Monday, 17 November 2008

Paper shells!!!

Having flirted with peacocks and the work of Aubrey Beardsley it is time for a new subject. This time it is to be a piece using one of my own photographs.

I had a photo shoot at Whitby and Sands End and this is one of the photos taken down on the beach at Sands End.

shells-seaweed-original

As usual, I put the photo into Photoshop and played with it, coming up with this effect which I quite liked - shells with a difference.

shells-seaweed

I saw the piece as three dimensional which meant that I needed to make some shells which could be applied and stitched to the surface. This would have to be paper in some form. First, I needed to make moulds of shells. I was going to use Forma blocks or clay but then decided to use up the plasticine which my grandson used to play with. I soften up the plasticine and pressed shells I had collected into the plasticine. I put them in the fridge to harden.

shell-molds

There was plenty of detail there so I hoped this would transfer to the paper. I used loo paper. I put layers of paper over the moulds wetting it to dissolve it and pressing it down into the moulds. After a few layers I used some stiffening medium and covered the paper with it followed by more layers of paper and a final coating of stiffening medium. They were left to dry and then into the fridge to harden off again before I separated the paper from the moulds.

paper-prep

I have now separated them and the results are brilliant. Very detailed 3D shells ready to paint and apply to my textile surface. I will post an image of them when I have photographed them. Now to make the background fabric and texture. Hmmm!!!

Yesterday as it was a sunny day for once and not to be missed, my OH and I went down to the river Tees estuary to a place called Paddy's Hole. The Tees estuary is very wide and there are indents along the estuary mouth. They are used by fishermen who have built huts and moor their boats in a little natural harbour. It isn't as pristine and picturesque as it used to be - a sign of the times - which means there are different kinds of photos to be taken. The tide was out so the mud flats were revealed. All the boats were grounded alongside old derelict boats and empty hulls - right up my street. It was midday and the sun was blazing across the water. I chose to set the exposure to make it look as though it was a moonlight shot with lots of silhouettes. It has taken me most of today to process all the photos and I am really pleased I managed to get so many great images. Here is one of them.

paddys-hole-1

And another one.

inner-harbour-sand-banks-2

Now it is time to put some thought into my shell piece so cheers everyone.

4 comments:

artistsgardenstudio said...

This looks like an interesting project!
Love the boat pictures.
K

Julie said...

Your shell photo manipulation looks stunning. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Thank you too for posting the moulding idea from shells. I will have to try this.

Genie said...

Hi Shirley,
Love the shells, and the peacock from earlier,

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Comments transferred from other blog:

Tricia Cook

Hi Shirley,
Ingenius method of taking a mould. I did a similar thing with children once with plastercine and plaster of paris. they loved it.

Just one more thing,

You’ll either be pleased or prefer to ignore this, but you’ve been tagged, details are on my blog. BW Triciax

sharon young

Great technique, Shirley, looking forward to seeing where you take this.