Friday, 15 February 2013

Playing with the pasta machine.

Above is the first of the two blocks I made.   I cut a piece of card from the backing of a sketchbook, as advised by the lady in the art shop who had sold out of the thick card I had gone in to buy.  She said it was practically the same thing.   I followed the instructions to the letter but found that even with the rollers of the machine on their widest setting, I couldn't persuade my sandwich of paper, felt and card to go through so actually made all my prints without the felt.   On this block I stuck a scrap of jute scrim, one of fine scrim some thread, a lace motif and some punched paper shapes.
I suppose they have worked reasonably well for a first attempt - it is the first time I have met a pasta machine too!   I think the paint was a bit too runny and I shall try using better quality paper next - these have been done on ordinary sketchbook paper.

Having made it, and even though I know it's too thick, I thought I would see how this one turned out.   This time I printed onto good watercolour paper and got better results even without the felt again.
I like the subtlety of the shapes cut with a paper punch and wondered if they would show up at all as they are quite thin compared to other textured bits.  On this block I stuck a small feather, some rug canvas along the bottom, scraps of lace at the top, a piece of wool, a piece of torn textured paper and the punched paper flower shapes.  It is easy to see how one might suggest a simple landscape with these little bits and pieces.
It was good to use these trial pieces to get the hang of the procedure.  I must now find some thinner card strong enough hold the textured bits I want to stick on and to allow enough room for the piece of felt as well.   To anyone who has mastered this technique these must look pretty awful, but I quite like their distressed, imperfect character - just as well!

The only drawback is that it takes ages for the glue/medium to dry completely to apply the scraps to the card, and you have to use two coats, then apply varnish when they are both dry and that takes even longer to dry, and I am impatient to try again.    Back to the drawing board - I may be gone for some time!

11 comments:

Celia said...

I've done this, with varying success, but never used a felt.

You can speed up the process by using double sided sticky tape or carpet tape to stick the objects to the card. And I use PVA to seal the objects, which only needs one coat.

You can also use self-adhesive fun foam, which I managed to find in a couple of different textures.

Thanks for the reminder, it may be time to get the pasta machine out again!

Julie said...

Your results don't look awful at all, far from it. I've only tried this once and my pasta machine is languishing but it is worth continuing and I will get mine out again soon. Celia has said what I was going to say, you don't need to wait around for varnish to dry, pva will work. I like the combination of textures that you've got by having the different levels on your print plate. You can have some good fun using different tapes to create a design (masking tape, insulating tape, paper tape etc) Have lots of fun! x

Heather said...

Thankyou Celia and Julie, for your helpful tips.

Toffeeapple said...

Heather, I think they both look very good, I like the 'feeling' of them.

sharon young said...

I think your results are lovely, really beautiful and soft with a hint at the pattern, personally I like this effect more than the solid print off .

Carol Q said...

very interesting Heather and they certainly give you a feel for what you can do. I particularly like the brown shades and the echoes of pattern that have been left behind.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like these Heather - particularly the subtlety of the colours.

Robin Mac said...

Lovely subtle colours Heather, I have always been fascinated by the use that artists put the pasta machine to - I expect you will be trying out all sorts of collagraphs now! Hope your weather is improving so you can get into the garden again soon. Cheers

Maggi said...

Lovely results Heather, even if they might not be exactly what you expected. The colours are gorgeous.

Saeed Zia said...
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MargaretR said...

I've been thinking about pasta machines Heather. Not sure if I should buy one of those or a Sizzix thingie? I'll wait a bit and see how you enjoy yours. The first attempts look great.