Tag Archive | metal clay

• Commission Your Own ‘Landscape Gems Collection’ Design

Commission a ‘Landscape Gems Collection’ design of your own with Laura H Elliott BA (Hons)


What Does A Commission Offer and How Are They Presented?

Every ‘Landscape Gems’ design created by Laura H Elliott is like a presentation and not just a design.

I have been selling my work since 2006 and every design is of the highest standard. All my designs are available in Fine 999 Silver Metal Clay for commission with Degree Art Gallery, who represent my work as a professional artist and have extensive experience.

All of my silver designs are legally hallmarked by the Goldsmiths Assay Office, London.

  • Taylor made, hand-crafted from Fine 999 Silver Metal Clay
  • Every design features 100% genuine gemstones ethically and personally sourced by Laura H Elliott BA (Hons)
  • Other features in the designs include 925 Sterling Silver and Vintage Watch Parts

  • Every design is presented in a complimentary, beautiful velvet gift box, which is the perfect way to present each piece.

  • A complimentary 18 inch chain

  • An anti-tarnish strip to keep your work perfect

  • All silver pieces made from or with fine 999 silver and/or 925 sterling silver are legally hallmarked by the Goldsmiths assay office, London

LauraHallmarkSimulatedExample

  • Every silver design comes with a beautiful hallmarking card from the Goldsmiths Assay Office London


How Do I order a Commission: A Step-by-Step Guide:

1) Select Your Designs:

Look through a selection of designs and note down the name displayed at the bottom of the image:

2) Select Your Gemstone(s) of Choice:

The key feature in every design is, of course, the genuine gemstone(s). There are hundreds of types of gemstones, which come in every colour in the rainbow. However, the typical choices are often focused on three key points:

  • Colour preferences
  • Birthstone or Zodiac gemstones
  • Gemstones that are collected by each person, such as the top 4 precious gemstones: Sapphire, Ruby, Diamonds, Emeralds

If you have a gemstone you would prefer or would like to gift in your commission, please do not hesitate to ask. This can include sought after gemstones that could be sourced/ selected from stock include:

  • Tanzanite,
  • Paraiba or Cuprian Tourmaline,
  • Spessartite Garnet

The gemstones below are a selection you can chose from:

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3) Contact My Representative Gallery Degree Art, London, UK:

I am represented by a highly experienced gallery, called Degree Art, London, UK.

All my designs are available in Fine 999 Silver/ 925 Sterling Silver for commission with Degree Art Gallery, who represent my work as a professional artist and have extensive experience.

I have been selling my work since 2006 and every design is of the highest standard. All of my silver designs are legally hallmarked by the Goldsmiths Assay Office London.

LauraHallmarkSimulatedExample

Above: Laura H Elliott Hallmark

My gallery link is below:

https://degreeart.com/artists/laura-h-elliott

Their team can coordinate with you and we can begin the commission process:

Please contact Isobel Beauchamp (Director of Degree Art) on Isobel@DegreeArt.com or call one of their Art Advisors on 020 8980 0395.

Tell her my name, Laura H Elliott and the artwork that inspires you. The Degree Art team can then explore ideas such as:

Tell them which designs in my ‘Landscape Gems Collection’ you love,
Preferred colour of the gemstones featured…

….and then the commission process starts.


Please Note:

All of my silver designs are legally hallmarked by the Goldsmiths Assay Office London. This process takes between 7-14 days.

These gemstones have been personally and ethically sourced from around the world by Laura H Elliott over the years.

Carat weights stated are ‘average total gemstone weights’ (ATGW).


Commission Feedback:


“Having seen Laura’s work at an exhibition in London, I commissioned Laura to create 2 pendant pieces of jewellery to include birthstones. She was very happy to help and very professional, producing 2 stunning original pieces. They were packaged well and arrived safely. I would highly recommend Laura’s bespoke metal clay jewellery to anyone looking for a special piece of original artwork”

______________________

Dated: 21st April 2017

Lesley Oldaker was a direct commission client Landscape Gems Collection jewellery of metal clay designer Laura Elliott BA (Hons).


Customer Feedback and Recommendations:

I have over 10 years working as both an artist and curator and have references, which can be viewed by clicking here.


About the ‘Landscape Gems Collection’:

“My love of clay was discovered at the age of 14, exploring the endless possibilities of earthenware clay, enhanced with glazes, textures and glass.

It was in 2012 when I discovered the fresh, up and coming medium of metal clay in: Fine 999 Silver, Copper and bronze. Step by step I began to explore the possibilities of this medium and after 2 years of development it transformed into the body of work I now call the ‘Landscape Gems Collection’.

When fired, an elegant transformation takes place, turning each design from the pliable clay into solid metal designs. Each piece is sculptural and unique, which often include an unusual mix of high quality gemstones along side beautiful elements, such as glass, enamel, vintage watch parts or even bolts and screws.

This series was given new momentum when I exhibited my collection at The Royal College of Art with Flux exhibition in December 2015. Since this date, my designs have adapted into a series of ever changing mini sculptures and I have not looked back since.”


Fill Out the Contact Form Below to Inquire About Any Of the Pieces Above:



All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip

Buy my work online @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

#art #britishlandscapes #britain #landscapes #buybritish #laurahelliottart #laurahelliott #lhe #painting #metalclay #gemstones #artgallery #gallery #flux #fluxexhibition #degreeart #degreeartgallery #painting #artlover #artist #artwork #artcollector #contemporaryart #originalart #ownart #rca #contemporaryart #originalart #commissionart #buyart #buyartonline

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• Laura H Elliott’s Legal British Assay Office Hallmark

LauraHallmarkSimulatedExample

Above: Laura H Elliott’s Hallmark Simulated Example


Laura H Elliott’s Legal British Assay Office Hallmark

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Laura Helen Elliott have a registered hallmark?

Yes, I have registered my hallmark under my name Miss Laura Helen Elliott, with the initials LHE, as shown above.

My hallmark was registered on 13th August 2016 with the Goldsmiths Assay Office, London. All my jewellery or sculptures will fully conform to UK law.

Every design hallmarked will receive a complimentary Official Hallmarking Information Card, as shown below along side a solid silver hallmarked design:

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Above: The silver design above is legally hallmarked and is called ‘Rainbow Moonstone’, which is supplied with a hallmarking card in a gift box


What is a hallmark?

The UK requires by law that precious metals of a certain weight to be hallmarked by a UK assay office. This has been in entered into UK law to ensure customers purchase genuine precious metal over a legally specified weight.

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What weights of metals require hallmarking in UK law?

Any items that exceed the following weights all are legally required to be hallmarked Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium: 925 Silver: 7.78 grams 375 Gold: 1.0 grams 950 Platinum: 0.5 grams 950 Palladium: 1.0 grams

Above is the legal assay office hallmarking poster

British Hallmarks Guide Assay Office

Above: Types of Precious Metals


Are all my jewellery or sculptures in precious metal hallmarked?

Any of my jewellery or sculptures under the legal weight or are created from other base materials (for example: Copper, Bronze, Brass) will contain my sponsors mark created by the Goldsmiths Assay Office London.

Those precious metal jewellery and sculptures that are below the stated weight (for example: 1.0g for gold, 7.78g for silver and below 0.5g for platinum) may be hallmarked. There are other exemptions to the Hallmarking Act detailed in the following website page at:

https://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/craft/trade/assay-office/useful-downloads/

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What is the Hallmarking Act 1973?

You can view the full hallmark act at the following website page:

https://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/media/filer_public/6e/97/6e971213-312c-4d91-998e-04ff68ac3796/hallmarking_act.pdf

Thomson Reuters (Legal) Limited. UK Statutes Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. An Act to make fresh provision for the composition, assaying, marking and description of articles of, or containing, precious metals, and as to agencies for the implementation and enforcement, thereof; and for purposes connected with those matters. [25th July 1973]


All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

Quick Link @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Blog Web: https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

Artwork Focus: Trying To Find My Artist Voice, Having My Artwork Put In The Skip & How I Was Inspired By Picasso

It is always hard to start your journey as an artist, with my journey starting in 1992. It has taken me around the world and I have exhibited at some stunning galleries, with an amazing collection of working artists and selling through my representative galleries.

Saying this, you always have to start somewhere and you ask yourself…

What do you create? Which medium do you chose? What subject do you paint? Where do you start in creating work?

I wanted to share my story below, to offer insight into my own artist journey, with the help to inspire…

Though, at first, my journey was a bit haphazard in creating original art, I eventually found my feet and it came to me naturally, drawing on my life long, never ending imagination. Saying this, it was in around 1991 when I first found the 2 mediums I love to this day…

…clay and acrylic paint

Artists past and present have a crucial influence in every artists journey. My life-time adoration of Picasso began in 1992 through books and gallery visits. By drawing inspiration from Picasso’s work, it meant that I explored many ways to create my artworks for my A Level Art and Design in 1995. I found cubism fascinating (specifically Picasso’s) and the definition below explains it in detail:

When I learned about Picasso I visited the Tate Modern and saw one of his sculpture portraits or busts and I was energized:

Pablo Picasso ‘Head of a Woman (Fernande)’ (1909) At: The Tate Modern, London

I knew my next step!! I began to create a sculpture created with:

  • A wooden base
  • Chicken wire forming the main shape
  • Plaster of Paris bandages
  • Card to create hair round the face and to form the pony tail at the back
  • Acrylic paint to create form, depth and to emulate how Picasso creates a 3D effect on a 2D canvas

I tested out all manner of ideas: drawings, paintings and then I realized that there was a way forward…sculpture. For one of my course work pieces, I wanted to explore and create my own unique sculpture, which reversed how Picasso created a 3D effect on a 2D canvas.

The sculpture shown below shows my unfinished sculpture, with my apologies for the poor quality photographs!:

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Above: Left = face / Right = right hand side of head with hair in a bunch

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Above: Left = left hand side of the head / Right = reverse of head with the stripes swept into a pony tail

Despite my enjoyment and desire to create new ideas, my teacher disliked it so much, she told me to put it in the bin or more precisely the skip!!

I am sure you would understand it was quite heart breaking; however, before I threw it away I took photographs. This piece, shown below, is a reproduction of a self portrait: my hair brushed back into a pony tail with wisps of hair surrounding my face.

Once the piece started to take shape and I felt obliged to stop this artwork and begin another. It was in 1994 that I began to explore the ideas of playing with mediums, like I mentioned above; however, this was strongly discouraged by my teachers!!

The good news is that their influenced stopped in 1995, when I began to do what *I* wanted to do and I started to build a portrait sculpture.

I continued with this new drive and confidence, by creating what *I* wanted to do and in 1995 I created a slotted card sculpture (shown below), painted with abstract designs with acrylic paint:

Despite this confidence, some pieces I was directed to create in a certain style and medium, so some works I compromised and created something more traditional. I managed to keep some of my independence by incorporated structural support in 1 of my 3 my final exhibition artworks:

https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/exhibition-review-my-first-group-exhibition/

Below is an example of Picasso’s amazing work that also inspired me:

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All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

Quick Link @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Blog Web: https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

• My Guide: The Worst Kiln Ever Bought & the Perfect Replacement Kiln

My Guide: The Worst Kiln Ever Bought and the Perfect Replacement Kiln

It was back in 2012 that I took an exciting new step in my artistic works, by starting to create mini landscapes in metal clay. I then decided to buy a kiln; however, this was a step I did not properly research and the consequence was my choice to buy a cheap, generic, untested and un-recommended kiln.

The beauty of having your own kiln is that you can fire multiple pieces at the same time and you can fire larger pieces of work. In addition, you no longer need to fire your metal clay with a blow torch on a firing brick, which takes a painfully long time. The piece below was one of my first simple bowls I created, featuring metal leaf, which was later sold with my representative gallery Degreeart.com.:

Above: ‘Fallen’ by Laura H Elliott – Sold with Degree Art Gallery

Later on I created a larger design, a clock made from two slabs of clay and a copper sheet, shown below:

Above: ‘A Stitch In Time, Saves Nine’

When I bought the kiln I really only looked for the most affordable kiln which offered me with the most space. I came across a generic or none branded kiln and bought it. My kiln was shipped to me by courier and the first one arrived damaged. The company delivered me another kiln and I began to use it. Having no knowledge about kilns and no advice really meant I was buying ‘blind’.

As you can see, the element was in-set into the back of the kiln wall and you could see the element turn bright orange when you opened it, having fired your work. Having the element exposed in the back wall created just 1 of number of issues, all detailed below:

1) The Hole In The Door:

The most dangerous aspects of the kiln lay in the instructions. The kiln stated that the small hole on the kiln door could be used as a peep hole.

Warning: Do NOT look through the hole in the door!!!! To look into the kiln would be absurd, as you would need to get so close to see anything that you would damage your eyes.

This is a crazy suggestion so please do not do this. This hole is a vent for smoke and a way oxygen enters the kiln during firing. Every kiln has a vent hole to remove fumes as shown below; however, this is not a viewing hole!! You can see in the left picture below that the hole glows red during firing, so always a danger sign:

The image below is the Prometheus Pro 7 kiln and the image below shows the muffled viewing hatch:

2) Keeping The Set Temperature:

The kiln temperature during firing was never even. The front of the kiln was cooler than the rear, thus causing uneven firing. This meant my hard work creating metal clay designs where ruined 6+ times due to the temperature difference (see below):

3) The Dangerous Element:

The element was open and vulnerable to damage. Eventually the element burnt out and was irreparable (see below)

4) The Element/ Heat Distribution and How It Broke Down:

Surrounding the element was firing brick and as the kiln was used the rapid temperature change cracked the bricks. Once the bricks where cracked this meant the temperature was even more uneven (see below):

The Prometheus Pro 7 kiln has a muffled design which distributes heat throughout the kiln evenly, as shown below:

5) The Dangerous Door:

The door was very hard to open and shut which is very dangerous, especially at temperatures of 900 degrees (see below). The door was covered with a thin plastic covering and went soft and was NOT heat-proof. I had to use my Kiln gloves to open the door to avoid being burnt.

In comparison, the Prometheus Pro 7 kiln has a lift door, much safer if you lift it fully back, slowly:

6) The Outside Surfaces of The Kiln:

The external surfaces of the kiln where dangerously hot. I suspect that this worsened as the firing brick wall cracked, broke the element and would no longer work.

7) Controlling The Temperature:

The kiln temperature it stated on the controller was incorrect and was always firing about 150-200 degrees higher. This caused my work to be ruined. In addition, during the allotted firing time the temperature never stayed at the same level.

So…out with the old and in with the new…

…The Prometheus Pro 7 PG kiln:


This kiln is of “muffle” construction which means that the element is wrapped around the chamber and so is safely hidden away, leaving the kiln safe to use without a door switch.

Above: Image Courtesy Cookson Gold

Prometheus Pro 7 Official Kiln Text

About this kiln:

“Prometheus 7 Programmable Kiln is our larger kiln (similar in size to the Paragon Lilly Kiln and Paragon SC2), suitable for both personal and professional use. It is perfect for Art Clay, PMC, and glass fusing. It is also great for enamelling, low fire ceramics, and china painting, as well as annealing and hardening silver, gold and other metals.

It’s a 1100°C front-loading kiln, with a built-in, easy-to-use, 3-key digital programmable controller.

PROGRAMMABLE CONTROLLER

The programmable controller means you can set what temperature you want the kiln to fire at (target temperature), and also tell it how fast you want it to heat up (ramp speed), and how long you want it to hold at the firing temperature (hold/soak time), and the kiln will then turn the heating off once it has completed the programme. If you want you can also say how slow it should cool down, and if it should hold at a temperature whilst cooling down.

You can set 9 programmes, and each programme can have up to 8 segments. A segment could be like this: heat up at 300° C per hour, until you get to 800°C, then hold that temperature for 45 minutes.

To be able to set several segments with different heating speeds and temperatures are very useful if you’re firing base metals, like copper and bronze (where you want to heat up slower and hold steady to burn the binder out at a lower temperature before the full firing at a higher temperature), or doing glass fusing (which needs a slow heating, and a slow cool down, with a soak/hold at a low temperature to anneal the glass once fused).

A good thing with programmes is that you only set them once, and they will stay there until you change them. So you could set one programme for firing silver clay, another for fusing glass coasters, and another for that perfect BRONZclay firing schedule you’ve come up with.

This kiln has a Orton AutoFire Express Digital Programmable Temperature Controller (like the one on Paragon, Sierra, and Evenheat kilns) which is programmed exactly like the one used on the Paragon SC2 Kiln.”


Sources and Recommendations:

  1. Cookson Gold: http://www.cooksongold.com/
  2. Prometheus: https://www.prometheushobby.com/
  3. Prometheus Kilns: https://www.prometheushobby.com/Kilns/Prometheus-Kilns-PRO-7-PRG-p123c59.html

All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons)

Laura Elliott represented by Degree Art Gallery: http://www.degreeart.com/artists/laura-elliott

‘Laura Elliott BA Hons – Artist & Metal Clay Designer’ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

The Palette Pages Artist Interview Laura Elliott: http://www.thepalettepages.com/2016/03/28/lauraelliott/

Laura Elliott Art Website & Blog: https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com/

View my Professional Profile at Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott/6b/959/533

#art #britishlandscapes #britain #landscapes #buybritish #laurahelliott #lhe #painting #metalclay #gemstones #artgallery #gallery #flux #fluxexhibition #degreeart #mardleyburygallery #painting #artlover #artist #artwork #artcollector #contemporaryart #originalart #ownart #rca #contemporaryart #originalart #prometheus #prometheuskiln

• My Guide: An Introduction To Metal Clay

My Guide: An Introduction To Metal Clay


What is metal clay?

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Metal clay is an exciting art medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silver, gold, bronze or copper which is mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelry, beads and small sculptures. Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, the clay can be fired in a variety of ways such as in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove, depending on the type of clay and the metal within it. The binder burns away, leaving a pure sintered or solid piece of metal.

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Above: ‘Spring Blossom’ feat Red Garnet, Amethyst, Citrine, Blue Apatite and White Topaz

The piece below is pre-firing Prometheus copper metal clay:

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Above: Pre-fired piece from the ‘Landscape Gems Collection’

The following image shows post-fired Prometheus copper metal clay which has sintered into solid copper. A sheet of solid copper in the middle as a comparison:

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Above: Prometheus Copper Metal Clay after firing. In the center is a solid sheet of copper as a comparison.

What work do you create from that medium?

LE004-ShootingStar

Above: ‘Wish Upon a Star’ feat Tanzanite, Fine 999 Silver Metal Clay & 9ct Gold Plated 925 Sterling Silver
Due to my life-long passion of clay and sculpture, I expanded my work in 2012 to use the exciting medium of silver, copper and bronze metal clay, in concert with my ‘Landscape Moods’ series of paintings. Metal clay allows me to sculpt work in a free form and expressive manner, allowing me to create a wide range of sculptural metal jewellery and this has been titled the ‘Landscape Gems’ series.

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Above: ‘A Stitch in Time, Saves Nine’

My metal clay work has enabled me to indulge my love of sparkle and genuine precious and semi-precious gemstones in both faceted and bead form. I personally source all the gemstones I use, which include: Diamonds sourced via the ‘Kimberley Process’ (faceted and rough), Ruby, Garnet, Emerald (Brazilian and Colombian) and my personal favorite gemstone which is Paraiba Tourmaline (from Mozambique).

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I have called this series of jewellery the ‘Landscape Gems ‘ series which is sculptural and organic which are designed with a range of media, including: high quality 100% genuine gemstones, gemstone granules, gleams, mica powder, solid silver, enamel and recycled elements such as vintage watch parts. I additionally incorporate media such as metal sheets, gemstone settings, wire, beading thread, metal findings, charms and polymer clay. Each of these mediums provides me the opportunity to further develop and enhance the beauty in each piece of jewellery in this series. By combining all these elements it, therefore, enhances the unique fingerprint of Mother Nature found within all genuine gemstones featured.

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My artwork and jewellery both explore colour and form and I feel that one informs the other. Metal clay is such an exciting progression and this medium allows me to further explore my distinct signature painting style within a three-dimensional framework.


All artworks & designs displayed are by © Copyright Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

View my professional gallery of works at: http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

• My Guide: Saving Your Paint Brushes

My Guide: Saving Your Paint Brushes ~ Acrylic Paint

I know our brushes will not last forever, but they are our tools of the trade and they last longer when cared for correctly. I have learned the hard way and now have 20+ year old brushes I use today, as I changed the way I handled, cleaned and stored them. I think, the better you care of them, the more money you save as brushes are expensive investments.

BEFORE CLEANING:

Here is the way I clean and care for my brushes:

  1. Leave used brushes in water to make cleaning acrylic paint easier.
  2. Wash each brush separately as holding all your brushes in one hand means they damage each other.
  3. When you wash each brush, run the cold water over the bristles and use your fingers to separate the brush fibers to rinse the paint out until the water runs clear.
  4. While rinsing the brushes use a moisturizing or brush cleaning soap by stroking them across the soap. Hold the bristles and gently move the handle to create suds to create a foam. Doing this, will gently push the soap up into ferrule, deep in the bristles, to clean away any paint that is there.
  5. Rinse the bristles thoroughly.
  6. When the brushes are still wet, gently use your fingers to put the bristles into their original shape. If they are flat edged then pinch the flat edges between your fingers to re-create the chiselled edge.
  7. There are two ways to dry brushes : standing them handle down in a brush ‘rack’ or lying them flat on top of kitchen roll or a towel.
  8. Once completely dry storing the brushes in plastic brush tubes protects them from any damage or being transported.

AFTER PHOTOGRAPHS:

My Natural Bristle Brushes After Deep Cleaning

My Natural Bristle Brushes After Deep Cleaning – Although they are not new looking they are 80% clean as they are old and used every time I paint.

Goats paintbrush re-shaped after cleaning

Laura H Elliott BA (Hons) Art

Paintbrush re-shaped after cleaning

My essential brush

Paintbrush re-shaped after cleaning

My top tips on caring for your brushes:

  1. The key to cleaning your brushes is not to use warm or hot water. The heat hardens the paint and makes the task more difficult.
  2. Don’t leave your brushes so that the paint drys as it makes cleaning harder and it is best to only have the water covering the bristles.
  3. I find if the brush handles are in the water the wood, handles absorb the water and this starts to crack and peel or crack the varnish which then breaks off.
  4. Some alcohol based brush cleaners dry the bristles as well as cleaning them. They can be useful for dried on paints but use them with care.
  5. Don’t rub brushes on or at the bottom of your jar or water palette as this will damage the brush. See below:

wp-1465323270587.jpg6) Blot them with kitchen roll or a towel.

7) Dry your brushes naturally in the air. Heating them on something like a radiator is not good as the bristles and the varnish on the handles can get brittle.

8) If there is paint stuck in the bristles, use a very fine tooth comb/brush, as shown below

Steel Comb For Combing Out Dry Paint

9) If there is dried on paint, there is many products on the market you can try.

What brush cleaners do you use?

I mainly use the ‘Colourful Arts Brush Cleaner and Preserver’ brush cleaner which does not dry the brushes out and is not abrasive. Shown below:

Brush Cleaner

The brush cleaner I use for stubborn paint, which I feel is a efficient cleaner with a slightly mild exfoliation type of product called ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver’. I feel it is okay to use, but my brushes are getting dry. I will keep this to combat dry paint on brushes due to its abrasive qualities, but I need something that cleans and moisturises, a bit like a facial cleanser.

Brush Cleaner

The following Winsor Newton Brush Cleaner works well for me. It removes the hard, stuck on paint from one of my most used brushes which is a 3 inch hog hair brush. It isn’t expensive, but creates the effect I want when I paint and I have been unable to find a replacement. The following Winsor Newton Brush Cleaner works well for me:

Laura H Elliott BA (Hons) Art

This is the Winsor & Newton Paint Brush Restorer Official Product Information:

“For dried acrylic, oil, and alkyd colour, this is a non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable, non-abrasive, low vapor product that safely and easily cleans both natural and synthetic brushes without damage to the brush head. It is not recommended for use on painted or varnished surfaces; contact with brush handles should be avoided. Not for use with polycarbonate or other plastic surfaces.”


All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

View my professional gallery of works at:

Quick Link: http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

• My Guide: Carving Clay – An Endless Ceramic Technique

My Guide: Carving Clay – An Endless Ceramic Technique

It was during my Art and Design Diploma in 2002-2003, I undertook a self-directed module which I chose to focus on the medium I have always adored, which is clay. I created 3 designs of ceramics with the theme of natural form of lichen. This lichen is a simple, yet intricate layered form that gave me an abstract ‘starting point’, as such. It was during my photography module in this course that I photographed lichen attached to fallen trees as my subject matter.

During this time, I created a set of 3 vases created by removing/ carving clay from a large, hand thrown lump of clay. This resulted in a set of mottled vases that looked like a natural form, yet having the impression of a traditional vase. Each piece was glazed and decorated with dry pieces of clay to resemble the natural forms of lichen, texture in wood and natural forms (e.g. gemstone geodes as shown below):

The set is shown below:

During this module, I created a test piece to see how tall and thin I could build a pot. It wasn’t even remotely a success, but a big learning curve and taught me that you need to have balance in pottery and sculpture. I always learn from every piece I make in every medium. Below is this test piece:

I have shown below some tools that I have used since I first handled and fell in love with clay. These carving tools are easy to find and widely available in craft shops or on places such as eBay:

The other technique you can use is the way you would create your design with tools on lino tile for printing:

Another thought is the technique used in wood carving, which is an excellent foundation for clay carving:

Here is the idea that you can make use of all manner of things useful during working with all types of clay. I myself use: knives, forks, spoons, straws, brushes, cocktail sticks and so many other everyday items, which are perfect for clay.

This blog is a tiny look, that scratches the surface of what you can do with clay. Below is an amazing Pinterest board you can follow where you can watch tutorial videos about this subject:

Pottery: Decorating, Sgraffito and Carving at http://pin.it/kVuxZYH

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