Found Poem-Mixed Media Workshop Highlights!

What fun!  I was honored and thrilled to present a found poem-mixed media workshop here in Beaufort last week, downtown at Coastal Art Supply, just a block from my studio. We had a full table with nine folks, with lots of earnest creating and snips of scissors. (This was a more intimate version of the Found Poem Makerspace workshop I presented in Bellingham, Washington, in the fall of 2016 with a few dozen children’s poets and other brave creative souls. Revisit that link for more of the step-by-step process.)

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Our text for finding poems, also serving as our substrate (surface) were Edu-cards from the 1960s or so.  I offered a choice of “shell” or “butterfly,” with complementary vintage bookplates, postage stamps, and bits of stamped brass bling. Of course, the actual subject of the poem and visual elements were up to each artist!  That’s the fun part.  The art (made in just two hours!) was tucked into a 5X7 mat, ready to pop into a frame.

Jill made this gorgeous piece:

©Jill W.

©Jill W.

take a hike

in the spring encountering

Every roadway while

butterflies

rise in clouds

Being strong intelligent

they have 

ability

are

successful

©Jill W.

Yes!  Butterflies as strong and successful!

Jill and Sierra creating mixed media magic!

Jill and Sierra create mixed media magic!

For her collage, Jill’s daughter Sierra conjured up WONDER, from an Edu-card with text about a shell.  (I’m featuring this poem over on my author blog for Poetry Friday, too!)

©Sierra W.

©Sierra W.

WONDER

grace    beauty   perfect

strange

oriental

But, let’s stop and think.  Maybe it is

a builder

for 

ideas.

©Sierra W.

I just love that – and the cool tones and mysterious palette Sierra chose to illustrate it.

Kim Poovey reads her found poem as her mom, Karen, adds finishing touches..

Kim Poovey reads her found poem as her mom, Karen, adds finishing touches..

I was thrilled to have Kim Poovey, author and historic reenactress, join the party!  She came with her creative mother, Karen. In fact, we ended up with three mother-daughter sets – an extra fun element to our creative afternoon. Can you tell Kim is a novelist from her workshop piece below? She picked some lovely language, including “…winged creatures/fairies arising/ nightly wanderings/Luna glow….”

©Kim Poovey

©Kim Poovey

Here’s one last sample from the day – ALL of the pieces were unique and beautiful! This colorful creation is from Mikka Dutton:

©Mikka Dutton

©Mikka Dutton

I love that Mikka included the “From the Library Of” part of the bookplate(!) and followed that with some sassy introductory lines and images – “one courtly/highly prized/”hard to get”/as well…..”

I am always surprised and delighted by what folks come up with, and it’s magical to me to see individual personalities shine through the choices of words, elements, colors, and the particular combinations of all of these.

MANY thanks to all of our afternoon creators – and thank you for letting me share your work.  Thanks also for asking if I would offer another workshop sometime – I am DEFINITELY game!  :0) If you’d like me to keep your email address handy for info about future classes, toss me a line at Robyn@artsyletters.com

Art Workshop! Found Poem / Mixed Media class March 23 in downtown Beaufort, SC

 

Art Workshop with Robyn Hood Black of artsyletters March 2018 flyer 600 X 840

Want to learn fun tips and techniques to create a one-of-a-kind collage?  In this two-hour workshop, we’ll use vintage elements to make a found poem/mixed media piece matted to 5X7 and ready to frame.  Take what you learn with you to make more fun art on your own!  Several customers have asked for fun artsy-crafty class, and I’m delighted to offer this as my first class in Beaufort.

No experience required – just an interest in words, art, imagination, and magical creations.  I’ll supply scissors and adhesives & such in addition to all components.

Date:  March 23, 2018

Time:  1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Location:  Coastal Art Supply, 216 West Street, Beaufort, SC

Cost:  $35 includes all materials.  $15 deposit, refundable until March 22.  Sign up at Coastal Art Supply or with Robyn – robyn@artsyletters.com or 770-654-8104

(Minimum number of attendees required; maximum number of 10.)

What’s in store?  It will be a more intimate version of the workshop I offered in Bellingham, Washington, just over a year ago.  Click HERE for the blog post about it, including links to posts from participants!

Hope to see you there,

Robyn

Magnet Making Unmasked! (Holiday How-To)

 

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The magnets in my Etsy shop are pretty simple in design, but there are many steps and layers involved!  Here’s a peek behind the scenes of my latest line of letter magnets.

Lately I’ve been enchanted with verdigris, the gorgeous blue-green patina taken on by copper over time.  I wanted to create a background texture which suggests it. If I make mixed media backgrounds with regular art paper, I prepare it with a layer of gesso first.  For this project, I skipped that step by using Canson’s Canva-Paper, which has a linen texture and is pre-primed.

For loose “reference,” I simply brought up some Google images on my phone by typing in “verdigris.”  This is what I had finished on my drawing table a short while later:

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Now, because I liked the effect and wanted to remember how I made it, I took this shot below of the supplies I used – my recipe to refer back to.  I first mixed metallic copper paint liberally with acrylic gloss medium and painted big swaths across the blank paper.  When that was dry, I started painting the blues and greens (also with liberal gloss added!), and some metallic silvery white – letting layers dry or mostly dry in-between. Unless I wanted some scrunchy texture, which I made by blotting areas with a rubber-y square made for loosening jar lids, or humble wadded-up paper towels.  Oh, and I did a dab or two with a page from an old Italian wallpaper book as well.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I painted 2-inch by 2-inch canvas board squares with metallic copper acrylic paint (Amsterdam).  It didn’t go on as smoothly as the craft black I always use, but I just doubled up on the front sides. You can find the mini canvas panels at local arts and craft stores, or online.

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I always paint the backs first, and lay out everything on wax paper to inhibit sticking of stray drips.  When the paint is dry, I glue on a strong ceramic magnet.  (And my little logo piece.)  Hint:  I discovered a trick to helping the magnet “hold” while it’s curing – let it dry on a metal tray!  It will stay right on that little square board, attracted to the metal underneath. Cookie trays work, or any flat metal surface lurking about.

After these set up, I painted the back with a layer of acrylic gloss medium.Then, yep, more drying.

Then, I flipped those babies over and painted all the fronts with the copper paint.

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Then they had to dry.  Sigh.

When my verdigris sheet was dry, I used deckle-edged paper stamps to make 1.75-inch squares.  I usually have to find these stamps used online.  But it beats trying to cut each edge with special scissors.

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When the magnet tops were dry, I glued on each lovely textur-y square.

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And, added ANOTHER layer of gloss medium on top, being sure sides were coated all the way around as well.

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Then – you guessed it – they had to D-R-Y.

Before I even started on all of this, though, I had rustled up some wonderful metal letters made out West by an artisan/fellow Etsian, distressed to look really old.  (The letters, not the gentleman.  Well, I assume not the gentleman.) I had bought a few alphabets’ worth a while back.  I do love the rust, but figured magnet recipients might not enjoy the powdery iron-y mess, so… acrylic gloss to the rescue again.  I painted all the backs and let the letters dry overnight on wax paper, and then painted all the fronts the next day. And let them dry!

So my letters were shiny-rusty.  (Same treatment for some small metal stars I had also purchased.)

When EVERYTHING was dry, I attached each letter to a prepared magnet and kept it flat while the glue dried.

Finally… Voilà!

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ETSY letters verdigris smallc

To adapt this adventure for a holiday gift-giving project, you can simplify it, of course.  If working with kids, be mindful of adhesives and fumes and choose non-toxic materials.  Young creators can make letters or any designs out of cardstock, or they might enjoy clipping items from old texts or magazines to recycle.

No time to make your own?  Well, that’s why I’m here! ;0)

Feel free to peruse lots of new magnets in my Etsy shop. Go on, let them pull you in…
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Happy Thanksgiving!  This Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, any order of $25 or more in my Etsy shop ships FREE! :0)

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

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Many thanks to ALL the teachers of the world!

If you need a creative “thank you” for your favorite teacher, I have a few items in my Etsy shop, including TWO ready-made gifts packs! The brand-new Teacher Gift Pack features my apple and books note cards (8 blank cards & envelopes), a hearty pewter shepherd’s hook bookmark with apple and book charms, and a handcrafted magnet with an authentic mid-century postage stamp celebrating education.

The TEACHERS RULE pack includes my apple and books note cards, TEACHERS RULE glossy cardstock bookmark with tassle, a handcrafted TEACHERS RULE magnet, and a 6-inch ruler, just for fun.

Items in the gift packs are also sold separately.

Learn more about UNESCO World Teachers’ Day here.  And, if you’re reading this, thank a teacher! :0)

Shark Week Fun – Limited Edition Gift Pack for Shark Fans!

 

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Today the USPS issued some beautiful new Forever postage stamps, right in the middle of Shark Week.  I’ve tucked them into a limited edition gift pack with my shark note cards (commercially printed from an original hand-tinted woodblock print) and added a fun little metal bookmark with a vintage pewter shark tooth charm.  DSC02775 c

Lots of charm.  Lots of tooth….  Click here to check out! ;0)

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Library Card Catalog Cards! & Vintage “Found Poem” Valentine…

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‘Tis the Season of Love… and I love some new adventures in the studio making greeting cards from altered vintage library card catalog cards!  Depending on the year of your birth, you may or may not wax nostalgic about those big, clunky, glorious card catalog files which used to be a fixture in every library.  Sighhh.  Swooon.

I’m always on the hunt for vintage items and ephemera to re-purpose into found poem art.  (Click here for a post about a workshop I led at Poetry Camp a few months ago if you’d like to see some details about the process.) When I stumbled into purchasing a big batch of catalog cards which used to live in an elementary school library, my heart skipped a beat.  While most of these don’t easily offer up a found poem possibility, some do!  (I’ll use the others in something else, I’m sure.)

I first tested this project with a Poem Postcard Exchange  with my Poetry Friday crowd over at my author blog. The exchange was organized by Jone MacCulloch, and I posted about the cards I received here and here.

I made five different cards to send out by 1.) “antiquing” the edges of thick Stonehenge paper with inks, 2.) carving and printing a “back” for the postcard:

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DSC09183 postcard back print p

3.) picking out phrases from the catalog cards to highlight as found text (the words covered up here by adhesive strips of sticky notes):

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and 4.) painting glossy washes over the words, 5.) removing the sticky note strips, and 6.) adhering the cards to the front of the postcards. Oh – and I used this great little antique key to print its shape onto the cards.

I completely forgot to take a picture of any of the finished ones, so Jone kindly sent me a photo of the one I sent to her!

20170205_172612 my postcard i sent to jone 2017 her pic ADJ sm

Jone writes haiku, as I do, so I thought she’d enjoy the haiku-like vibe of this one.

I’ve made a few recent cards for family and friends, and employed this catalog card idea. Then I decided it would be fun to find one that might lend itself to being a Valentine, or at least a romantic card, above.  Here’s a closeup of the text:

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For fun, I attached a vintage library card pocket inside, and tucked in a blank vintage check-out card for a personal message:

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DSC09233 magnet valentine library card cThe illustration on this card was clipped from the February 1927 issue of Country Life.

   

I had time to make one more before leaving for the day:

LIFE a poem library card card c

 

This one reads:

 

LIFE – 

a poem

of

wanderings,

wilderness

family,

and

Stories

 

It’s topped off with an illustration clipped from a McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader (1920).

And, yes, it’s hiding away a vintage blank check-out card in a vintage paper pocket, too:

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These cards are made with Strathmore textured paper and come with matching envelopes.  At 5 X 7, they can be easily framed if desired. They’re in my Etsy shop, and I’ll be making more, for sure. :0)

Thanks for visiting, and wishing you love for Valentine’s Day and all days!