Saturday 20 May 2017

2017 #8 Growth {by Keren Baker}

2017 Topic 8: Assemblage

Throwing down the 'think outsode the box' challenge with gusto, Keren has used a very unusual substrate as her base for this assemblage! Take a look...

Hi everyone, it's Keren with you today.

This Assemblage topic is something that I dived into with no real direction and no real clue about what the theme really entailed. This assemblage piece has ended up being possibly the favourite project that I've created to date.

I finally got my head around what assemblage means once I'd completed it (haha!). In my musing over a 'found' object I actually found a child's violin I'd been given years ago and had forgotten about. This sparked the whole project. I used lots of bits lying around my desk that were half started for other projects and inked up some JoFY sets too!

I loved everything about this - gathering unconnected items that fitted into the theme 'Growth'. As a musician, the only way to grow is to practice and repeat and immerse yourself into music. I guess art is like that too. The first sticking point was actually allowing myself to paint the violin! Wisdom would have said to actually sand it down, but I knew that the Fresco paints were good enough to handle my short cuts ;-). Once I'd painted two completely contrasting colours using Hyde Park & Smurf, I added Crackle Glaze before a coat of Chalk

I could have removed the strings but decided to avoid the hassle and simply moved them out of the way. Having unmounted flexible stamps were so useful when trying to stamp onto the neck. I'd previously coated the neck with a couple of layers of Guacamole and then I used the leaves from JoFY set 49

I wanted to change the leaves into flowers, so added a couple of colours plus some gel pen detailing and voila!

The quote is completely perfect for the theme and came from another JoFy set- 52. I was too nervous to stamp onto the violin as I didn't want to mess it up so I just used tissue paper instead.

I loved the idea of butterflies adding movement to the piece and had some white Stazon stamped on acetate that I attached in different areas. Without growth, the caterpillar would never transform into the butterfly so I used the butterflies from Hot Pick 1506

I wanted to add something that tied in the musical theme. I took some sheet music; a piece of Einaudi's 'Divenire' that I'd had to play for a friend's wedding. The culmination of the growth of their relationship was their wedding, so it tied in perfectly with the theme.

You can see a little glitter on the Grunge Paste that are pasted onto acetate. I used a Lin Brown 005 stencil . It does however peel off really easily and is very brittle on the acetate. Next time, I'd gently sand the acetate and perhaps add some Gel Medium to the Grunge Paste to add some flexibility.

I stamped and added the beautiful JoFY flowers and arranged them as if they were growing out of the F holes. The found wire spring and old beaded strings (for the butterfly antennae) helped finish off the details.

Creating Assemblage with leftovers was easier when I didn't overthink it. Taking an unloved instrument and re-purposing it seemed like a kinder act than simply recycling it. Deciding to cluster the main design elements in one area meant the piece didn't end up feeling so cluttered and incorporated my love of white space too. If you get the chance to upcycle an old instrument, do have a go. I'll be hunting out more old/broken instruments and I really recommend it- the sense of the instrument having had a previous life and wondering what music had come from it really added to my creative experience. I need to be brave and now drill a hole in the scroll so I can maybe hang it up in my craft room! 

Thanks for joining me. Do catch up with me over social media too,
Keren xx

Blog: Kerenbaker's Blog
Facebook: Keren Baker

Wow, I'd be over the moon and totally buzzing with that piece Keren! You conducted your creativity like a true maestro! Fantastico! ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link Topic 8 (Assemblage/ 3D Crafting) will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, May 21st 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

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Helen said...

This is beautiful!

Ruth said...

Wow! It all makes sense now and I LOVE what you've done. The butterflies on the strings and the different pieces all assembled together - it all works so well. Love this! Xx

Lauren Hatwell said...

Speechless with admiration... wow! Lx

JoFY said...


how fabulous is this!!! Keren! you clever creative genius!!! Love it!! x

Art By Wanda said...

Keren, this is phenomenal!!!!!!!! Wow!!! LOVE it!!!!

Craftyfield said...

The makeover is fab... a great idea for a unique décor piece!

Miriam said...

I love this Keren.... Beautiful...and yes... See why you were asking for broken!

Sarah G said...

Totally stunning, jaw dropped so far when I saw this that I think I have dislocated it!! My hubby's guitar may not be safe :) The way you have combined the elements on this piece make it a beautiful piece of art.

The Hardy Stamper said...

This is fabulous Keren! You are very brave, as I wouldn't have known where to start!

Chriss Blagrave said...

A true masterpiece! 🎻

Sandie said...

What an amazing idea. I have a child violin in the loft and this would be the perfect gift for my friend who has been learning the violin for the past 7. Years our so she is having a sounds progress music room built in her garden, dare I take my violin down from the loft I wonder?! Love what you done here!

Dortesjs said...

Awsome, my goodness so so great..

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is a masterpiece Keren, i have always loved your work but I think this is the best so far!

Lucy x

craftimamma said...

Wow, what an amazing piece Keren. I can fully understand why you are so pleased with it.....I would be over the moon.

Lesley Xx

Mac Mable said...

So clever and creative. Great how the paints are crackle covered the violin. Such a unique project, thank you for the inspiration x

Kirsten said...

This is absolutely gorgeous!!!

Julie Lee said...

Wow, Keren, this is stunning! I really love how you used the stamps. Totally inspired! xx

Ros Crawford said...

What a fabulous project!! So fun and unique! I'll be looking for things to alter now... Amazing my friend!

Ellie Knol said...

LOVE it!

Carole said...

Wow, I absolutely love your project, totally amazing....the best art I've seen for a very long time! C xxx