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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Mixed Media Art Backgrounds

This article is written by Linda Giese

For the past year I’ve been putting papers over my plastic covered workspace. It began when I found a roll of thermofax for a dollar at a thrift store.  I put it on my workspace and soon it filled up with random stamps, paint splatters, doodles and notes.  I tore off another sheet and saved the first for collage fodder. I progressed to large sheets of newsprint that came as packing material in boxes.  A friend even gave me old architectural plans she was going to throw away.

Backgrounds

This is an easy way of making original collage papers to make your art unlike anyone else, and it won’t even take extra time!  Now I glory in messing up my surface papers with ideas and oversprays.  Since I teach at my dining room table, there are class notes and ideas for what my students want to learn next.  I test out new stamps and “stamp off” ones I’m using.  There are scribbles trying to get a pen to write or see what color it is.  Sometimes there is even a random fruit label!

Backgrounds

I’m not likely to run out of clean papers to mess up, but thought of an idea if I did.  I’d take sheets of junk mail with clean backs and tape them together.  Or as I’ve done, use sheets of scrapbook paper I don’t like that perhaps came in a stack of paper.  If you take a class, perhaps you can mess up newspapers under your work there too!  Good luck and happy splatters!

Backgrounds

Materials I used for my canvas:
Underpainting is blended background of Americana orchid, butter and baby blue
I applied the torn collage papers with Americana DecouPage as well as the Dover clip art woman image
I used the above paints plus Americana cad red, bright yellow(to make the flesh color) and true blue for shading

Backgrounds

Backgrounds

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Linda Giese encourages comments, questions, and sharing your art journey at linda.giese@yahoo.com

She teaches classes privately and at a local scrapbook store, The Stamp Addict

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Using what you know – Mixing your Media

This article has been written by Linda Giese

Little boxes provide quick surfaces for a variety of techniques.  People like to collect boxes for storage and for gift giving.  So for those of you who have an annual sale or two, or make your own gifts, boxes are a great source of material.

blank wooden boxes for mixed media collage

No matter which techniques you’ve perfected, or want to practice, try it on a box.  But for wonderful contrast and creating interest, combine two techniques on one box.  Boxes are divided already for you into tops and bottoms – how convenient!

As I was prepping a box for painting or collage, I used white gesso as a sealer and undercoat.  Well, that bright white just called to me to zentangle.  I had Sandy Steen Bartholomew’s book “Totally Tangled”  handy and I’d always loved that face on the cover.

Sandy Steen Bartholomew's book "Totally Tangles"

Now faces are not my strong suit, so I copied hers to have a successful outcome.  (Just remember to give the original artist credit.  I put this information inside the box lid.) I set the box aside for months not wanting to mess up that beautiful face by not so great art work.  Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood to create.

Using the inside of the lid for artistic credits

But now the sale was looming and I had to produce and finish projects I had started.  I came across this box.  It would take a lot of time to zentangle the whole thing!  I was going through my stash of napkins to share with a new student.  That’s what gave me the idea to pull out black and white napkins and tissues.

Black and white napkins

One of the secrets to combining two techniques successfully is to think of the color palette.  Since my box was white with black pen work for the zentangles, I had a natural fit. The same or compatible colors should work for a successful combination.  If I used the napkins and tissues to collage the bottom of the box, I could finish my project much quicker. I used DecouPage by Americana to apply the napkins and tissues.  I began with one napkin and tore it into pieces after separating out the white layers. I put the straight edges of the napkins along the straight edges of the box.  I applied the first pattern around the box on the four sides and the bottom.  Then I started with the second napkin the same manner.  I continued with the other napkin and the tissues until the entire box bottom was covered.

base of gift box covered with black and white napkins

It looked so pretty. It reminded me of a dining room with chair rail separating the smooth painted upper wall and the textured wallpapered bottom wall. I was anxious to finish the zentangled top.  Nothing like a bit of excitement for inspiration!  I used some of my favorite patterns for each segment.   I used a micron pen for the zentangles.   The lid needed a border to make it look finished.  I drew a line on the top using a ruler to frame my woman.  The side still looked too plain.  The lace pattern was just the thing and tied it to the woman as I had used it on her dress.

decorating the edge of the box lid

I decided to use just a bit of color for the eyes. I used a green IDentipen on the smaller tip to make the lines for the iris.

adding color to zentangle face

I used black acrylic paint and a floating technique for shading.  I found to my dismay on another project that if you plan to varnish over your work, pencil shading may spread over the entire surface instead of staying where you want it. The top was then finished with two coats of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.  This is also why it is very important to use the right pens.  The Sakura IDentipens and Sakura Micron pens won’t bleed when you varnish over them.   If you are unsure about your pens, be sure to test them in advance on something other than your project.

black and white zentangle box

As a mixed media artist, I’m sure you have several techniques in your repetoire.  How about combining them on a special box?  This turned out so pretty that it may not go into my sale.  If you are like me and sell or give away the majority of your art, every now and them you surprise yourself and find a piece hard to part with.  That’s when your art becomes a gift to yourself  or perhaps a favored family member.  Now go grab some boxes and start playing!

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

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Create Your Own Original Backgrounds While You Play

This article is written by Linda Giese

For the past year I’ve been putting papers over my plastic covered workspace. It began when I found a roll of thermofax for a dollar at a thrift store.  I put it on my workspace and soon it filled up with random stamps, paint splatters, doodles and notes.  I tore off another sheet and saved the first for collage fodder. I progressed to large sheets of newsprint that came as packing material in boxes.  A friend even gave me old architectural plans she was going to throw away.

making backgrounds while you play

This is an easy way of making original collage papers to make your art unlike anyone else, and it won’t even take extra time!  Now I glory in messing up my surface papers with ideas and oversprays.  Since I teach at my dining room table, there are class notes and ideas for what my students want to learn next.  I test out new stamps and “stamp off” ones I’m using.  There are scribbles trying to get a pen to write or see what color it is.  Sometimes there is even a random fruit label!

making backgrounds while you play

I’m not likely to run out of clean papers to mess up, but thought of an idea if I did.  I’d take sheets of junk mail with clean backs and tape them together.  Or as I’ve done, use sheets of scrapbook paper I don’t like that perhaps came in a stack of paper.  If you take a class, perhaps you can mess up newspapers under your work there too!  Good luck and happy splatters!making backgrounds while you play

Materials I used for my canvas:
Underpainting is blended background of Americana orchid, butter and baby blue
I applied the torn collage papers with Americana DecouPage as well as the Dover clip art woman image
I used the above paints plus Americana cad red, bright yellow(to make the flesh color) and true blue for shading

making backgrounds to add to your mixed media art collage

use backgrounds to create layers to mixed media art

using backgrounds to create layers in mixed media art

 

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Linda Giese encourages comments, questions, and sharing your art journey at linda.giese@yahoo.com

She teaches classes privately and at a local scrapbook store, The Stamp Addict

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