Sunday, April 27, 2008


This piece was a series of challenges, but very enjoyable. The background paper was made by letting black paint seep into the wrinkles of a wax coating (more on that process here)

The first issue was with my embossing powder. Some of my white powder got mixed into my clear, so now when I'm embossing little swirls of white end up on the surface of my piece. I pulled them out with an old paint brush, but it left the resin coating uneven. I decided to put a piece of mica over the top- the square had taken a long time to complete and I wasn't giving up without a fight. It evened out the surface beautifully. I liked the way it looked uncut. I felt it gave the piece more of an organic feel.

Problem number two came after I punched the holes through the canvas to attach the mica. It's very small, only 6X6", and the support bars behind the canvas were blocking access to properly hammer in the eyelets. I thought I could maybe smack the bars with the hammer and the bars in turn would hit the eyelets shut. Nope. I ended up simply attaching the eyelets to the mica, then sewing through them to the canvas with gold wire. I used a bead for more stability, since there were still holes punched in my canvas. The bead sealed the hole snugly.

Conclusions? I will have to get a proper craft sheet for embossing. I've tried several substitutes and they don't work. The powder often sticks to the surface instead of going back into the jar. Tapping my improvised surface to get the rest of it off sprays embossing powder all over my floor and work space. I don't want a plastic particle beach in my studio. The sheet looks so cheap, but at least I know the powder will glide nicely into the jar and I guess you can even put it in the oven for melt art applications. That will probably be useful one day.

I scanned the piece in its frame because I like the black. Some of the frame has been cropped. I'm still not decided on the scan. I think it's darker that the piece and am going to photograph it for better accuracy.



WOW, talk about labor intensive!
I have to tell you that I read every word of your description,,,and I still have no idea how you did this,,,,but OH it is SO gorgeous!
However you did this, it was worth every bit of what you put into it!


Shayla said...

Thanks Babs! Yes it was labour intensive. I'm thinking of keeping it so I'm not tempted to sell it for less than it cost to make. Around here most sales go by size.

I'll see if I can find a good tutorial on embossing. It's simpler than I made it sound, lol. :)

Lynette said...

Oooh Shayla, this is gorgeous and I would love to see it IRL! Thanks for sharing the steps on how you made this beautiful art creation. I'm with Babs, I read your steps too but I'm not familiar with the mediums, they sound like fun to try with awesome results!

picciolo said...

I love reading about all your processes and this piece is amazing. I am sure too that it looks even better in the flesh when you can see all the texture you describe
: )

FRAN said...


Regina said...

Shayla -
this is stunning. I have limited experience with embossing powders & they can be a headache.
I keep the most frequently used powders in shallow, flat, sealable containers (like Tupperware sandwich size). Then I just spoon the powder onto my surface over the container. There is much less spillage & cross contamination.
I got one of the Ranger non-stick sheets, but haven't used it for embossing yet. That was for working with Ranger's alcohol inks.
BTW - I'm collecting materials to do your wax & ink technique. I picked up some passover candles for a song at the super market last week. (pure parafin for 44 cents)

Shayla said...

Regina, that's a great tip. Makes sence, thanks!

Have fun with the candles! Can't wait to see what you make!!

constance said...

Shayla, I love the 'wrinkles'! It really does ignite one's imagination...those patterns! At some sections, I thought I saw a tiger's skin! It's really beautiful and agree with the rest that it was worth your effort :)

FRAN said...

Hey!...Cheers for the nice comments!!

MiKa Art said...

Shayla, you are so innovative and creative!! Very beautiful!

Peggi said...

Elegant and so beautiful...I absolutely love this piece.


Sonam said...

Wow! Your work looks great!