Saturday, January 21, 2012

...rainbow chips...

..I've been getting ready to lead a school workshop in Birmingham. It's not until March, but I'm also planning the Darwin Festival in February, so before time races ahead, I thought I'd make a start.
Rainbow chips are my favourite tools. They make you look in detail at matching colours in natural objects.
We seldom notice, but sycamore seeds are neon pink, King Alfred's Cakes are tar-like black and pigeon feathers are the colour of faded denim.

The easiest way to make a set of rainbow chips is to fill a small box with cut up paint swatches. It does the job, but it's not as lush as this slightly more challenging method...

I recently took part in an Outback2Basics felting course and was taught how to make bags. I'm now totally addicted.
This afternoon, with the rain pouring down and H making a lego robot-owl at my feet, it was the perfect chance to practice my new craft and...felt! 
Out came the cardboard, bubblewrap and bags of red and green wool.
One hour later, the kitchen was covered with wool and soapy water and I had a beautiful red felt bag, plus a second (forest green) pouch drying slowly on the rack.

Now for the rainbow chips.
I used Fimo (a polymer clay), broke each small block into 6 smaller blobs, rolled each blob into a ball and then squashed it between my thumb and forefinger.
H came to help me, so we got some great shapes. We arranged them in colourful rows on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for a few minutes to harden.

I'm really pleased with the results. There's a story that goes with the chips that I'll tell another time, but essentially, I have a broken rainbow in my bag.

...more rainbow chips...
...rainbow chips in action...

...a woodland rainbow...

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