Sunday, 28 June 2009

particles in chocolate brown

For a long time now I've been wanting to put part of a screen print design I did a months ago on fabric. And yesterday I did! Introducing: particles in chocolate brown ink on natural Indian cotton. I don't have a professional set up at home so this was quite a challenge. Since my previous print on paper had been made with a hand cut paper stencil that had the lifespan of just that one printing session I had to hand cut the stencil for particles again. Mixing the ink for the exact shade of chocolate brown took longer than I expected. These pics make the ink look black but it's a delicious, dare I say very edible shade of chocolate brown.
And because the Indian cotton I printed on is in a lovely natural shade I'm quite excited about how well the chocolate brown sits on it. I printed about 2 metres of fabric using the placement method of screen printing which took a while as I had to take care not to smudge wet ink I'd just printed. I'd like to use the fabric to make a shirt for summer based on the design of one I already have. Or even some simple serviettes. Now if I only had a sewing machine and could sew!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

sculptured loveliness

Cross Poly-nate by Emma Davies

Generations by Annee Miron

I've had a funny couple of days. I'm blaming my strange, foggy mood on the winter solstice. Thank goodness the days start getting longer in our part of the world from tomorrow onwards. I don't mind winter but I do mind how late the sun rises at this time of year.

So to try and shake the winter funk out of my mind I went and submerged myself in sculpture. The top pic is a gorgeous piece by sculptor Emma Davies who works with found polypropylene, mostly in the form of discarded woven vegetable bags, creating the most incredibly beautiful forms. Her work is currently being shown at Craft Victoria.

And yesterday at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery I happened upon Annee Miron's installation/sculpture (pic 2) 'generations'. Made from beaten metal, it shimmers as it hangs along the old warehouse wall. Jackie Ralph also has incredible sand sculpture of a giant horse in the same gallery. Go see.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

crusty matters

I have flowerpress to thank for this little piece of baking inspiration: my very first loaf of bread. The 'no knead' type made famous by Jim Lahey from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NY. It's so easy even I can make it. The trick is to plan ahead to give it enough time to work its magic (without you doing any work). For me that meant some simple maths: 18 hours of sitting plus 2+ more hours of sitting (the bread that is, not me) plus 45 mins in the oven = I need to make the dough about 5pm the day before I want it ready. And you also need to have a cast iron pot to cook it in the oven with (mine is a Le Creuset in cobalt blue - the colour is important you know ;)

It tastes really good too. I chose to roll it in a bit of polenta at the end which is why it looks a bit grainy and this gives it a subtle roasted corn smell too which is wonderful. I think I could even get the hang of it and bake bread on a regular basis. Oh and the recipe is Jim's too. He shared it with the NY Times about 3 years ago because he wants people to know how it easy it is to make gorgeous crusty bread at home. Now how lovely is that?

Sunday, 7 June 2009

lines & shapes

Some lines and shapes from the past few days.

1. the Convent Gallery roof, Daylesford, Victoria.
2. lichen, Daylesford, Victoria.
3. networks, woodblock print

Friday, 5 June 2009

head stories

Martha would be so proud - I bought a scone cutter the other day so I can now make round ones. I have a feeling I'll be making a lot of these over winter.

If you ever have trouble getting to sleep because you suffer from 'busy head' as I sometimes do try this: think of things that happened that day that you're grateful for. Even little things like 'I'm grateful it didn't rain while I was riding my bike to work' or 'I'm grateful the soup I made tasted ok'. I know it sounds a bit like psycho-babble (and I'm not usually much a fan of anything in that range, ask anyone I know) but you'd be amazed at what you can list. And then it has this wonderful ability to make you feel all calm and happy and peaceful. Then zap, before you know it you're asleep. Try it and tell me if it works for you.