Saturday, January 31, 2015

Slow going

Its been a bit of a struggle settling on a composition for a piece that's due by the end of February. I was never satisfied and just kept tweaking sketches and changing my mind; over and over again! I think the impending deadline had something to do with my indecisiveness. Telling myself to just focus on one idea and run with it, I finally managed to get four plates completed. I'm letting them sit over night and then I'll do some proofing in the morning.

When I'm working with photo-polymer plates, I always do a number of small test plates to get the exposure right. I usually end up with a lot of little plates here and there. Today I had one of those ah-ha moments when I thought of a great way to keep these trial plates in one place. I took a sheet of magnetic vinyl (which you can pick up at craft or stationary stores) and stuck the small plates to it. This made it easy to keep them all in one place while I was working and at the end of the day I just pinned the vinyl to my drying line. Later I'll just pop the whole sheet into a folder along with my exposure notes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rough start to 2015

Ushering in 2015 did not go as I had hoped.

Like so many others, I had planned on making a fresh start and with lots of ideas floating around in my head, I had hoped to have a new piece completed by now. As it happened, I came down with what I thought was a horrible cold which in actuality turned out to be the flu. Apparently that flu shot I got back in November wasn't enough to keep the bug away! I've just started feeling like myself again so I'm trying to slowly get back into the groove.

On the positive side, I was able to do a lot of reading, research, sketching and getting my thoughts down on paper for various projects I hope to get started on soon.

Today I managed to do some reorganizing and straightening and finally got around to replacing my clothes pin line for hanging prints. Originally, I had strung plastic clothes pins on a cord and this worked out fine. However, recently the pins began snapping off and breaking every time I pinched them open. I'm guessing that over time the sun may have degraded the plastic, making it brittle.

My new hanging system uses wooden clothes pins. I've mounted them on a long narrow strip of wood with fairly heavy T-pins, using a hammer to tap them in securely.

I ended up with a long row of 42 pins that hang nicely from the T-pins.

After adding a screw eye to each end of the wooden strip, I was able to attach cords and hang it back in place where the old one was. 

I like that the rigid wooden support doesn't sag like the old line. It stays up out of my way and the fact that the pins swing on the T-pins make it easier to attach prints.

At the moment, there's a monster nor'easter type blizzard - possibly "record breaking & historic" - bearing down on New England.  I'm hoping it will be a good time to hide out in the studio and get something going.