Saturday, April 5, 2014

Art Abandonment and some crackle info

Greetings, campers!

Is it Spring in your neighborhood? I'm happy to report that the daffodils are officially blooming. As are my allergies! :)

I wanted to share a couple of things with you. One is called Art Abandonment. I found out about this group by following Michael DeMeng on Facebook (if you don't know his work, skip over and take at look at his fabulous-and-crazy stuff). The idea behind the group is that you make a piece of art, and then you abandon it for someone else to find. Hopefully bringing a smile and some mystery to the world.

I am going to abandon these guys just as soon as I figure out where (and get up the nerve).

Four little monster babies in their sleeping bags.


It's oddly satisfying to make something and know that you're just going to put it out there and walk away. I hope whoever finds them doesn't mind them crying all night long and eating them out of house and home.

Several people have asked me how I go about getting the crackle finish on my dolls and monsters. I use this stuff (Deco Art One Step Crackle):

Which, by the by, I used to be able to get at Michael's and now order on-line.

Here's my process:

I make the doll out of either sculpey or paper clay (you can use either, it makes no difference in how the crackle works).

I prime the doll with gesso. Then I give each doll multiple coats of paint.
Priming and painting the piece actually does make a difference in how the crackle works. It seems to need a sealed surface to stick to and crack properly, otherwise the effect is more like fine peeling paint. Which may or maybe not be what you want.


Sorry about the pics, I was upstairs in the laboratory with my cell phone.

If you're generous when applying the crackle, you'll get deeper cracks. An even coat will give you an overall fine crackle. Don't apply it so thickly that it runs. Also try not to rework the crackle too much, because it starts to crackle right away, as it is drying.
Hopefully you can see how the crackle finish looks before you apply the last coat of paint that will accent the cracks. It's shiny and you can see the cracks as you hold it under a light. You can also see where you missed painting the crackle (it will look duller/matte). I just dab on some crackle in those places and let it dry. For the baby monsters, I didn't put the crackle on their faces. I did seal the faces with a coat of gel medium.
The last step is the trickiest. First, make sure that the crackle is very dry (I leave them overnight). Then get two paper towels, one moistened (not soggy, squeeze the water out), and one dry.  Pour yourself a little black paint (or any color that is darker than the one you've painted your doll with, so it will show the crackle). Get a brush you don't care about (I have one I use for this).

(You can also pour yourself a glass of wine, but I would wait until I was completely done.)

Next paint an area of the doll with the black paint, completely covering it. The cracks should 'disappear' in this area you've painted. I use a brush that has already been destroyed by my loving care, and run it back and forth in different directions, forcing the paint into the cracks.

As soon as you've done that in one area, take your paper towel and wipe off the black paint. Use your moisten towel to feather the edges (so you won't get a black seam), or wipe off any areas you've mistakenly painted black. (This happens to me a lot! :) If an area is too dark, use your moisten paper towel to lighten it.

You'll have to work fast, so that the black paint doesn't dry on the surface (which is why I don't have pics). Work your way around the area that you've painted with crackle. You can go back and re-paint (and re-wipe) any areas where the crackle isn't dark enough. 

That's how I do it. I'm sure there are other products/techniques, but this works for me.
Here are two Halloween guys I made where I used the crackle on their bodies and the base, but not their faces:



That's it for crackling. As soon as I get my courage up, I'm going to abandon those monsters!
Happy Spring all!

23 comments:

  1. Pam, I an joining the abandonment group! What
    fun.
    A request please, could you abandon at least one of your monster babies on my porch? Pretty please?
    Thanks for the crackle info, works so well for you!

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    1. Hi Barb! It's so much fun to see what people are making and abandoning! I still haven't dropped mine off. I'm trying to decide WHERE. It seems like it should be so simple - lol.

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  2. Hi Pam! I'm really enjoying watching things be abandoned, so much fun! Love your creatures, so darling. Can't wait to hear about your experience of letting them go out into the world. Can your hubby and son aid you in your act of abandonment, by way of a diversion so you don't get hauled off to the hoosegow? :)
    Wishing you lots of creative fun! Happy weekend!
    xoxoxo

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    1. Hi Sally! Hahaha - OMG, can you imagine if I got arrested? Although, I'd probably get three square meals a day (that I don't have to cook). Hmm... :)
      I'll try to be discreet, but I am a natural klutz, so it could get very interesting.

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  3. Hi Pam. Your little babies are always awesome. The cracklings really do a great job. Hope you are sowing good. Taker care and have a great weekend. Good to see you.

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    1. Hi Gloria! Thank you! It's been raining here, but I hope I can get out in the garden this weekend. :) I have to hop over and see what you've been creating!

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  4. I love the idea of art abandonment. I could do it with the tiny books I make and take them into town to abandon. I paint on rocks and leave them around on my property and watch to see if they disappear. Surprising how many do. Who is taking them? Thanks for the tutorial on crackle. You do a great job of it.

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    1. Yes! Your tiny books would be so cool to find. I want to do some rocks, too, but all the rocks I have in my yard are not paintable. I need to visit a river, I suppose. I would definitely take one if it wasn't in your actual yard. :)

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  5. I love the idea of Art Abandonment. I think I'd have to just call it Abandon, as in a kind of freedom, otherwise I'd feel mean. Poor little things, abandoned like that. Glad it's finally Spring in your neck o'the woods.

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    1. Hi Jan! I know! I feel a little funny over the word abandonment, but then again, these are baby monsters. :) We had THE most glorious day yesterday. Today it's raining, but it is definitely a Spring rain. Yay!

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  6. Hmmm. I think this idea is great! Kinda like graffiti that someone can take home!
    I like Jan's idea of the painted rocks too. Maybe paint a handful and just set them in random spots outside...I guess that means I'd have to venture off of my own property doesn't it?...maybe I will just fling them from my car window!

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    1. A little gift to the universe! :) I like the idea of painted rocks, too. And I completely understand about opening the window and flinging them (although, Cindi, they are ROCKS). The hardest part for me is just actually dropping the art off somewhere. I won't miss them, I just feel all awkward and shy about it - lol. Oy.

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  7. Oh good grief! Those expressions! Those expressions are priceless!!! Hahaha! I found myself making these Aaaaaooooeeeeeeeeaaauuuu sounds while looking at their mouths. Ha! So freaking adorable. I'm moving to your neck of the woods in hopes of finding one of your abandonments!

    And thanks for the tutorial! So interesting and fun!

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    1. Hi Bella! Lol! I think that all the little monsters need dental work. Braces, perhaps. :) Please DO move to my neck of the woods! I will abandon a monster on your front step!

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  8. The art abandonment group is great, it's so impressive what people can do! I joined and had ideas, but before too long I felt overwhelmed with posts and everyone's enthusiasm. So, in spite of my good intentions, I didn't stay with the group. Just could not keep up. You are younger Pam, so go for both of us, and have fun!

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    1. Hi Barb! Are you kidding? I can't keep up with those guys! I'm just going to do my own little snails-paced thing. I don't think it matters if you post about it on FB, or anything else. Just have fun leaving art some place now and then - like the Easter bunny! :)

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  9. I'm so glad you wrote this - I'm gonna give it a funny little try! and I volunteer to have those little babies abandoned in my mailbox

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    1. Hi Mim! Anything you make and abandon will be magical for the finder. :) And I think you and everyone else here should just move to my neighborhood. The monsters would be very happy.

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  10. Oh Pam I love that idea of art abandonment! I also love your skellies and sleeping baggers!

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    1. Hi Becca! Thank you! I swear the hardest part is deciding where to leave them - lol. But it is fun!

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  11. Too cute! As always, the skellies are my favorites!

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  12. Too cute! As always the skellies are my favorite!

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  13. Move to your neighborhood? You'd be my neighbor? OOOOOOOOH!!!!

    I'm late to the party here and I don't know why. Maybe I've been too busy for the last month melting snow with my hair dryer (I considered it)

    But now it's spring and the sun is going to shine on us, prudie1. What will you do next? Besides make the world happier and sillier because you share)

    Kisskisskisskiss
    Love
    kj

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