Having merged two historical photos for the dinner plate, my next task was to find images for the four bread and butter plates. I have a collection of old cook books, which I hoped would inspire me, if not provide something ready made. I really like the line drawing style some of them used, but none of the images fitted with what I was looking for. So I had to do my own drawings…
Afternoon teas and suppers served in our Hall invariably include sandwiches, and often sausage rolls as well – that’s the savoury plate. Cream cakes are always popular, and Lamingtons are another favourite, so the sweet plate has Lamingtons, butterfly cakes and cream kisses.
For the third plate, I took my inspiration from the table settings we use for High Tea at the Moyston Hall. By scanning my drawings, I was able to clean them up a little digitally much more effectively than with any analogue methods.
I found an illustration on the correct serving of tea in one of my old books, but I didn’t really want the text. I’m no expert at digital manipulation, but I did manage to remove the unwanted words. I was left with a paler rectangle which refused to blend in, and solved the problem by giving it a purpose.
Now that I have all my images prepared, and photocopied, the next step is to apply them…
Having decided to decorate the old plates, the second task was to decide what to put on them. We had gathered some old photos of events in the Hall when we produced a history book for the Hall’s Centenary celebration in 2014, and I had one of those in mind – it was taken in the old supper room.
I was able to edit it a little to bring up the details of the the food on the table. Once a circle is cut to fit the old dinner plate, some of that will disappear, unfortunately. I wonder if the plate it will be applied to is there in the photo?!
I thought it might be interesting to superimpose the photo of inside with that of outside. It took some tweaking before I was really happy with the result. Aligning the window in both images was the key.
I made the party image slightly transparent, so that the outside wall is just visible behind the party goers. The occasion was a 21st birthday party – look at that cake! The plate held by the lady in the foreground (the birthday boy’s grandmother, I think) is similar to the bread and butter plates I have plans for…
Our local Hall in Moyston has had more than a hundred years of community social occasions, most of which would have been catered for by the ladies “bringing a plate”. We had fifty years of the Moyston Old Time Dance, held once a month in the Hall. It started out as a fundraiser to build the new supper room, and went on until 2016. Local clubs took turns to cater, making sandwiches on the night and “the ladies” donating cakes and slices. Moyston Hall was renowned throughout the district for the quality of the food.
When we moved here 34 years ago, there was the “new” supper room, with an old kitchen behind it. I remember it as being dark and dingy, with a copper in one corner that was used in days of yore to make bulk coffee on those social occasions. They enhanced the flavour with mustard, and who knows what else… I kid you not! Sadly, no one thought to take photos.
Assessing the crockery recently, some very old plates came to light, marked as belonging to the Hall, and judging from the style, dating from the 1930’s. I decided on the spot that we should do something to/with/on them, and an hour or two later, we had a plan to apply images relating to the history of the Hall to these plates, and to display them somehow.
The finished piece will be in celebration of all the plates of food served up and enjoyed over the years.
So, share an other-worldly image, although literally Out-of-this-World is difficult to manage (moon or stars would work, but decent images of celestial bodies require gear and, I suspect, patience, that I don’t have).
The horrid face is a paper mache creation that was consigned to the flames at bottom left. I sifted through the ashes afterwards and only managed to find one of the glass marble eyeballs. I gave up on trying to identify the teeth, since they were small quartz stones that are all over the ground here.
The bottom right image is a detail of naturally dyed fabric. I used metal paper clips as resist – the metal makes the black mark – they look like alien butterflies.
This week we are challenged to show variations on a theme , patterns, repetitions… I have a collection of old cutlery, and I do get it out to use sometimes. I love the patina of the well used silver (well, EPNS…), and I prefer the old bone-handled knives with their Sheffield steel blades to modern ones.
I have been picking up washers where ever I see them for years. Although they are basically the same, they’re all different. Smaller ones get incorporated in junk jewellery, large ones in mixed-media art work.
When I saw that this week’s challenge is textures, my first thoughts were of roughness and bumpiness although lack of bumps is also a texture.
One of the attractions of taking pics of my daughter’s three cats on the bed is the contrasting textures of their fur and the bedding.
I made an Elizabethan style smocked and embroidered baby gown for my middle son 36 years ago. Last week I had my 7 week old grandson, Banjo, model it for me – the stitches on the fabric have lovely texture – so do his squooshy cheeks!
The white Japonica is beautiful, but last summer it was overrun by Cleavers/Goosegrass, which is now silvery grey and a nice contrast with the blossom. It’s also covered in seeds, unfortunately…
Grampians Textures is also the name of the annual textile workshop-fest that takes place in Halls Gap in March. I don’t get to do a course every year, but I did do four days of mixed media with Kieth Lo Bue this year – lots of textures in these pieces I made.
I thought I might make a new collage to photograph for this weeks challenge, but yet again, the week has run away from me (or with me?). Anyway, I made this little book some years ago, and it’s full of collaged elements. I cut words and definitions out of an old dictionary to illuminate the quotes I used in it.
Click on the images for detail.
Making collage out of a collection of miscellaneous scraps can be great fun, and I’m often amazed at how meaningful random juxtapositions can be. I think it’s about time I assembled a hodgepodge pile of bits and pieces and made another little book!
My Dad was an inveterate collector, obsessed with the rich heritage of Regency England’s gunmakers. He was famous amongst the arcane circle of gun collectors for his encyclopedic knowledge of the guns, their makers and their wealthy, titled owners. As a boy he loved pirate stories, and tales of derring-do, which morphed and grew as the years went by. He always excused his expensive habit as “investment”, which has proved true. Most have them have been sold now, which is rather sad, but inevitable.
I didn’t inherit Dad’s passion for “Old Guns”, but I definitely have the collector gene, if there is one…None of my collections are going to realise much fiscal value in years to come, but that’s not the point. I like tracking down and looking at this stuff!
Some things I collect become parts of mixed media art – such as the wind-chime I made from a bit of a broken coffee plunger and a lot of detritus. Then there’s vintage orange plastic (sometimes I buy green, too, but mainly orange), coloured glass (seen alongside a Russian samovar, which was Dad’s, not sure why he bought it!), vintage textiles, which I actually use, eventually, and a shelf of books about Kurt Cobain/Nirvana. Oh, and fake plastic (and ceramic) cacti, because…why not?
Time for reflecting this week – and once again the week is running away from me.
Our lounge room is quite small, so a collection of mirrors hangs above the fireplace to make it seem bigger and brighter – lots of reflections there!
Our local Hall has been upgraded recently – nice new toilets, better kitchen facilities, all-abilities access. The fine old floor in the main Hall had a makeover, too, with a light sand and refinishing that brings up the colour and makes the floor glow. We are looking forward to dancing on it!
All the old photos were taken down and stored during the upgrade – now the Committee is faced with the task of putting them all back up. The collage of photos of local men and women who served in World War 2 is a subject for reflection of another kind. All these people went off into the unknown to defend the freedoms we take for granted. Fortunately most of them survived and made it back home. I had the pleasure of getting to know some of them, including Cpl Chris Wilton, whose brother lived across the road from us when we moved here over 32 years ago.
I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.
The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.
The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!