Sunday, January 31, 2010

Experiential Wanderings - Christine

I have decided to search for my letters during my meditative walks. My focus of late has been to find the real in reality. Searching nature for something more than just colours and textures and looking into things microscopically or as a whole. For now I have if you all look closely A, C, I & D. No I was not "tripping"..!!!!! From fronds, grass, mangroves to gorgeous tree bark... No clues next time.

First Four Letters

I gave myself a few rules: 
1) I must work only with my left hand (I am right-handed). This will force me to 'loosen up' and some of the lines will be perhaps wavy and 'out of register'.
2) I must stay with my first attempt at a letter, if it turns out badly, I must rework it-no starting over. Again, the goal is to be more spontaneous.

Week two: A little more bold, with some dark lines that happened by accident and I left them. So far, I'm working on Strathmore 400 dry media sketch pages, my primary tool is markers and pens, no pencil because there is no erasing allowed. I'm adding a graphic element to each one: small squares, doodles or the color bars.
Week three: Perhaps I'm beginning to relax a bit. I like the bright color on this one. 
Week four: I'm feeling more comfortable with using my left hand.
Thank you for viewing. -JGR

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First 5 weeks

As I have already indicated, I am using photos taken of an old painted hand made box to source my alphabet letters. For some unknown reason, my initial letters were vowels, thus I am a week ahead!! I am using mainly ACDSee [a simple version of Photoshop] to achieve these results. I will note when I use another programme.
Here are the original photos, the final letters, and some pointers on how I got to that stage.
a. Mirror image, flipping, cloning.
e. Flip, clone.
i. Flip, clone, colour changes.
o. Flip, clone, add contrast.
u. Change perspective [with 'Paintshop Pro 7'], clone.
There are some challenges ahead. I will need lots of artistic licence with some letters.
I am teaching these techniques at an ATASDA workshop  in Brisbane on April 24th and 25th.

My lot for February

As you can see I have been able to produce my letters ‘A’ to ‘D’.

As it turns out I have decided to do all the letters in the first alphabet in recycled brass.

Letters with curves in them will be hammered and punched and the plate itself will end up slightly curved. The heavier brass I’m using for these letters comes from the side of an old brass pot plant pots. When I cut it up the sheet just sprung flat but with a definite twist to the metal – over stretched in the manufacturing process I think. So I am working with the twist rather than heating the metal and returning it to flat.

Letters that are made up of straight lines will be done using the foldforming approach I used in the first ‘A’ I produced. This metal also comes from brass plant pots but is much thinner.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My first 4.

And here is my result for the first month.
A-V-I-O. White stoneware clay imprinted with different object.
Glazed with a matt glaze using 2 different glazes and overlap them to get more colours.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My first month - Fiona

So far so good, the project is making me do things which I haven't done before; has given me permission to play; and forced me to do something even if I didn't feel like it or think I had the time!

I have chosen to make my first alphabet a technique experiment alphabet - using tools and surfaces I don't normally pick up and work with. I decided that in order to keep a sense of continuity /coherence I would use a Roman Capital throughout. Interestingly I have done the letters sequentially so far... maybe I'll break out later!

A - purple marker pen, on Kozo paper, then touched with water brush.
B - I used a hot poker to burn the letter into cedar
C - rusted, steel, letter traced onto metal using a soap pencil, then engraved using a Dremel.
D - letter cut out of contact, stuck to perspex and sandpapered over on the top surface.

The individual letters and more detail are over at my Paperponderings blog

The first 4 - Elaine

For this project I decided that I would work through my collection of interesting ideas that I was always going to do something with ‘one day’.

I sometimes use gold in my work, but very rarely silver, so I decided to restrict my palette to silver, black and red and work on black paper. The only exception to my rule is that I can also incorporate black & white photos. Elaine.

Week 1. A - EW
Silver gouache painted onto black Velin Arches 250 gsm paper, letter written with ruling pen using black and red ink.

Week 2. B - EW
Black and white photograph painted with gesso, plastic tool to ‘write’ letter into the wet surface. Red thread highlight.

Week 3. Z - EW
Scratch foam print using a 3B pencil as the mark-making tool. Printed with silver block printing ink on black Canson Mi-Teintes paper

Week 4. O - EW
Wet-on-wet wash. Black, red and silver inks applied with dropper on black Velin Arches 250 gsm paper. Letter O written with silver 3.5mm Zig marker.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


As you all know I'm working in clay, a slow progress, compared to some of you working in other media.

So it takes me a little longer to get my letters ready I started a few weeks ago and decided to use different clay every month.
For January I have chosen white stoneware, printed pattern and glaze them after they have been bisque fired.And  do 4 letters at the same time a wee bit of cheating!

 This is the first stage not fired yet.

At the moment my letters are really, really HOT!!
As you can see through the peephole of my kiln.

Always exiting to open the kiln and see how everything is the way I intended to.
I just have to wait till tomorrow!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hi all,
I am using photos of an old, home made wooden box with peeling paint, for inspiration for my letters. I am taking close up photos of potential letters, then using [as few as possible] 'photoshop' techniques to create the designs.
I'm not sure of how to present them as yet, but I guess they will be printed on hot pressed heavy weight water colour paper for a start. Any ideas?


Kim Schoenberger - ALaW

When I saw Fiona's idea of A Letter a Week, it was yep I'd get into this! Being primarily I'm a 3D artist and having to get my head around the fact that I felt I had to use paper, with several attempts leading me to frustrations I took myself to my rusty pile. Within minutes I had come up with the letter A.
Each week I go on a hunt for rusty treasures, so I've decided to create my letter from my finds for that week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New beginning

This is my introduction to the blog, I'm looking forward to sharing my work and to see what you are all happily working on.

My first piece is Gouache on Arches 300 gsm with a simple diapery pattern and border in gold.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Hi Everyone, and thanks Fiona for getting us all organised. I totally LOVE the photo of alphabet pebbles on the blogsite header. What a great concept and having a collaborative project with people from all over Australia will be loads of fun. When Fiona first mentioned the idea, I coincidently received a belated Christmas card in the mail. Just thought I'd share it here--Noela

Introducing ALAW2010

A Letter A Week is a small challenge, project or experiment that we have set ourselves.  The original project started small but is growing, and is primarily about having fun, experimenting and having a regular, small project to focus on each week.

The aim is simply to:
  • Write/create a letter a week
  • Creating 52 letters
  • Which must form 2 x alphabets (that is not 52 x the letter ‘A’)
  • By the end of 2010
The only real rule is that the letter must be presented on a piece of material measuring 7cm x 7cm
  • We can use any medium, on any surface.
  • We can use any hand or representation of a letter.
  • The presentation of the final product is up to each of us – we could mat and frame the pieces as a work of art; we could make a stack of cards; we could bind them individually; we could bind them in a book; we could cover a box with them....
  • We can also use any theme or approach we wish in the project – we may choose to do all our letter in black and white and red; we may choose not to repeat a combination of medium and surface; we may choose to be experimental; we may choose an animal theme; we may choose a letter linked to a poem....
  • We may start at the beginning of the alphabet, the end of the alphabet, we may make two alphabets simultaneously or we may just decide that today feels like a “D” day and decide to write a “D”
Depending on how we go, and where we are, and how many we have, and what our final pieces look like; it might be nice to try and arrange a showing or mini-exhibition of the pieces once we have finished. We can explore this option through the year.

We will also aim to do a monthly sharing – on the first Wednesday of a month, we will share photos of our letters from the previous month.