Saturday, 30 April 2011

Friendly Plastic Artwork

I thought you might enjoy this artwork piece made in Friendly Plastic.  It is based on a Clarice Cliff design called Blue Firs.  Being from Stoke on Trent I am somewhat of a fan of Clarice Cliff (and Moorcroft of course).  I haven't got an original Clarice Cliff unfortunately!
In order to enhance the work I framed it in a double circular mount with the wide bevelled black frame to finish the piece.  I must admit it is an advantage that I am also a picture framer.

New Items - Flash

  Flash is a heat resistant flake which is perfect for adding to Friendly Plastic to give that extra sparkle.  It is available in 2 colours.  Galaxy is a rich blue, with a hint to turquoise and is the one shown at the top of the sample to the left.  (Also shown on right).  The other colour is Stellar which is a mother of pearl finish.  You can also use Alcohol Inks on the mother of pearl colour in particular, to achieve other effects.  It can also be applied with glue to other mediums.  Now available on my web-site - £2.50 per tub.                                       

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Friendly Plastic in Mixed Media & Textile Art

This Paisley Design was created using Friendly Plastic
Pellets, Friendly Plastic Strips and Alcohol Inks and then incorporated with a hand quilted piece of fabric in the centre of the paisley and hand stitching.

The large paisley was made with the Friendly Plastic Pellets which were rolled flat and then rubber stamped to create the texture.  It was coloured with the Alcohol Inks when it had totally cooled.  The brown teardrop pieces are again Friendly Plastic Pellets, and the green ones are Green Print Friendly Plastic.  The holes were made whilst the Friendly Plastic was warm with a ball ended embossing tool.  This enabled them to be hand sewn to the fabric background.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Necklace using plastic coated wire and Friendly Plastic

I am frequently asked how to do the wire necklaces and earrings which I display on the exhibitions.  Whilst I explain what to do I know many of you do not remember by the time you get home when you have seen so many things.

Start by cutting some odd triangles (these two are Purple Friendly Plastic and Orange Copper Friendly Plastic).  I did use more than shown here as I got carried away!
Make your basic shape with the plastic coated wire.  I use Plastic Coated wire because when the Friendly Plastic is hot it will fuse to the plastic on the wire when it cools - particularly as these are only small pieces of Friendly Plastic.  You will see that I cheat here and thread the jump ring on before I start (it saves the hassle at the end!).

Move the jump ring out of the way and add the first piece of Friendly Plastic.  Heat it using the low setting on your heat gun if it has 2 settings.
Have a bowl of cold water ready so that when you heat the plastic you can press it down (the wire is obviously quite springy at this stage).  A needle tool will also help to hold the wire down whilst you are heating it so that you do not burn your fingers!  When using your fingers try to avoid pressing the plastic too hard with your fingers on the wire - you do not want to press through to the black backing.

Having got the first piece in you can then add a couple of more pieces together.   This photo was taken when 4 pieces of Friendly Plastic had been heated and the rest were then added in one go.

The finished piece - the indentations were done with a ball ended embossing tool whilst the plastic was still warm.

Another example of the Friendly Plastic on the plastic cloated wire - this is one of the exhibition samples and the back has been coloured with a dark nail varnish to neaten it.

P.S. You can tell the main exhibition season has finished as I have had time to do this!  Looking forward to tomorrow and Easter Monday off and spending some time in the garden.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Off-duty photos from my exhibition travels!

Just to let you know that sometimes we do have the chance on the exhibitions to actually see where we go and that we are not always in the pub!  Here a few photos I took recently of the different areas.

 When I was a Malvern I stayed at a pub/hotel in Upton on Severn and had a walk before breakfast one morning.  This is the river at Upton, complete with ducks,which was just behind the pub. 

When I do Olympia I always try to go down a day earlier so that I can start setting up early on Wednesday morning and try to have some time to do the tourist thing.  Last year it was the Natural History Museum.  This year we went to the Tower of London (I think I was about 15 years old when I last went there).  After that we walked all along the Thames to the Houses of Parliament - at which point the feet gave up.  I spotted a heron on the broken wooden structure and could not resist taking the photo. 
We docked at Birkenhead on Sunday at 0600 hours after the Belfast Exhibition.  My van was on the very top deck (that is another story in itself getting up a very steep ramp with the van).  Here is the early morning view across the Mersey to the Liverpool waterfront at sunrise.  The sky was so clear we could visibly see 10 aeroplanes, but there were even more jetstreams from more planes which were no longer visible.

Show Photos

 All these Photos are from the exhibition at the NEC.  Again I can only apologise to customers at Glasgow, Malvern & Olympia where the photos 'disappeared' from my phone.  Hopefully I have got it right now!!   And, as you can see I have worked out how to download them onto the computer - I must be getting better.

I spotted this brooch on a customer at the NEC.  She had been given it as a present many years ago and was amazed to find it was Friendly Plastic.  The easiest way to do these shaped pieces is to work on a piece of flexible Teflon Sheet as you can bend the sheet to whatever shape you want.  Let the Friendly Plastic go cold in the position formed and it will keep that shape for the future.
This pretty Butterfly brooch was made by Lizi.
Sorry for the quality of the photo Lizi - I obviously
had the shakes at the time!  However I think
you can see how pretty it was.
This lovely pendant was made by Bernice Griffiths, again spotted at the NEC.

It was very striking and admired by many customers on the stand.

If you want to acheive these lacy effects in Friendly Plastic do it while it is still warm.  I find I get a much nicer hole using a ball-ended embossing tool (dip it in cold water, or cooking oil first and you can do large holes).

I am at home now for quite a few weeks - my next exhibition is Liverpool at the end of May (20th-21st).   I hope to see more examples of Friendly Plastic work at Liverpool - if so I will put them on the blog now I know how to work with this new mobile phone.

Monday, 11 April 2011

I'm still here!!!

Sorry you have not heard from me for sometime - it has all been rather hectic with all the exhibitions at the moment.  I thought I had better let you know, before I leave for Belfast tomorrow, that I have not disappeared into a black hole somewhere.

I did sit down last week to transfer the show photos from my mobile 'phone and hit a problem!  I know I am not the best with gadgets and computers, but I am now feeling rather stupid.  I had a new mobile and unfortunately I need to apologise to some of you as the first photos I took are nowhere on the 'phone - I obviously did something stupid.  So sorry if I cannot publish some of your work.  Secondly, the photos I do have from Olympia and the NEC are not transferring to the computer.  I have a break after Belfast next week so I will have another look at it then - and hopefully succeed in publishing them for you.

I have a long list of jobs for the break after Belfast and through the summer months - including lots of new samples for the shows in the Autumn. 

I have also just booked the exhibition in Liverpool (run by ICHF) for the end of May.  I have only done this show once before so it will be nice to return.  I will update the exhibition list next week on the website with the full details.  Back to loading the van now ready for the ferry tomorrow night - I wonder if it will be calm crossing.  I am quite happy if the sea is choppy - but I do worry about the stock in the back of the van!

Back soon with more photos for you - hopefully!