Faux Dichroic Glass

This article has been written for us by Linda Giese

Making faux dichroic glass is a little smelly and time consuming, but a whole lot of fun and endlessly creative!  Whenever I get out all the stuff I never want to stop.  I keep adding more elements, trying new color combinations and when something works particularly well, I want to do it again before I forget what I did.

coloured glass

There is a little planning in the process and a whole lot of serendipity. I’ve been surprised more than a few times with how a particular embossing powder acts on the surface.  Some spread into flower blossoms and some leave airy spaces while others cover everything you did before.  The Asian text loses the paper and leaves the beautiful lettering.

So let’s get started.  I use my 44 year old electric frying pan for my heat source.  I learned the technique from a friend with a hot plate.  We set the glass on a craft sheet, but often burned our hands or dropped the glass using tongs.  I tried to find an inexpensive used hot plate to no avail, so looked for another option.  One more of my small appliances is now dedicated to my art.  I tried putting my glass pieces on a craft mat, but soon had powder and beads all over my pan.  I also burned my fingers and dropped a few pieces.

Frypan to make your own coloured glass

I tried aluminum pans, but most had patterned bottoms so the heat was uneven and parts of the embossing powder took forever to melt.  My little foil boxes work so well.  I can pick them up easily and keep most of the powder inside the boxes. I can also easily remove the finished pieces while leaving others in place.

The other materials you will need are sea glass, clear embossing ink, clear ultra thick embossing powder, assorted colored embossing powders, a small spoon for adding new elements and a toothpick for moving things around.  Optional extras are microbeads, glitters, shiny papers and foreign text.

materials needed to make your own coloured faux dichroic glass

The sea glass can be clear or colored, but should be nice and flat.  If you can get real sea glass with the smooth edges, that would be ideal.  But I often uses the bag of sea glass from the craft or dollar stores.  I prefer the bottle of embossing ink with the dauber top to the pad.  I feel I have more control and get better coverage.  I found my shiny papers at the dollar store as holographic tissue paper.

The process is quite easy.  I heat the frying pan to between 250 and 300 degrees fahrenheit   I tear some pieces of aluminum foil and fold up the sides, pinching the corners for open boxes, trying to keep the bottom nice and flat.  I put embossing ink on one side of the glass and dip it in the clear ultra thick embossing powder.  Put the glass, powder side up, in the foil box and into the heated pan until it melts.

Now it is time to have some fun.  Add some papers (save the text for a near the top layer)or add microbeads, or colored embossing powders a bit at a time with a very small spoon.  Let each layer melt before adding more.  Don’t add too much powder at a time. Whenever you want something to show through, add more clear embossing powder on top.

I keep preparing new pieces while waiting for others to melt.  You will know it’s all melted when the whole top is shiny.  You won’t have to add any more embossing ink after the first layer because the wet powders will grab the additional layers.  Leave the pieces in the pan as you add things and remove when they are finished.  The top edges of the foil are cool enough to carefully lift out of the pan, but be aware that the glass will be very hot!  Let it cool before you touch it.

materials needed to finish your own glass

Now that you have a nice array of beautiful pieces, what do you do with them?  Most of mine are made into pendants.  I also crochet gold thread (just a chain stitch) for the necklace when I sell them.  I use 24 gauge wire, cut a piece, make the top loop, wind randomly and tighten.  Sometimes I use my gold pen on the edges and or back.  I tried the metal tape around the edge, but wasn’t pleased with the result.  I also like making the smaller pieces into pins.  I glue them (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue) to small pieces of mat board and embellish them.  I adhere a pin back.  You can also use them on a mixed media canvas or board.

faux dichroic glass pendants and brooches

Let me know if you come up with more ideas for additions or uses.  Have fun and be creative!

Hugs, Linda

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Linda Giese has an altered book in the Autumn 2012 issue of Art Journaling.
 She welcomes emails, questions and comments at linda.giese@yahoo.com

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Faux Stitching

This article is written by Dawn Stegall of Faithfully Yours

I don’t know about you, but I love the look of stitching on my craft projects.  However, I really don’t want to drag out my sewing machine. Actually to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to take the time to learn the proper needle to use, tension, etc. So instead I prefer an easier and quicker method.

Supply list:
• serrated tracing wheel
• gel pen, markers, pens
• soft surface (mouse pad, etc)

Step 1: Create Holes

Using tracing wheel, create your holes where you want your stitching to be. I traced around the border of my patterned paper.

 Mixed media art technique

I have a clear 6 inch ruler I like to use as a guide. Be sure to press hard enough to create the holes. This is why a cutting matt will not work, you need a softer surface to create the holes.

 

Step 2: Faux Stitch

Using gel pen or marker of your choice, “connect the dots”.  I keep the ruler in place and simply draw a line.

Mixed media art technique

Close up of “stitches”.

Mixed media art technique

 

Super simple, yet effective!

 

Method 2:

Use a marker and draw lines freehand to create your own faux stitching. I like to use glaze pens as they dry with a slightly raised surface. This gives your stitches a more realistic look. Note: for this method do not use a ruler as the pen tends to bleed under the ruler leaving smudges on your finished project. (plus allows for a more realistic hand stitched look)

Sample card:

Notice the striped panel of patterned paper from the tutorial above. Inside the card I used method two and drew the stitches freehand with a glaze pen. Under the circle, I stamped a sentiment on the inside of the card.

Mixed media greeting card

Mixed media greeting card

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Dawn Stegall strives to be a good steward while remembering God in her scrapbooks.

For a free guide and weekly inspiration visit http://www.FaithfullyYours.net

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Stencilling onto a Mixed Media Canvas

Michelle Brown is back in the Mixed Media Art Studio for the New Year and is having fun painting and stencilling mixed media canvases.

Ready to stencil with sequin scrap

Now that the base layers are complete, it’s time to add some stenciling and other interesting features. Michelle runs through her thinking process for adding this layer, covering colors, placement of stenciling and the key to getting it right!

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Resources:

  • Paints – Dylusions and Dina Wakely
  • Paint Brushes - Dina Wakely
  • Sequence scrap – medium circles, small circles and squares
  • Stencil – designed by Rebekah Meier, The Crafters Workshop TCW495S
  • Canvas – 10″x 16″ Xpress Graphx

stencilling with acrylic paints~ * ~

We’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment and tell us how YOU like to add stencilling to your mixed media canvases and other art work. What works for you? What are your biggest challenges? What are some of the mistakes you take care to avoid?

Happy creating,
Michelle

 

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Creating Seamless Transitions

Bringing a variety of elements together is what mixed media art is all about. The challenge is how we do this so that our finished artwork looks cohesive and pleasing to look at. The ability to do this is a skill we develop over time and through practice. Here we will look at the three main elements to be considered when putting your mixed media piece together.

1. Layering

Creating a background that has lots of interest and visual texture is done through adding many layers. The use of collage elements, paints, markers and images can be blended in many ways. Using areas with darker colours will provide contrast. Using text and shapes will create interest as our brains try to recognise and make connections with familiar elements. Drawing words or images into texture pastes or Gesso will creates shapes that can show through layers. As each layer is added, consider if you need to allow it to dry or whether blending while wet is preferable.

2. Blending

As the background layering is being added, some blending may also be needed. When paint is applied more thickly, it can cover up parts of the underlying elements. In other areas, removing some paint with a damp cloth will allow bits to show through.

Tissue paper is great for adding images when the background is too hard to stamp on but you want the image and background to blend seamlessly. Stamp directly onto the tissue paper with permanent ink (like StazOn Ink Pads- Jet Black), tear around the outline and use gel medium (Golden Matte Medium) or varnish to stick it to your piece. Coat all surfaces with lots of gel medium, gently remove any bubbles from under the tissue paper and allow to air dry.

Using torn, natural lines will make blending the images into the background easier. Hard straight lines will stand out and break up the seamless transition we are trying to create.

The paint colours also need to be blended. Considering the colour pallet you have chosen, it is easier to blend similar colours. Blending the paints directly onto your artwork, using a little water, will help the transitions come together.

3. Arrangement

The arrangement of each element will influence the final balance and transitions of your work. Having images and text overlapping with the elements in the background will help to blend the edges of each element. If you are sticking many heavy embellishments, you need to consider if the backing piece will be strong enough to support these layers.

And remember, as with any mixed media work, there are no rules, only guidelines, so give yourself permission to play and experiment. Try not to over-think your work.

Happy creating!
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