Sunday, January 18, 2009

Floorcloth Process

Here is a quick look at the processing of the floorcloth once the main art work is done, and its all varnished....I use the trim and seal method of finishing the edges. Traditionally, the edges of floorcloths were folded over to form a hem and either sewn (18th century style) or glued. This results in a raised area all around the floorcloth. I don't think it's as clean a look, and over time the raised area can get scuffed and look messy. I really like my method, the floorcloth lays flatter on the floor this way too. Trimming is nerve wracking work. The blade has to be very sharp, to make a clean cut. Any mistake, if the knife slips into the artwork part, cutting on the wrong side of the ruler ( I did that once a long time ago:ARGH!) are totally the end of the world. Its a good idea to be able to really concentrate on this job.

On a later post, I will explain and show the sealing part. For the moment, I am eager to get the new piece on the table and primed.....
I prime the stapled down "back" 3-4 times, and when its dry, turn the whole piece over stretch and staple it down and prime the ''front'', (art work side) 3-4 times too, and then begin to paint up the background for the artwork. The primer is a very flexible acrylic gesso, with lots of PVA in it...similar to what theatre stage scenic drops are made of. Theatre drops get rolled up and dropped down over and over, any paint work has to be able to stay put and flexible during all that activity. PVA based paints are used for many painted theatre props , so they can survive getting knocked about without too much chipping or cracking.
These same materials ensure floorcloths can be rolled up, and stay flexible, and adhere well to the floor surface.
And they really do hold up well. I have come to realize over the years that floorcloths painted in this way are extremely durable, and endure even heavy traffic, getting wet all over by weather or washing, and can be out of doors, (under cover, mainly to prevent fading of the artwork. )
Here is the the start of the companion floorcloth to the one just finished. It will go at the sink, in the kitchen. (Tile Project Revisited )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Floorcloth Of Two, Completed...Almost

The art work part is done, now I will protect it with 3-4 coats of satin (in this case) acrylic urethane. Then I will pull the staples and trim and seal the edges.
However, my main goal this weekend is to get this piece off the table and begin priming and painting the 2ND floorcloth in the set. These two floorcloths are going into a kitchen to match the tile back splash I painted last year.( Tile Project Revisited )
The floorcloths will be at the stove area, and at the sink, in a loose L shape arrangement. The fish turned out great. Walking on these floorcloths will be like walking on water (!).

Leaves float on the tranquil surface of the water.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tropical Fish Pond Floorcloth Continued....

This floorcloth is just about done...more pictures tomorrow!But here you can see the fish looking like they are pretty happy swimming around....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Here are the sketches for 2 floorcloths that will go in the kitchen that I did the lime green, seaside themed tile backsplash for...(See Blog Post June 8, 2008 : Tile Project Revisited )The canvas is primed, on both sides....And the work begins.....

More soon!!!
You can see previous floorcloth projects evolve step by step, by clicking the link to floorcloth (8) floorcloths (8) on the index list on the lefthand side of this blog.
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Just a little more pottery....?

This is a specially comissioned teapot, and will also be matched by a set of bowls later, probably in March when I get back to more pottery work I was particularly happy with the way the dragonflies turned out. I didnt want them to be heavy or "scientifically" real looking.

They are just stylised enough, and very expressive.

The colours on the teapot give it a vintage, 19th Century look I really like.
To fill up the kiln when I fired the cat tiles and the teapot, I painted a few large pieces and a handful more mugs with some rather exciting results.....
I love the graphic feel the colours and the thick enamel look of the glazing give these mugs.
This big jar was particularly fun to paint, and I am very happy how it turned out.

Its actually quite large, well, bulky anyhow...the pictures here make it look small. (?)

This platter is a commissioned piece, and is actually too large to fit into my kiln, its 18" long, I think. I will get it fired somewhere else.

When fired, the colours will look a lot like this bowl...

That is the end of a very very long pottery painting season.
Now I have floorcloth and fabric projects...however, when those are completed I will be doing more pottery, probably in the winter pottery frenzy spawned more commissions! Hurrah!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cat Portrait Tiles

Here is a set of 5 specially commissioned 8"x8" cat portraits on tiles.....oh yes, and a geometric one I did to fill up the tile stacker in the kiln!Click on the pictures to see them larger.
Here you can see the tiles before firing....And after....The likenesses are very good. I am amazed , and very pleased, at how well they turned out! Likeness is a tricky thing....

After...... Before....After....
I am startled at how much this looks like the real cat!!

Before firing.....

And after.

These tiles will join others installed on the walls of an outdoor patio; a veritable Rougue's Gallery of cats. Later, I will have pictures of that on this blog.
And also better, less blurry, pictures of these tiles...