Sunday, 9 June 2013

DIY craquelure. Part 2

This post will be mainly of application - how to apply the products I talked about in my previous post.

At first some general rules: - the smoother the surface the better the cracks. I do not mean "bigger" but more beautiful natural shape of cracks;

- the dryer the first-step product the smaller the cracks;

- the thicker the layer of the second-step ptoduct the bigger the cracks.

I think this they are applicable to most of products, not only my DIY stuff.

How to apply the first step:

- if it's a shellac you need at least 3 coats (I do 4)evenly applied with a brush (I use fine fan brush). You can use a sponge but it's a waste of product, from my point of view. All coats except the very last one should be dry before next application. The last coat should be "touch sticky", i.e. slightly sticky to touch.

- if it's a gold size you need one coat (I do 2)evenly applied with a brush (I use fine fan brush). The coat should be dry. It will become transparent (initialy it's milky white) and very sticky.

How to apply the second step.

When you're done with the first product you can apply gum arabic. Usually I just pour a little of it on the surface and start to spread it with my fingers.

Important: gum arabic should be spread very evenly without bald patches! It takes time (up to a few minutes!) but you should keep going until you are sure that it's done properly and you feel that gum arabic become a bit thicker and you could not move you fingers that easily.

Now you will leave everything to dry. For how long - it depends on:

- the dryness of the first-step layers;

- the thickness of all layers;

- the temperature and humidity.

Usually I can't have it overdone!

As for myself I leave it over night and then start to check. Sometimes the cracks are so fine they are hardly visible, you need to turn your object and look at it from different angles. If you've waited for more then 2 days without success you can apply artificial heat - hair dryer, put it on the radiator or on the sunny windowsill...

Suppose we got them and now we need to hightligh them, make them more visible.

If it's shellac as a first step - I use artistic oil paint. I rub it gently over the surface, remove excess and leave for a while (30 min or 1 hour). Then I gently wash the gum arabic out, let it dry a bit and varnish.

If it's a gold size as a first step - you need to use powdery substances, like pigment powder, dry pastel or even eye shadow of your choosed colour. I usually work with dry pastel or golden pigment.You need to be very carefull, rub it very gently over the surface, remove excess and gently wash the gum arabic out, let it dry a bit and varnish.

These are very general rules! I strongly advise you to start with samples, try to dry the layers various times and choose what you like most. I hope to make the third part of this DIY course, more detailed and with some tips and advices.

Until then ask any question!

Friday, 7 June 2013

DIY craquelure. Part 1

I've got a letter from a Canadian girl with some questions about the ways of creating cracklings without using special products. As I promiced - this is "How I do it"! If you are an experienced crafter you know that there are a lot of products which allow you to create large cracks. It' usually a two step system of Italian, German or East-European makes, Maimeri is the most popular, I think. There is a variety of such products in Europe now due to popularity of decoupage.

maimeri idea craquele varnish medium for decorat

Unfortunately I could not get them here in Britain, not on a permanent basis anyway. So I tried to find some substitutions. There are two. As the first step I use the products which contains spirit solution of shellac. In my case it's a sanding sealer with shellac in it from DIY/hardware shop. This is an exact product I use on the picture:

11883 39262 ml

As a second step I use a gum arabic solution (for watercolour!) from any art shop.

WC Gum Arabic 75ml 2

The second pair is - a water-based gold size (sticky substance for gilding with gold/silver leaf) as a first step (some art shop or Internet shopping) and a gum arabic again. The product on the picture is just an example of how this water-based gold size looks like.


My next post will be about how to use them. Any questions are welcome!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Watering Can "A Rose Garden"

The most of watering cans I decorate are of small size, less than 3 litre capacity, more suitable for watering houseplants or to use in the conservatory or greenhouse. But sometimes I work with a watering can of proper size!

This is proper 9 litre watering can for a garden. The only problem is that if it's left outside for a too long time especially in cold and rainy weather the decoration could be damaged. I put a lot of effort in protecting it with many layers of hard wearing varnish and still I warn castomers not to leave it outside after use.

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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Stone Jars

Everyone likes textures and there are plenty of way creating textured surfaces. This is my share!

I worked with two traditional terracotta jars and made them to look like the old stone ones. At least, I hope they look like that!

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This is an extra-close up.

Pict 020a

Here there is more country style:

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Classical Planter

I was away for a week and could not show some latest works that time.

Initially whole this planter was of coppery colour like inside. Very classical feel which I tried to highlight with classical roses images.

Pict 1454

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A box and a box

I am not good with boxes. They are "not my cup of tea", "not my strong side", "not my line", not me! But! I still have plenty of blanks of different sizes and shapes and want to get rid of them, so here we are - new boxes:

Pict 1440a

To keep the gardening theme the second one is a seed box:

Pict 1435 Pict 1435a

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A few little things

Not exactly "a few", just two, sorry!

This little watering can is going to be the last in the serie because it's my last blank of such type.

Pict 1404b

The pail is a bit out of season with autumn theme but I like the napkin so much I couldn't help myself!

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Missed Trug

Last summer I made quite a few (three actually) trugs and shown some but not all apparently...

This one was left behind and I've found out it just now! So here it is! I am not happy with pictures, but I can't make new ones, all thrugs are long gone...

ATr1 2 ATr1 2a

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

It seems overly decorated but everyone might want to make something different occasionally!

And no single crackling, have you noticed?

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Antique GlassHouse

Spring' got lost somewhere... We got snow yesterday and today! It's mid of March! Anyway, it will come eventually and I try to be prepared with all these watering cans, pot holders and the like. Here we are:

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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Watering Can "Yorkshire Coast"

I saw it in a shop in Moscow (very funny!) and could not help buying it - this decoupage paper with vintage posters of Yorkshire coastal resorts and GNR (Great Northern Railway)!

Because they are vintage images the style was obviously vintage and I've choosen various shades of bluish grey. I like it myself actually, a rare occasion...

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Leftovers of festive times

Sorry for the long absence! And many thanks to those of you who sent me lovely letters of concern about my well-being! I am truly touched!

But back to business.

After hectic Christmas time I've found some wooden boards and hearts already primed and decided to finish them instead of just putting them in the loft.

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They might be just ornamental pieces or some decorative hooks, like that:

Pict 1204 Pict 1208 Pict 1207

I think you've noticed that I usually decorate back sides of my objects as well, not only fronts. I know some might consider it waste of time, but I saw many times customers turning objects upside down and looking at the bottom/back of them. What they were looking for? I've no idea, but at least there would be no disappointment - everything is nice and clean!

Do you have different opinion?