Fine Lines and Website Issues

It has been hard to get back in the studio after Christmas and New Year, not least because all every time I pick up something, particularly a Craftynotions product, it reminds me of Sarah, and then I spend my time thinking and not doing.  However the other reason for not getting cracking is the totally chaotic mess that was my studio.  It is still by no means tidy, but at least I have a small bit of space on which to work now.

Rare Bird Web Site

Before I tell you about what I have been up to I need to let you know that we are currently experiencing some problems with the server of the hosting company for our Rare Bird website, so please do not panic if you cannot  see the site, it is just a technical issue that we are trying to resolve as quickly as possible.  Sadly it also involves receiving emails to the email address.  We can send but not receive at the moment.  So if you are trying to contact us about an order or a query please be patient, we cannot currently even see the orders that are arriving. If it is really urgent try this email:  I do apologise for the inconvenience, but my technical expert (AKA my husband) is on the case right now. (Update, the web site seems to be back on line, but the email is still an issue, and the hosting company are on the case)

Fine Lines

Back in the autumn we had a joiner doing some work for us, and I noticed how beautifully fine the curls of wood were that he was planing away.  After much discussion and experimentation with an old plane (for some weird reason he would not let me use his beautiful, finely tuned and very expensive precision piece of engineering, I can’t think why!), I managed to cut myself a pot full of curls of Friendly Plastic.  The maximum width of each piece was about 1.5mm (approx 1/16 inch).  I won’t say this was a breeze to do as it involved a bench vise and much tinkering with the old plane.

My next challenge was to see what I could do with these fine curls.  Every time I heated them with a heatgun they uncurled rather erratically.  I took to trying the griddle and as long as I made my arrangement directly on to a protective sheet on the hot griddle, the plastic stuck in place.  So with some experimenting I came up with loose loopy circles which I dragged into the middle to become flowers.

The flowers can be manipulated into 3D shapes  which was quite fun.  You do have to watch out that you don’t have any free floating loops of individual strands of FP because these will quickly soften with heat and distort.  However for non jewellery purposes, it could be a fun technique for you to try.

Friendly Plastic is very bendy, and with a bit of work I  managed to bend some of the curls straight again.  This made it possible to create the finest linear patchwork that I have managed to date.  As you can see from the 5p piece, the stripes are narrow, narrower even than the thickness of the Friendly Plastic.  The fineness of the stripe really appealed.  For those who are not familiar with a 5p piece it is 17mm across, or 11/16″

I applied transfer foils to the back and edges before I transformed my flat strip patchwork into a curly wiggle using hot water.  So for the ultra neatniks amongst you, go find yourself a plane and get curling.

Forgot to say Happy New Year!