Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cast Aluminum and The Summer of Fun

Today's type-play involved a sheet of aluminum foil, dull side up, taped to an underlay of typing paper, with a sheet of wax paper between them. The foil is typed on directly, yielding an embossed effect, whereas the typing paper receives an invisible transfer of a wax image. The wax image is fused into the paper using a hair dryer, then a thin, dry watercolor wash is applied, using very little pressure, revealing the hidden message.

More work is needed to perfect these techniques. The shiny foil doesn't reveal its lettering as well as I had hoped in the scan. I may have to try side-lighting the foil, to reveal its texture better, and photograph it with a digital camera. Or perhaps scan or photograph the raised, reverse side, then flip the image in post.

You can see that the lettering at the bottom of the typing is obscured by the watercolor wash; I started the brush strokes from bottom up; the too-wet brush initially obscures the lettering. I need to adjust where I start each brush stroke -- not too close to the start of the lettering, but also not too dry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wax Casting, Color Casting and Pinhole Paper Negatives

Note to those interested in trying this: I fold a sheet of paper in half, place the wax paper inside the sandwich, then type on the outside. A thin watercolor wash is applied to the side of the paper under the wax. Use a wide, flat brush, don't get it very wet (no puddling) and very little pressure, else you'll obliterate the wax letters, as is evident from the experiment above.

I found several interesting paper negatives from my archives (taken with a cardboard box pinhole camera fashioned from one of those felt-covered video storage boxes found at Hobby Lobby), 8"x10" format. The subject matter was chosen to offset the scene in my backyard. These two images are merely examples with what can be done with this method. I shot these scenes using my Lumix G1, then inverted the tones in Photoshop. I also cropped them to square format -- my favorite aspect ratio for photos.


PS: Check out my Grandson's blog The Line Writer, where he has typecast on top of a water color wash applied previously and dried.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dust in the Hills -- A Keri Smith Magic Book Poem

Many of you may know of Keri Smith's website, within which she has a neat graphical illustration of how to construct your very own "Magic Book" from one standard sheet of typing paper, yielding six pages plus front and back cover. I discovered this while on vacation last month, and ended up typing an ad hoc poem, scanned here for your literary amusement.

Front & back cover:

Pages 1 & 2:

Pages 3 & 4:

Pages 5 & 6:

"The Line Writer" -- My Grandson's Blog

I've purchased my Grandson an old Hermes 3000 manual typewriter, with which to begin typing and typecasting.

He's nine years old, going on ten. Very much a boy. So it's been interesting to see him begin to explore the world of printed words on paper, especially when he's the one doing the printing.

Then he wanted to have his own blog. Due to his young age, I wanted control of his blog, and also to screen any feedback, so we created his blog under my Blogger account. Initially he wanted to name his blog after a Beatle's song, but I explained that all the good titles are already taken as blog names. So he decided on "The Line Writer," a variation on the song title "Paperback Writer."

I'll try and post his typings as soon as he gets them to me, and also include either recent photos of him, or scans of his artwork.

Noah's blog can be found at The Line Writer.

Enjoy, and please give us both feedback.

~Joe (aka Grandpa Joe)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fauxtography Revisited

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bead Frame Madness

Chinese Suan Pan:

Antique Japanese 1:5 Soroban:

Modern Japanese 1:4 Soroban:

9-Bead "Nonus" abacus:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Toltec Writers Guild

They Say to Write

Maybe There's Hope