Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Too late!

That's it everything on hold until ... well, 2015 I suppose.

Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Whoa! Slow down!

The run up to Christmas seems be going faster than ever, this year! I haven't got any presents sorted out, all my organisation has gone to pot!

I'm putting the finishing touches to the next newsletter, as well as trying to be useful in the arrangements for next year's BADFA convention. The convention will be at Lydiard House Conference Centre near Swindon. it is a beautiful listed building set in park land. An ideal place to be inspired. It will be on the weekend of 23/24 May. Full details will be in the newsletter.

I might even put forward a project for the members' delectation!

This edition of the newsletter will be in a different format. I will be using Joomag's publishing site which should give the readers a better 'page turning' experience.

More to follow - but I must get Christmas sorted!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Airbrush renaissance

Postie has delivered my airbrush spares. The Paasche VL that has been in store for ... some years has been cleaned serviced, and now the new bits are here, it's ready to go.
The compressor has a new moisture trap and regulator, and runs like a dream. All I need is time. But the weekend is nearly here and I should be able to fit a couple of hours ... at least.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine ...

August 1972, where was I? Oh, yes ... let's move on.

Fast forward to September 2014 - The Decorative Folk Artist, Summer edition, has just been published. All you BADFA members, check your inboxes. It seems strange to be including Christmas projects, but by the time the next edition goes out it will almost be too late.

Other news is that I am offering my services as artist/instructor again (after many, many years) to encourage others to take on the teaching of decorative arts. And, I am pleased to have been accepted as a member of the DecoArt Helping Artist Program (see side bar for link).

More news to get our teachers out there is in the newsletter - join BADFA and get your issue!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Finishing off

Last time I was mulling over the prospect of a little trompe l'oeil in the hall, but I must finish what I have started before I move on to a new project.

Nearly a year ago I started to convert an old, rather boring, uplighter, into a steampunk 'domestic illumination tower'. I made good progress on the dismantling, preparation and early construction phases, but the annual BADFA convention, and summer got in the way.

The 'after' photo
But ...  'tis done!
The 'before' photo
Today, the finishing touches were added. Quite a mix of techniques were used; compression fittings, pipe bending, sheet copper work, electrical soldering. There were some arty bits, too. Faux copper finish in acrylics, and distress inks, and blending.

The full story will appear in the next edition of The Decorative Folk Artist, due out early in September. Here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite.

My next piece will use more traditional methods; paint and brushes.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Spring News letter, and a new idea

The BADFA Spring edition has been sent out, via email and snail mail, so all members should be happy bunnies. They will be soaking up the scenes from the convention, wishing that they had made the effort to turn up.

Although I haven't produced anything vaguely artistic for a while, the stash of stock that has been lurking in the garage has started to make its way to the conservatory. This means I may paint something soon.

The steampunk uplighter has made a little progress, but not enough to get excited about, but what really needs to be itched is the urge to get a trompe l'oeil done. I've got just the spot on the landing - I just have to get the right theme ...

... or perhaps knock a hole in the plaster.
Found at -

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Da Bling! Nah wat ah meen?

The Studio
Back from Bodmin with a bag of stash!
We spent the day with Julia Rai, of Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery on an introduction to Metal Clays day. What a fascinating medium to work with.
Julia's studio is spacious and well laid out. There are loads of finished items on display, to whet your appetite and get your creativity flowing. After an introduction to the medium, the methods and a little history we set to work.

The pack we worked with contained 5g of the product (we used another 5g after lunch), sufficient for a large-ish pendant, or a pair of earrings. We were shown how to prepare, shape and tidy our pieces. They were dried, checked for finish then fired.
Because our pieces were fairly small, it was not necessary to fire them in a kiln, we could achieve the desired result with a blow lamp - the same type that would crisp up the topping on a creme brûlée.

The piece was quickly quenched, then the final burnishing and polishing was done - et voila! Silver jewellery, ready to wear!
Thank you to Julia for a fascinating day, and some new skills. There is much more to learn and we will be going back for some advanced training later in the year. 
If you fancy learning how to use this fairly recent innovation visit Cornwall School of Art, Crafts and Jewellery; and for inspiration, Julia's own site.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Jewellery making

Picture: Metal clay pendant by Denise Chan - Creative Commons
To get all that creativeness flowing before the convention on 31 May, my dearly beloved and I are off to Devon to try our hand at jewellery making - with a difference.

We are going to spend a day using metal clay - a combination of precious metal powder and a binder. Once formed, the piece is fired in a kiln, or heated with a blow torch, to fuse the particles and burn off the binder. Apparently it been around since the early 90s, and was developed in Japan.

I'll get some pictures to show you how we get on.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Convention badges

Somehow I got volunteered to produce the badges for those who go to the convention this year. Traditionally they have always been hand made - well, you would expect that from a bunch of talented artists, wouldn't you. Well this year it's me and I've got to get 120 dome before the end of May.
Tempus Fugit - Time flys

Actually I'm not doing too bad. I've got 80 done, so it's all downhill from here. It's a secret design, so you'll have to be there to find out what they look like.

Have you heard? There are a couple of places left in some of the classes, and if there are some non-members out there, who would like to spend the day with Andy Skinner, there is a chance you could pick up a place for a special, birthday price. Contact BADFA for more information.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

BADFA Convention

Looks like the booking forms for the convention are out!

Should be a great event this year, specially with Andy Skinner as the main attraction.

Better dash over to the BADFA blog to pick up the links.

See you in Crick!

Friday, 21 February 2014

It's out!

The Winter newsletter is out. E-zine version and CDs are with the members. You're not a member? Then you'll miss out.

Now we are concentrating on the annual convention. Our current focus is on getting the classes sorted. Saturday there will be a choice of four, and Sunday there will be our special event. No details yet - but you will want to be there!

Keep visiting the BADFA blog for the latest news - remember, places will be on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Winter Newsletter

Tempus fugit! Doesn't it just.
Time flies!
The Winter edition of the Decorative Folk Artist is coming together nicely, and should be published early in February.

I've put a couple of my own articles in, this time, just to give the readers a little variety. Well, with any organisation, it's always the same people who do all the work, submit all the articles. So instead of just editing - I contributed.

What are the articles about? Well, the first one is about a project I'm in the middle of, and the second is about … join BADFA and find out. You'll get a copy for free, then you'll know won't you!