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Friday, May 24, 2013

Here are a few more questions from Dawn. I'm happy to answer them and at the same time I'll give you an inside peek at the process of creating the book.


Thanks for all the clarification, Serena.

I do have more questions. I attempted the "scraping and incising" project (p.38-40). I had never before used micaceous iron oxide. I used it unthinned which gave me a heavy dark application. While your surface looks fairly light after applying the Nickel Yellow Azo, my surface was extremely dark. Even experimenting on another board with a thinned application the surface was darker than in the demo. My piece never recovered- the incising went well, but the piece was overall too dark and also I was unable to achieve the distressed look of your surface in "Waiting to be filled" even after applying the reinkers. Any advice?

Waiting to Be Filled 

Hi Dawn,

You are right that the last step shows a lighter background than the finished piece. On page 33 of my book, you'll find some steps that I use for additional aging that aren't in the step by step pictures. These include:

  • Rubbing a neutral re-inker such as slate or mushroom in various areas around the piece
  • Sponging on and wiping off neutral or brown acrylic paint, thinned with glaze medium,
  • Rubbing ink from a pad in various areas
  • Collaging specks of tea or instant coffee flakes onto the piece.

Some of the step by step projects show the piece I made in the photography sessions at the start of the section. Others, like the one above, show the original piece I made for the book. We work through all the project pieces in a few days and do our best to show each step. I encourage readers to experiment with using different color palettes and combining different techniques. While I did my best to re-create the original piece, even I can't copy myself exactly! And I think that's a very good thing! Each piece we make reflects who we are in the present moment, and no two wabi-sabi pieces will be alike.

I'd love it if you'd send me a photo of the pieces you made based on this project. If you like, I could make suggestions. I think the important thing is whether you have fun in the process and whether you like your piece. Wabi-sabi art is all about experimenting and re-doing projects when you want to change them. 

As far as the aging of this piece, I added more Ginger re-inker to the top part of the piece than is shown in the steps. If your piece has a darker background, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. As you experiment you may well find you like some of  your pieces even more than what you see in the book.

Now I'm off to Port Townsend, WA where I hope to take some wabi-sabi photos to share with my readers!

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