Stuff that occurs to me

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Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Vaguely Celtic 'bunting' for Buntingmas made from acetate OHP sheets and glass paints

Happy #Buntingmas everyone!

I've painted some patterns onto acetate sheet panels and will let them dry overnight before constructing the panels into bunting. Each one of these is about 2.5 inches long I think (estimate!).

  1.  The Bunting
  2.  About the bunting: How I made it
  3.  The underlying designs
  4.  About #Buntingmas
1. The Bunting

Six panels painted and cut from acetate sheet, sitting on a white sheet.

One panel held up to bright sunlight

Edit: 24 April 2021

  The finished bunting, against sunlight.

2. About the bunting: How I made it
It's quite a few years (pre-2000) since I did glass painting as a hobby but I always enjoyed it when I did. Friends and I even used to sell stuff, in a local shop in Camberwell and we had an occasional stall in Camden (Stables Market) in the days when you could rock up at 6am at the weekend and get a pitch for a few pounds. It was not exactly a money-making venture but we'd sell enough to break even. 

Anyway, I have made some glass-painted bunting for this year's Buntingmas and making use of a pack of OHP (Overhead Projector) transparent acetate sheets that I still have from the times of yore when these were how we made presentation slides. They're great to paint on as they behave like glass with respect to the paint and like paper with respect to a pair of scissors, so very easy to cut into shape. 

I think they look rather pretty, though as the first ones I've done in years I expect if you compare them closely with 'my earlier work' they're probably not as neat, but I enjoyed doing them and that is always the most important thing in any endeavour :)

The process involves firstly creating the designs / patterns (see below) then producing a neat copy and 'tracing' the pattern by putting an acetate sheet above it (blue tack helps) and outlining it with relief liner paste (see pic below). Once that's dried you apply the paint. It's more like floating/flooding the paint into the reservoirs created by the raised relief paste, so perhaps a bit more like enamelling. Everything is touch-dry after a couple of hours but properly dry overnight.

A needle and thread strings them together with a loop on either end for attaching (to be honest I just used a bit of blue tack to stick them on the window to take the photo).

3. The underlying designs
The Celtic knotwork patterns are pretty easy to create from scratch if you have a book like George Bain's Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction (eg see page 29 [p28 of 162] to get a quick overview). They involve a simple grid, then scaffolding lines and finally the pattern, erasing the scaffolding. I previously screen-printed a bag using a Celtic (actully Pictish) knotwork pattern which I made from scratch with a simple grid, you can see the stages of production in the post linked.

Or you can visit these other online places, or see example YouTube video at the end:

How to draw Celtic knotwork:

One acetate sheet filled with several panels and a pattern drawn on.

The original drawings which were traced onto the acetate sheet, using the paste in the tube (Pebeo liner) shown above, which comes out like a bit like toothpaste.

The 60s swirl pattern (below) was just drawn from a series of circles made with a compass and curves intersecting at various points, then taking a rectangular shape and overlaying it on the middle.

Swirly pattern, excerpt used in art project above

A Rennie Mackintosh-inspired painting I made 30 years ago!

A short video tutorial showing how to create a Celtic knot from scratch



Celtic knotwork doodles made by me following Bain's methods

4. About #Buntingmas
It's just a silly festival I invented at the end of 2019 because I like bunting. It runs from 11 April (which was my mother's birthday) to 11 September (which was my father's) and is basically a Spring and Summer full of cheerful little flags - this is the 2nd annual Buntingmas and so far it's just me celebrating it with my friends indulging me ;) You can read more about it here and click on the Buntingmas category to see more bunting-related posts. There are quite a few to be honest.




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