Saturday, January 31, 2015

mostly compressed sponge printing

 We have just had a delivery from the manufacturers of compressed sponge - it seems to have taken ages from when I first entered the chat about this and the parcel was huge (Ian's job is to slice it all up) so I have been playing away today. I cut a key shape, dropped it in water - it expands very quickly and is wonderful for printing. This is my sponge key.

 I am endeavouring to draw for at least 15mins a day and this is my sketch book for the moment - my place - no 6 and a very poor image transfer. But it was highly suitable for using the compressed sponge key. Keys because since we were burgled in the studio, we lock the gate every night and these days everything seems to have to be locked and here it is with keys.

 This is the print I got - I used Opulence paint in Briza - I love the way the sponge creates texture.

Yesterday I cut a heart and sponged onto a surface previously worked with a screen and layers using a stencil and paint. If you want to see the compressed sponge , go here - you get an A4 sheet and my notes and a pattern sheet so it is pretty good value.

Today I read a  blog entry by Liz Kettle on what is happening in the arty teaching industry - I agree with what she says. Things and times have changed. Back in 1995 when we started in business with The Thread Studio I must have demonstrated to 100s and 100s with new ideas and we ran loads of Playdays in different places throughout Australia showing people how to use all the new stuff they had never seen before. Remember all the freebies were not available on the internet back then. In 2001 I started my Playways on the Net course and I cannot tell you how many people enrolled. I do believe I was one of the first to run on-line courses. When I introduced my Embellish Stitch Enrich class I was rather gobsmacked at the numbers who enrolled and with Ratty Tatty Papers - likewise. Now - on-line teaching is two a penny whether they be good or bad. Technology has rushed ahead like a lightning attack but sometimes it is all too much. I have just taught big classes in Adelaide and I am very grateful that so many people came - and paid their money. I actually think there are too many courses happening - too many people maybe jumping on the band wagon and a lot are not that good. (this is not blowing my own trumpet) Teaching takes a lot of work - preparation - worry - personal development etc. I don't give notes any more for three reasons - one is that I change my mind and think of new ideas as I go - the second is that people tend not to listen as they either read the notes and follow or file them away and ask you what you have written down - and the third is that they simply copy them and use them as their own teaching notes.
Interesting times not helped by the huge flux of bad books appearing - I really hate seeing someone whose work and techniques I admire being copied badly and money being made.

Rant over.

On Wednesday we took half a day off and went to Safety Bay for a wonderful crab fest with Val and Jim who had got up and gone out crabbing in the morning so we could eat and drink in the afternoon. It was fabulous.


Julie said...

I've got some of that compressed foam Dale and am ashamed to say it languishes in my studio. When it stops snowing I shall have to go and find it and cut some shapes.

It is astonishing how quickly the information highway has galloped off and you are right about the quality of some of the teaching out there. You are right to rant about the theft of methods and ideas and how difficult it can be to know whether the teacher you have chosen to work with actually knows their stuff or taking advantage. I do find that there is an upside and Facebook and blogs can help the student (me) get to know a tutor before committing to a class whether in real life or online. We have to hope that the charlatan will quickly be found out and fall away but there is always the exception who hoodwinks the public with borrowed and stolen ideas so your rant is justified. I'm glad you said as a teacher you worry in advance. I have taught only a couple of classes locally and the stress of preparation and anticipation is awful. While the classes have gone well it's not going to be my life's work (what's left of it lol).

Heather said...

Love the textures of your sponge prints and the colours you used for the heart shape. I have heard tell of techniques 'poached' by a student on a course, who then went on to set up teaching it herself. It happens off line as well as on, but must be so demoralising if it is your work that has been poached. I find that quite often what goes round, comes round, and these thieves (for that is what they are) get their comeuppance eventually.

Amanda said...

I've really cut down on classes now. It's about time I tried to find my own voice. I'm still a sucker for a new technique. Mind you I've still managed to book myself to travel 11,000 miles to come and play with you!! :-) And John gets to play with the Ghan of course.

Anonymous said...

I read Liz's article too, I thought it was quite interesting from a teacher point of view. I would always do an 'in person' class before an online one, but sometimes the distance and cost means I can't always have my first choice. Having said that, the little classes at some of the shows can be interesting, the regional shows as well. I did both the online classes you mention Dale and I found them wonderful, had a great time mucking around at my own pace. And speaking of people poaching others ideas and techniques, which really is stealing whichever way you look at it, Lisa Walton bought to the attention of the FB world recently such an act and pressure forced the poachers to remove it from their website. I think you're right about amateurs jumping on the bandwagon. Lots of poor quality out there now, so don't you go anywhere Dale, we need you !!


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