Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Project With AMACO--It's All About the Metal

So  let  me  tell you  about  my  project!  About  a  few  weeks  ago,  Becky  from  AMACO  emailed  me  telling  me that  she  saw  on  my  blog  that  I  like  to  work  with  metal  and  asked  me  if  I  would  like  try  their  line  of  metals  called  ArtEmboss.  Well,  that  was  an  obvious  answer--of  course  I  would!!   So  she  sent  me  4  different  kinds.

Each  handy  tube  comes  with  its  own  embossing  tool  and pattern  sheet (I'll  tell you  about  those later)  and  the  sheets  are  9 1/4" x 12".  This  was  great  for  me,  because  the  only  metal  I've  worked  with  is  aluminum.  I  got  to  work  with  brass,  copper, pewter,  and aluminum.  My  overall  favorite  was  the  copper.  It's  easy  to  work  with,  very  durable (no  tearing  with  the  stylus),  and  when  you  put  black  paint  on  it  and wipe  it  back  off,  it  ends  up  with  a  wonderful  result.  But  the  pewter  was  my  favorite  to  work with  by  far.  It's  very  soft  for  a  metal  and  flexible  which  makes  it  very  easy  to do  whatever  you  want  to  it,  and  even  though  it's  soft, it's  very  durable.  My  least  favorite  was  the  brass.  It  seems  stiffer, and it  was  harder  to  adhere   to  my  surface.  I always  use  heavy  gel  medium  for  my  glue  for  metal,  but  I had  to  get  out  my  other  all  time  favorite  glue  for  the  brass.  The  name  of  this  glue  is  called  The  Ultimate  Glue (LOVE  it).  And   another  thing  that  has  me  very  excited    about  ArtEmboss  metal  is  that  there  are  also  7  other  different  colors  available,  and  I  most  definitely  see  these  in  my  future.  Make  sure  you  check  out  the  AMACO  website  for  more  info.

Becky sent   me a  very  ample  supply  of  metal,  so  I  decided  to make  2  pieces  of  art  from  it.  This  gave  me  an  opportunity  to  try  different  techniques  that  I've  never  tried  before,  so  this  was  a  great  learning  experience  for  me  also.    So  here's  basically  everything  that  I  used  for  my  metal  projects:

Starting  from  the  left--this  is  the  pattern  sheet  and  embossing  tool  that  comes  with  each  tube  of  metal.  The  tool  is  wooden  and  pointed  on one  side and  flat  for  smoothing out  the metal  on  the  other  side.  And  this  is  now  my  favorite  embossing  tool  to  use--it's  not  as  sharp  as  a  stylus  so  it's  easier  on  the metal.  Also  in  the  photo  are  stamps,  Staz on  ink  pad (that's  the  only  kind  that  will work),  punches (the  metal  punches just  like  any  paper--awesome!),  hard  plastic  embossing  plates,  plastic  stencils,  rub  ons,  acrylic  paints,  and  assorted  embossing  tools (love  that  hammer). Also,   below  the  pattern  sheet  you'll  see  that   white  square--that's  EcoArtBoard .  I  love  this  stuff--I  think  it  might be  made  from MDF (just  like  wood).    This  one  was   2" x 2"  but  they  come  in  assorted  small sizes  and  even  a  convenient  ATC  size.  You  can  find  it  here.  I  used   these  to  adhere  my  metal  pieces  to  and  I'll show  you  what  I  mean.

So  for  the  first  piece,  I  decided  to  make  a  sampler  using  the  2 x 2  pieces (EcoArtBoard).  A  great  way  to  start  out   if  you've   never  worked   with   metal   before.  And  remember,  you  can  use  regular  scissors  to  cut  it  with.  I  also  wanted  to  mention  that  when  you  emboss  metal,  it  works best  with  padding  underneath.  I  use  an old  mouse  pad--works  great.


I  used  my  stamps  with  Staz on  ink  for  both  of  these.  The  one  on  the  left  is  aluminum  with  copper  corners,  and  the  one  on  the  right  is  the  brass,  and  I  used  the  pattern  sheet  for  the  border.  All  you  have  to  do is  tape  down  the metal  (with  painters  tape),  and also  the  pattern sheet  on  top  of  it.  And  then  just  trace  the  pattern with  your  embossing  tool  onto  the  metal.  It  will  leave  an  imprint.  Then  just  take  your  embossing  tool  and  go  over  the  imprinted  metal  on  both  sides  to make  the  pattern  deeper.



On these two I used my heart punches. I've never used punches on metal before, and what was I waiting for?! I'm telling you, if you know how to use a paper punch, then you can do this. On the top one, which was copper, I collaged the lady on the Eco board (Old postage stamp--actually) and glued the metal over the image, and I also rubbed a little aqua/blue paint over the copper  (I  was  going  for  the  patina  look  on  this  one). I used the pattern sheet from AMACO again. And on the bottom one, I did the same thing with scrapbook paper, and put pewter over it and this was embossed with the embossing plate mold. And I want to mention again that I adhered all of the pieces (with a little help from my friend  The  Ultimate  Glue  for  the  brass)  with  heavy  gel  medium.


 
These  two  were  made  with  the  rub  on  butterflies--the  top  one  is  brass  and  the half- flower  was  made  from  the  embossing  mold.  And  the  bottom  one  is  pewter  and  the  heart  on  top  is  copper.  I added  some  metallic  bronze  paint  around  the  sides  of  this  one.  And  remember,   after  I  emboss the metal,  I   always  dry   brush  black  acrylic  paint  over  top  and  then  immediately  wipe  it  off,  so the  black  just  stays  in  the imprinted  part.


This  one  was  soooo  simple.  I  made  a  packing  tape  transfer   of  this  image  and  decopauged  it on  pewter  this  time  with  Mod  Podge,  and  then just  doodled  in  the  border.  If  you don't  know  how  to  do  a  packing  tape  transfer,  let  me  know--it's  so  fun--it's  addictive.

On  this  brass  piece,  I  used  my  stencil--very  easy, and  then  just  doodled  again  around  the  border.


And  finally,  on  these  2  copper  ones,  I just  basically  doodled  again,  except  for  the  bird .  I  found  a  sketched  image  of  a bird  that was  the  perfect  size,  so  I  traced  over  it.  When  I  finished  them  all,  I  sprayed  a  workable  fixative  over  them  and put  a  gloss  varnish  over  that.  The  varnish  will  tend  to  wash  away  the  black  paint,  so  the fixative  takes  care  of  that  problem.

Okay,  so  now  comes  the  embellishing.  You  didnt  think  I  would  finish  these  without  embellishing  them,  did  you?!





And here's the finished piece--
 I  put  all  of  the pieces on  a  6 x 12 gallery  wrapped  canvas,  collaged  with  a  very  cool  glittery  scrapbook  paper.    I  have  to  say--I'm  very  proud  of  this  piece!




   


So  for  my  next  piece,  I  wanted  to  do  another  fun  technique  with  the  metal.  I  wanted  to  make  a  picture with  it.  I'll  show  you  what  I  mean.  I  started  out  with  a  6 x 12  gallery  canvas  again  and  made  my  background  on  it--


And  I  decided  to  put  a  vase  of  flowers  on  it.  I  used  my  flower paper  punch  to  make  the  flowers.

These  two  were  made  from copper  and  pewter,   and  in  the  center  of  them,  I  used  my  buttonhole  paper  punch  so  I  could  attach  them  together  with  buttons.  I  also  put  a  little  yellow  ochre  wash  on  the  pewter  flower.  You  could  also  keep  adding  more  layers  of  flowers  if  you  want  to.
 And  then  I  made  a  copper  vase (I  used  a  stencil  and  a  little  doodling  for  the  design) with  a little  of  the  aqua  paint  again  for  a  patina  effect.

I  adhered  this  to  a piece  of  fun  foam  for  dimension--you  just  trace  the  vase  form  around  the  foam.  Another  thing   that  I  wanted  to  tell you  is  that  some  artists  will  reinforce  the  back  of  the  embossed  metal  with  plaster  or  wax  to  make  the  embossing more  stable.  I've  never  done  this,  but  it's  worth  a  try  if  you  want  to  take  the  time.  So  here's  the  final  result--

Another  piece  that  makes  me  smile!   So  in  the  end--it's  up  to  you  to  try  different  techniques--these  aren't  the  rules  of  embossing  metal--anything  goes.  And  the  only  learning  curve  that  you'll  have,  is  how  much  pressure  to  apply  to  the  metal  with  your  tool  which  is  pretty  simple.  In  the  end,  it's  just  another  collage  element  to  fool  around  with  and  add  to  your  mixed  media  pieces  or  jewelry  or  whatever!

 I'm  so  glad  that  Becky  from  AMACO  asked  me  to  try  out  these  metals.  I've  learned  so  much  more  of  what  I  can  do  with  metal,  and  because  of  that,  I  achieved  this--


Thanks  again  Becky!!

48 comments:

Micki said...

Wow Diane you made some amazing things with your goodies!!

I have to admit I have not read all of your blog post, it is late afternoon here and I am also cooking dinner lol ;)

I will be back later to read through properly, but I had to comment on how awesome your finished art was, I love metal effects, in fact it's the only thing I did well at in my school art class lol....fab work hun x

Oxana said...

OMG Diane!!!!! These are GORGEOUS!!!
Hugs
Oxana

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Well aren't you the lucky lady! I'm not just impressed, I'm blown away by everything you made and so many various techniques you used for this piece alone. I would say that AMACO is probably quite pleased they picked you. Of course, my favorite is copper, and I agree that brass is always a bit heavier. Loads of fun and information. You did GOOD.

Gloria said...

That really is great work Diane. I love that metal. I have a few rolls left from last year. I love all your pieces, very creative. There is a great blog site that I think you may like. Her name is Karen and she create beautifully with metals, etc.
http://karencole.blogspot.com/

If you get a chance, visit her. I'm sure you'll pick up a lot of handy ideas from her. Take care and great work.

Rosie said...

Wowowwowow, stunning work

Joji said...

Love it. The 10 panel canvas piece really blows my skirt up. It is BEAUTIFUL. I have got to start doing some more mixe media. You are ever so inspiring.....

Jeannette said...

Really gorgeous and so nice of you to explain the process as well.I think I'm going to have to try the flower making.

Janet Ghio said...

Wow! very cool! i am bookmarking this page for more through reading later!!

Tina said...

well all I can say is that Becky knew who to ask to play with these materials. They are wonderful!!!!

I think I read once about the packing tape trasfers. I'm going to have to look that up again.

Amazing
T

An Altered Wonderland said...

I have never worked with metal before thinking it was too hard of a material. I love what you have created! now i want to try!

Trisha said...

Those turned out GREAT! What fun!

WrightStuff said...

OK wowzie - what incredible creations - all the more so since you hadn't used these materials before. Great job Diane, no wonder you're proud of them. I'm proud of you too :)

Janine said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I am at a loss of words. What you have done is so wonderful!

kluless said...

Love, love, love that sampler! Did punching the metal with your paper punches dull them or anything? I never even considered trying that but probably will now that you shared your test drive with us.

BETH ROMMEL said...

wow wow. I am glad you were asked to play with the metal too. Great work. I do not know how to do packing tape transfers and am now very curious. Keep it up, this is a great blog.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

You amaze me! Awesome stuff diane!

Theresa said...

You have been a busy bee!!! Love them both and always enjoy your blog!

tammy said...

you did a wonderful job Diane! the first piece came together so beautifully. what a great idea. i love the flowers on the second piece. all your little added touches make your pieces. AMACO should be proud. for not knowing exactly what you were doing you, you were brilliant.

Nelda Ream said...

Diane, these pieces are wonderful! I love the way you combined them on the canvases. Thanks for sharing what you learned in using the metal sheets.

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Your finished creations are truly amazing, Diane. Your work is so beautiful - it truly makes me smile. Thank you for sharing the techniques you used with all your new goodies to create these pieces. Theresa

Manon Doyle said...

They are so cool, Diane!! Great work and you are so kind to share your process!!

Lynn said...

OHMIGOD, I am adding this page to my favorites so I can come back and read it slowly over time to absorb all that you have taught here. This could easily be an instructive article in ClothPaperScissors. I think you should submit it!!!
Beautiful work and yes you did yourself very very PROUD indeed!!! Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heather said...

wow! what a fun project and you made such gorgeous creations! beautiful, beautiful! I've never worked with metal like that, but this looks fun!~

Say It In Color said...

Oh Diane....You could definitely be published!!! These are amazing and look fun to do....of course we would need your endless creative mind....you are one talented girl!! Now....I must be the only clueless one that wants to know how to do the packing tape transfer....I can't ever remember seeing it anywhere! I t sounds addicting for sure....so would you share that on a blog? or here? If I was giving awards for the most interesting blog...you would get it!!! Blessings!

Sue J said...

What lovely pieces. This may sound like a stupid question, but is the metal in a roll, and does anything come with it? Thanks for sharing how you work. It's very interesting and informative. I expect you will be taking lots of metallic pieces to your next fair/show.

NatashaMay said...

Really?? Paper punches go through metal? I managed to break a couple of them when punching through some thicker than usual paper. This is amazing! :) Great job with all the pieces! :)

Healing Woman said...

What a wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much for showing. I will refer back to this post when I get ready to do one. The piece you created turned out sensational.

I have heard of tape transfers but never have done one. Do you mind telling me how to go about it? Addictive huh? That's all I need is another art addiction~

Buffy said...

OM Gosh Diane,all I can say is WoW these are just Gorgeous.I wish I could see it in person,to touch it. And you should be proud of these pieces. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne Nelson said...

Diane, these pieces are amazing! Wow ~~ love what you've done with each piece, and how you then combined them onto one canvas. The vase w/flowers is also very nice. You are so creative, and so gracious to share your tips and techniques. I would love to hear your tips and tricks for creating packing tape transfers; I love creating them, but understand inkjet transfers will not work...so I've only 'taped' them into my journal. Again, you are one talented lady, and I'm so thankful to have found you in blogland. Wishing you all the best now and forever.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Another winner of a post! What fabulous projects! You are soooo creative and adventurous! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Marilyn Rock said...

Incredible - amazingly so! Thank you for sharing this embossing metal and how you did it! Fabulous and the possibilities are endless. Beautiful results as always.

Marie S said...

Diane your metal pieces are just outstanding.
Way to go.
These pieces are just breath taking.
Amaco is a lovely ompany to work with aren't they?

Michele from Pipi La La said...

OMG! Wow and WOW!Stunning and beautiful!

jgr said...

Awesome work!! You inspire me to try it. Thank you for showing us! Did I mention WOW!

The Dreaming Bear said...

Hi Diane! Oh my gosh!! That is so great!! You did such a wonderful job! I've been thinking of doing some metal embossing for some time, and now, maybe you've convinced me to try it!!! Good job!

Lovey said...

Seriously Diane these are truly awesome! I love them all! Simply beautiful art kissed hands!

pammyjo said...

Absolutely fabulous pieces. Just fantastic. :)

A Dancing Mango said...

Diane,
What you did here is amazing.
I love everything .. yes all of it!!
Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us..
hugs, Darlene

erin carver said...

wow Diane, that was amazing to read through - incredible materials and techniques and your finished pieces are absolutely stunning!! IM SO INSPIRED!! thank you xo

joyfulploys said...

Diane...another medium to work with and you really did it justice. I really like what you did with them...my favorite is the first project. Boxes would be great covered with the metal too. I'll check it out...thanks!
Mary

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

WOW I'm spechless by all your pieces, they are incredible fantastic art works!
Hugs Anja

Melissa said...

Nice job! Both pieces are so unique and beautiful! Thanks for sharing how you created them.
Smiles-
Melissa

Cathy Bueti said...

Wow Diane! These are gorgeous!! I love it all! Thanks for sharing the process! :)

Pamela Holderman said...

incredible! just love what you did and I am so inspired to try it too. but when? life is getting away from me lately. thanks for all of your inspiration - have a great weekend!

Sunny Lee said...

These are absolutely gorgeous as always~ I especially love the flowers in a vase one~

Dorthe said...

Diane,
you are so talented, being able to create all this wonderfull, different techniques, pieces, from a new material, ---the canvas piece is fantastic--and I love the small flovers you punched out and assemblaged.You also made a great post,telling all of us, this different techniques,-thanks dear friend--your results are gorgeus.
Hugs, Dorthe

White Violet Art said...

Wow Diane, these pieces are amazing! I adore them both! :)

GERI CENTONZE said...

Diane, What type of glue do you use to assemble the pieces, like adding the squares to the canvas? The pieces are really beautiful - thanks for the tutorial!

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