Friday, June 6, 2014

Steampunk ... still steaming along

Yesterday my friend Mary Ann Russo and I took over her two-car garage for a day of art-making.  (Her husband is a saint for letting us use the space this way, while the cars sit in the driveway collecting pollen!) 

Mary Ann and I were launched into this particular project by a Jane Davies video we had watched --

The India ink is brayered onto synthetic sheets (Yupo), then dried slightly, then spattered with water  (or a water-ammonia mix) and scraped with a squeegee.  Another technique is to draw into the ink with different tools and again scrape down over the surface with the squeegee.  It's a subtractive (also called reductive) art process -- covering a surface with color and then selectively removing color. 
Typically, Mary Ann followed Jane's directions, while I went off on a tangent -- I used India inks in colors, rather than just the black; and when I fell in love with the look of the inks brayered across the white Yupo, I balked at spraying and scraping away some of the color.
Overall, I wasn't happy with my results, but then I have always had a hard time getting what I like from Yupo.  I plan to use all of the results as substrates for making monoprints using the Gelli Plate.  That's what MA and I will be doing next week.
Meanwhile, when I got home, I chose one of the Yupo sheets for going a little farther with the subtractive/reductive technique.  I simply covered it with one of my 9"X12" stencils -- Steampunk -- and sprayed a bunched-up paper towel with Windex; I was careful not to soak the paper towel because that would have caused "run-under" (also called "roll-under") -- which can blur the stencil design so much that it's barely recognizable in the end-product.
Holding the stencil in place with one hand, I rubbed with the Windex-wet paper towel to clean out the open areas of the stencil.  When I lifted the stencil afterward, the results are what you see at the start of this post.
I'm not knowledgeable in the book arts arena of art-making, but I think Yupo, being a form of sturdy plastic, can be used to make covers for these handmade books, with the help of a punch strong enough to puncture it with holes along one edge. 
In my hands, Yupo -- easy to cut yet impossible to tear -- goes into collages and onto the faces of greeting cards.

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