buscraft, the open A5 ring binder is just a bit big- I held it so it was sticking out into the aisle by accident one morning. There's no way to draw or write neatly, but my scribbles are recognizable to me. I'm not sure if I'll ever develop them into tidy drawings, but it would be possible.

Note- here's my not-ill-gotten gains:

art goodies

It doesn't look like much, but that's £104 of art supplies and stuff. I'm making a note here, because I'm curious about how long it will take for me to use any of it.

Monday 4 May 2009

Almost there...

finished rag bag

A suitable title for a Star Wars Day post, but it also refers to my progress on the DIY Weaving Club Rag Bag project. The buscrafting bit is done, and the basic bag is complete, but I still need to do a lining. Will I ever get around to that?

The weaving was a good craft for the bus. Bits of learning:

  • it's easier to get the shuttle through if there's not too much yarn wound on it, this is more important as the weaving reaches the top and there's  less play in the warp

  • near the top of the weaving, basically the bit that goes up over the comb, using the chip fork to lift individual warps and then shove the weft thread underneath was much easier than trying to put the chip fork through a shed

  • weave up to the top as much as possible- I left too much of a gap and ended up filling it after taking the loops off the comb (I suppose if I had used a really thick string or length of fabric, it would have worked alright without in-filling)

  • people are nervous of sticks waving around

  • string falls out of upturned carrier bags

Now that the weaving is complete, I'm going to try something different: drawing a comic book. I'm tired of thinking that I can't draw well enough to do the style of comic I'd like to. It discourages me from drawing at all. So, I'm going to take my sketch book on the bus, and just have a bash at it. The idea is that there's no way to draw neatly on a bus that's jostling its way through rush hour traffic, therefore the pressure to draw neatly disappears! I'll be lucky to have anything recognizable at the end of the journey, but anything I do will be better than just feeling bad about not being able to draw how I want to.

And I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the fabric crafting that I've built up. Joyce at the Embroiderers Guild was advising finishing one thing before starting another. Awfully good advice.