I recently had the good fortune to be able to attend a workshop by Barbara held in Sedgefield- 10 minutes from home by bus. A whole day of tuition from Barbara , ably assisted by Annette (ex Graphicus).
I had never used a brayer before, well only for inking up very detailed photoreal images , and was looking forward to learning how to do it. I have watched Lesley Wharton do it before and thought WOW – how fabulous. Well- here was my opportunity to have a go.
I arrived in Sedgefield at 8.40 and found lots of other crafty ladies there and by 9.00am we were sat at our tables raring to go.
Barbara started us off on Pattern building using one of her corner stamps and soon we were making squares in which you could stamp a greeting and then we did the pinwheel – I found this a bit complicated but when you get the hang of it it is fairly easy. The gap in the middle is still a little too large though.
We then moved on to using the brayer -yippee.
We started by stamping the SIlver Birch Trees onto Clarity card using black archival ink and then used a versamark pen to ‘colour in’ the tree trunks.They were then embossed in clear powder. A mask for the sun/moon was then placed over the top and then the brayering was done over the top of it all using a Big and Juicy inkpad to load the brayer. The clear embossing acted as a resist and any ink on the trees could be buffed off using a tissue. Small foliage stamps were used around the edges of the card to give a forest feel. I have a few lines on my image where the brayering wasn’t quite right but I can cover them if I stamp a sentiment onto another piece of card and mount it over the top. I have a piece of card with the same colours brayered onto it.Not too bad for a first attempt.
We then moved on to the first of two pieces using reflections.
This involves inking a stamp and rolling the brayer over it to transfer the image to the brayer which is then rolled onto your card, in this case more Clarity card, to give a reversed image. The card is then turned round and the image stamped the correct way and Voila!! you should have an image and it’s reflection. For the boy fishing we used two masks for the moon and it’s reflection. We loaded the brayer and then rolled it over some crumpled paper which had been opened out. Then the brayer was rolled, just once, over the bottom of the image to give the water effect- brilliant!. Then we teased some cotton wool into small wispy pieces and pressed them onto some versamark and then onto the top of our card to give clouds. When you press these down- using a piece of paper over the top- the versamark is left behind when you remove the cotton wool. The brayer is loaded with ink and rolled over the sky. The versamark acts as a resist and you have a blue sky with a white moon and clouds. Hurrah!. I added Barbara’s inimitable wiggly black line around the image to give a frame.
The second attempt at reflections was done using Watercolour paper and Water-based inks. The image was inked and the brayer rolled up it again and then brayered onto the watercolour paper. The image was stamped the right way up to give the top part of the picture. Masks were made for hills and ink was added using make-up sponges. This was also done for the reflections in the water. The Stars were added and the sentiment. A paintbrush and water was used to soften the images and to make the reflections a bit more watery. Another fairly good attempt but the reflections of the hills need more work. I also want to add some glitter to the star in the sky and the tops of the trees.
Our final piece was a complete scene- one which Barbara has done on TV. It took quite a while to accomplish as it used masks for the moon, the snowy hill and the cottage. We tore a mask for the hills and dotted the sky area with a versamark pen to give the effect of falling snow. We added a mask for the moon and then loaded the brayer. With the masks in place we brayered the sky from on.e corner and then turned the picture around and brayerd from the other corner to give a shaft of light through the middle. The snow emerged as the versamark resisted the ink. The cottage was then stamped over the hilly mask so it appeared behind the hill and then a mask was added over the top of it. The trees were stamped either side to give the effect of being behind the cottage and another stamped further up the hill. A tree was stamped in the snow and its shadow stamped at an angle. The fence and waypost were added and the little grassy tufts were stamped just using the edge of the tree stamp (using a bit of copy paper to cover the white snow ) The masks were removed and Santas sleigh and the reindeer were stamped over the moon and the cottage coloured with promarkers. Everyone’s finished picture was different as we all placed our elements in a slightly different way.
All in all a very good day. I came home with a pile of paper with aborted efforts but as Barbara said- it’s only a piece of card or paper. None of the above efforts are perfect but I came away with lots of ideas and enthusiasm – Thanks to Barbara, Annette, Heather and David. Here’s looking forward to next year.
PS I have already got the second kit for Barbara’s classes on Create and Craft- here’s to the first Saturday in September.