Friday, 29 February 2008

Black Gesso Sampler

This is my foray into useing black gesso. I attended a workshop with Josie Storey and the idea was to embed string, net, scrunched up fabrics etc in gesso, on a cheap and cheerful canvas.

I had done this myself before but knew I would pick something new up and enjoy the workshop experience in any case.

Josie is a enjoyable tutor and was kind enough to let me use her black gesso, something I hadn't played with before!

I covered the canvas with a liberal coating of the gesso, sprinkled on some small squares of cut vertical blinds and then brushed over them too, with the gesso.

The canvas is about 8" x 6" and the squares were about 1 cm ..... (you work the math out!!)

I dry brushed Stewart Gill paint onto the small higgledy-piggledy squares to get that irridescance.......reminiscent of the gleam on fresh bacon! (apologies to the vegetarians amongst us ) Then I lightly painted on a clear sparkly top coat paint, from the DIY store, a much better buy!

The flower I made from fine voile and dampened, moulded, sinamey and hand stitched it into place. The central 'stamens' are simply grouped bunches of embroidery threads and silvery thread interspersed within. Afew silvery cross stitches amongst the background and it felt finished.

So give that black gesso a try next time you see it on the store shelf!

And the small squares of vertical blind? I got them at our local 'Scrapstore', which is an Aladins Cave of clean industrial waste materials for Clartists like me.....Oh! and the various member groups like Play Groups and Schools, Child Minders, Community Clubs etc.

Find out if you have one within striking distance!

I enjoy making up these books, especially knowing that a teachers aide will assist a child to appreciate an authors narrative and hopefully enjoy 'reading' a book.
Something we with sight, take so much for granted of course.
Most of the children I make these resources for are pre school or early years, some are in special schools with other health issues as well, but most are integrated, successfully, within state schooling.
I am employed by the Council and count myself as very lucky to do this for a living.

I have written original stories myself, and have tactile copies with Grade 1 Braille, which are for sale upon request. They should however always be used under strict adult supervision. Since we all know how innovative small children are at swallowing things they shouldn't, or sticking things in their ears or up noses!
I take no responsibility for unsupervised use!

Most recently I dressed a Barbie doll in period costume, simulating the pantaloons, chemise, corset, underskirt, day dress, button boots and shawl that Florence Nightingale might have worn.
I also recreated a tactile copy of the Florence Nightingale Medal awarded to Nurses for bravery beyond the call of duty.
All to ensure a child with no sight, could take something other than verbal information from a lesson.
I make what a peripetetic teacher feels might enable a child under their care, to access the curriculum easier. If I can think laterally and devise and make something 'outside the box', as it were, then that's a great challenge for me and I have the satisfaction of knowing it may well help that child understand and hopefully enjoy a lesson.

I'm making cvc word dominoes at the moment, so it's a varied workload!

Daily work

My daily job is simply wonderful for someone who loves to craft.

I devise and make tactile learning resources for visually impaired children primarily.

These could be anything from a 3D model of a volcano to a tactile version, with braille, of a particular book.

I must say, I can only make a tactile and brailled version of any book, because a specific child is in need of an accessible version of that book, for educational reasons.

Copyright being what it is, I would not be able to just make a copy and say sell it!

I make an alternative version of books that are being used in a classroom, where one of our supported pupils is being taught. That child may have no vision at all and have no braille skills or possibly have slight or distorted vision. So each version made is specific for that childs use in class. So they have the opportunity to follow the story, by touch and with braille text to read, in some cases.

The pictures here show the kind of thing I do......this is the delightful story,

'One Bear at Bedtime' by Mick Inkpen and the book's illustrations are so wonderful.

I try very hard to honour the illustrators artwork and in practice, the sighted children within the class, also get the benefit of the tactile version, which I like to think, re-inforces the authors story.

liniecat at large . . .

Okay, so I have taken the plunge and started a blog . . . despite saying I would never need one, have time for one . . . and what was the point of one anyway.
(Whose a Smart Arse now then? Yes, point taken. lol)
So dear folks, if you pop in , this is ME!

Who am I?
I'm in 'muddleage' but quick witted, and not-that-half-daft a woman, who has had a fascinating life, been round the world twice and many off route places in between . . is happy in her own company ( especially since divorce, sadly)
and mother of two wonderful offspring.

I'm a 'Creative'.
Not an alien life form no, rather a person who HAS to make things.
I HAVE to, I don't choose to exactly. It's an intuitive need within me, that's been there, fermenting away since I was a lonely, only child.
Creativity is, I have come to realise, my Companion, my Therapy and my Muse
and as far as company goes . . . I am thankful for it's inspiring companionship.

So bear with me, Dear Reader, for I am learning as I go and will divulge as I progress no doubt, so you get to see the Creative within.
This Blog is to show and tell I suppose really . . . settle down Paparazzi . . .
I was thinking more of showing my crafts and achievements lol
along with the inevitable things that went wrong along the way, I'm sure too!


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