4.05.2013

My favorite tools

In the midst of starting a new project today...clearing off a space on the dining room table...because I have no other work space left...I always make sure that I have my favorite tools at hand...and thought I would share them with you...

First a word about my new project...I spent a wonderful afternoon earlier this week brainstorming with my art friend Jody Cain of Latitude Studios...we are both vendors at the upcoming Farm Chicks show...she has been a vendor before so I wanted to pick her brain...and she wanted to pick mine for display ideas.  Its a godsend to have another like-minded artist to spark ideas...when I got home, I started to play with all sorts of stuff sitting on my office desk...piles of stuff that I know I want to do something with...but just not sure what...and I'm afraid that if I put it away someplace...well, its that "out of sight, out of mind" thing...

I have a box of MOO cards that I ordered last year...MOO is a printing company out of England that is changing the mindset that your business card needs to be a standard size and rather boring...with the cards I ordered, I screwed up my contact information (my fault - not theirs) but I still had 100 cards with my art images printed on them...what to do...



Somehow it came to me...a "eureka moment"...to group images together into a mini-collage...so after getting a pine board cut into pieces...and determining the sequence and layout...I'm on a roll...the boards will be painted and a coordinating piece of vintage paper will be the background for each collage...I'll share when they are completed...











Back to my tools...I like to keep it simple...
these 4 tools are my mainstay and I probably use them every time I'm creating...

1.  Sanding block




I sand everything...my wood "canvases" to smooth the edges before I start...the edges of my collage to remove any excess paper...the surface of my collage to soften and "age" the final image.  I keep two blocks in my studio - one loaded with a #120 grit paper for final sanding and one loaded with #60 grit paper for initial smoothing.  I love the feel of the rubber block while sanding...I get an even application of pressure when using a block as opposed to an uneven, random effect when you just grab a piece of sandpaper and try to sand with little to hold onto...














2.  Chip brushes



I love using a chip brush...especially when I'm applying my glue mixture...it just seems to carry the right amount of glue and spread it evenly.  They're not expensive...and sometimes I do have to pull a loose hair out of the glue or paint...but they are natural bristle - not polyester or nylon - so they perform so much better.  And because they are natural bristle, I can use them with either a water based or an oil based medium with no worry that the bristles will dissolve or melt...





3. & 4. Brayer & seam gauge



My hard rubber brayer was one of the first tools I bought 15 years ago when I started being serious about art and launched my company, four corners design...I bought it at a wonderful art supply store in Neal's Yard, London...I paid a pretty pound for it...but it has been indestructible.  I use it to smooth out papers, press a clean fold, or even apply a thin layer of paint for texture on a collage.

My metal seam gauge is a lifesaver...it helps me place a collage element into position without being crooked, it gives me an accurate measure that I can calibrate with the slide indicator and the flush straight edge is invaluable in giving a torn edge to paper...I'd be lost without it...







Now that's it for hand tools...some day I'll talk about power tools...
Do you have any favorites?  That one item that is essential to your work?  I'd love to know!

7 comments:

  1. What! No soldering iron! Tin snips? Sledge hammer!!! Just kidding!!!!

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  2. It's fun seeing what you use! I use a brayer a lot, too...foam brushes, canvases...

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  3. Hi Amy, As for a favorite tool, one item, hmm. It would have to be my Olfa rotary cutter. I have one for fabric and one for paper. Thanks for the suggestions on your use of a brayer. Looking forward to seeing your finished product. Blessings and smiles, Emilou :-)

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    Replies
    1. Emilou...I have a rotary cutter someplace...I guess I should find it and use it more often!

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  4. I will be vintage trailer camping down at Riverside State Park with the Sisters on the Fly, for Farm Chicks weekend. I live in Cheney about 20 minutes away. I will try and look you up at the show. What will your booth look like.....your artwork? Or do you know your location?

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    Replies
    1. Karen - yes, my booth will look like my artwork - rusted metal and vintage papers! I'll be in Bay 2, booth 170 - I would love to meet in person!

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  5. Amy, I glanced through your photos without reading I was assuming you were going to glue that metal measurer to something and I thought cool! I'm going to dig out my old sewing stuff and do the same. LOL Now I know you wouldn't dare give it up.

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thanks for visiting...appreciate your comments...I love hearing whatever you have to say...even if its just to let me know you stopped by...and I want to respond to every comment...but if you have "noreply-comment" as your email, I can't respond...

worth a look...

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