Posts tagged ‘ideas’

A Chair for Elton

Dumpster chair getting a coat of spray paintThis is the before and after of the chair I saved from the dumpster.  It wasn’t a true ‘dumpster dive’ since, technically, the abandoned chair was sitting next to the dumpster.  But, it was a classic salvage and refinish project.  I could not make up my mind on which direction to take this.  I toyed with keeping the original seat color (mauve) which was in good condition.  I pulled out all my seat fabrics and kept putting together likely pairs like similar color schemes (pink to mauve and avocado to olive) which were just ho-hum.  I have a ton of red velvet so I contemplated going with a red seat and a white chair, like the Queen’s throne in Alice in Wonderland.  But, then I stumbled across this crazy tiger print canvas fabric in orange and hot pink.  I’ve never put it to use, but I have yards of it.  Since I only have the single chair, I thought it could really be loud and be a stand-alone accent piece for someone REALLY daring or maybe for a funky hair salon type atmosphere.  Anyway, the refinishing was short and sweet.  Here’s the quick breakdown:

  1. BEFORE

    Removed broken pieces

  2. Tightened and reglued connections
  3. Reinforced weak leg and arm joints
  4. Applied sandable wood filler on ding-ed areas
  5. Lightly sanded
  6. 1 can gray acrylic spray primer
  7. 1 can Krylon Bauhaus Orange acrylic spray
  8. Power staple gunned new fabric on seat
chair refinishing project

AFTER!

So glad I took the time to put on a new seat fabric.  I HIGHLY recommend investing in a power staple gun if you plan to refinish.  It is so much more pleasurable to work with than the manual gun.  I regret using a grey primer as a base.  The white primer was more expensive, but would have given me a crisper orange color.  The Krylon Bauhaus Orange is lovely, but pretty sheer.  OK, hope you like it as much as I!  It will go into my new booth space 37A at Antiques & Things 4710 Central Ave.  Oh, my Chinese Vanity sold for full price from the consignment shop–whohoo!

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February 23, 2011 at 4:54 am 6 comments

Cheap Designer Accent

$10 retro starburst mirror at Family Dollar! Thought this would be cool in a grouping on a designer color wall.

Sean Wells via iPhone

February 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm 4 comments

Painting the Dragon on the Vanity

Here is the first how-to on the vanity.

1.  I have painted the vanity with a Krylon acrylic paint in Banner Red.  The surface is clean.

preparing work area2.  I gathered inspiring images from Google.  Search for keywords that interest you and print out your favorites.  Print out for reference.  If you’re not comfortable free-handing, you can print out images  full scale so that they print on several pieces of paper and seam them together with tape.  Rub chalk on the back and trace from the front onto your surface to transpose chalk guidelines to your tabletop.  I took my favorite elements from several images to get a Dragon and Phoenix I liked.  Have your image respond to the edges of the table top.  My beasts curl around the curves of the desk.

image showing colored pencil outline

3.  I’m using a basic black acrylic paint found at any craft/art supply store.  You can use the 99¢ bottles of crafting acrylic or the thicker tubes.  The crafting acrylic should get a less-dimensional image.  The tube paint will leave raised ridges and brush strokes.  I liked this effect since it really told you the desk was hand-painted.  Pour a little paint into a small bowl.  Keep adding water and mix paint into water until you get an inky look.  Leave some paint unmixed in the bowl so you can vary the viscosity of your paint.

image applying paint4.  Use a long narrow brush.  I like the stiffer bristles of an acrylic brush so that I can vary the width of the stroke by adjusting the pressure on the brush.  I wanted to imitate the brush-stroke kanji of the collage paper.

image of progressive painting5.  Continue filling out the details.  Begin to layer in the thicker paint on the meatier areas if you want to give the paint some dimension.  Be aware that you will be working over a large area, so you may want to start on the area furthest from your hand (I obviously didn’t do this).  I don’t rest my hand on the surface, so it’s not as big an issue for me.  But, you don’t want to accidently run your hand through the wet paint.

image showing longer brush strokes6.  Wait until you’ve developed your comfort with the brush strokes before you tackle the longer major outlines.  I definitely developed a technique and style as I went along.  Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes.  Leave a moist rag around to quickly wipe up any strokes you don’t like.  Dry the area thoroughly before repainting to avoid bleeding or feathering.  The acrylic tends to sit on the surface until it’s sealed, so you can even wash off dried paint for the most part.

more progress painting7.  Invest in textures and details.  I really liked the feathered texture on the scales.  It took a while, but really took it from a craft project to a work of art.  That being said, I also left some areas very loose and interpretive.

image of finished painted tabletop

8.  Shot of the completed top.  The acrylic dries extremely fast.  Once the thickest parts have dried, take it outside and put  several clear coats of acrylic spray paint.  Do not use lacquer as it can cause wrinkling.  If you plan to collage, you’ll apply more coats of sealer on top of the collage work and will probably have to recoat the top as well to prevent the dusty look of overspray.

This process can be applied to any theme you choose!

 

 

November 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Red Chinese Phoenix Vanity

Vanity after closeupOK, I’m just too sleepy to come up with a pun-y title this morning.  If anyone wants to comment with a suggested title, I’m all ears.

This article is a continuation of the article “who says vanity is a bad thing?!

Well, here it is, the big reveal!  This is the $3 yard sale vanity I adopted months ago.  I actually finished the rehab a few weeks ago, but I have such an extensive set of after photos, I’ve been putting off posting.  I plan to include a series of articles on the how-to on this one.  But for now, just the fun stuff.

I prepped the vanity by cleaning, sanding and removing all the hardware.  I didn’t bother taping off the mirror.  I just thought I would scrape off the spray paint with a razor blade when I was done, but that was harder than I thought.  The spray paint really set and adhered much better to the glass of the mirror than I would have imagined.  If I did it over again. I would insert several pieces of plastic paper between the mirror and the frame and tape them down for a clean and easy finish. I sprayed on a white acrylic primer.  It was so pretty in that stage, I wish I took a picture.  Red paint is particularly sheer, so it was important to start with a white primer to insure a bright cherry red finish.  I used Krylon Banner Red.  It was very affordable at Walmart.  I think it took 4 bottles, but there were several places where I had to refinish due to bubbling of the finish coat.   I finished with 2 coats of a high gloss lacquer spray paint.  It did bubble in a couple of places, but I think it was due to the fact that I had left it in the sun and was spraying on a hot surface.

vanity detail dragon

vanity detail topOnce the base coat of red was complete, I hand painted the Phoenix and Dragon on the top surface using watered down acrylic paints.  I sketched it out using a light color colored pencil first and printed lots of online images to inspire and create my  own compilation of the icons.  I’ll do a step by step post on that painting in a later post.  This part was so fun.  After the top was complete, I went to the paper store (see article “Papers!“) you recommended to find a red a black paper.  I found a very inexpensive toothy tissue paper with a screened kanji pattern on it that was perfect.  I decoupaged the paper onto the vertical surfaces of the unit.  This step was really fun, too.  It was so fun, I decided to line the drawer for a special surprise inside.

vanity detail decoupage

I took process photos of the decoupage, so I will post those later, too.  I painted the hardware black and hit those with a durable clear coat of glossy spray paint.  I reattached the hardware and she was ready to go!

vanity drawerI converted a country looking stool to use as a seat.  It had a great asian profile.  I’ll post about that separately.

Sadly, I left the vanity outside under my pop-up tent for one day (intending to deliver to the furniture store the following day) and a gust of wind came and knocked the tent over crushing my newly finished vanity.  The mirror is broken and two of the legs are busted.  I kind of feel like the universe does not want anyone to ever use this vanity.  It currently sits in my shed, legless once more.  I plan to replace the two broken legs with legs from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore, a great resource for hardware and some furniture parts.  But, it was a really fun project and at least I got pictures of it before it was mangled.

Vanity Before

$3 is cheap for the cost of beauty.

vanity after

Vanity After

vanity after front

vanity after front view

vanity after detail 1

vanity after detail 1


September 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm 3 comments

Papers!

image of origami chandelierI finally got around to visiting the paper store you recommended. It was heavenly. Delicate hand screened printed sheets hung neatly from the wall. Prices ranged from a couple of dollars to $25+. Lots of inspiring crafted paper products and accessories drew me through the store. I lingered on the sealing waxes and seals plated in gold and silver glistening like pirate’s treasure. I basked in the soft pastels of the ceiling covered in various delicate tissue paper items. I was mesmerized by the giant cascading origami chandelier.  But I was on a mission.

image of paper umbrellas and lanterns hanging from the ceilingI was looking for some red and black paper to finish a hush hush project. I was hoping to be overwhelmed by options, but there were really only two. I walked away with a beautiful red textured tissue paper with black Kanji scrawled across it creating a wonderful graphic pattern. I’ll be using it as a decoupage accent on a furniture piece. I’ll take step by step photos, so I hope I don’t mess this one up! More photos of paper store to follow when I’m not on the road!

Sean Wells via iPhone

August 6, 2010 at 2:02 am 3 comments

St Anthony helps me find my art

Image of Jason painting a retabloI took a retablo workshop with my brother (the previously featured tinsmith) in Santa Fe today.  It was wonderful.  One of the traditional Spanish Colonial Crafts, a retablo is a piece of devotional art painted on a wood board that has been prepared with gesso.  It most commonly depicts patron saints or other icons of Christianity.

As a child, I had participated in the youth market of the annual Spanish Market.  But, as the distractions of life took over, I lost touch with the art.  Now that I am back in NM and enjoying watching my brother foster his tin talents, I long to develop my retablo interest once more.  I had studied with an incredible and well respected santera (=one who paints saints),  Arlene Cisneros Sena.   She taught me a respect for the art that I had not understood as a child.  She reminded me of the true meaning behind these primative saint paintings:  To honor God, a heavy responsibility for any artist to carry.  Over a series of intense one-on-one lesons, she also imparted the advanced materials and techniques that go back to the original Conquistadors.

After finishing my studies with her, I felt much more secure in my understanding of the art of retablos, but I still did not feel a personal ownership of the art.  I was also struggling with the realization that although Arlene’s personal retablo style is beautiful and impressive, it does not reflect my natural style of painting.  I did not want to simply imitate her work.  I needed to find my signature feel.  I applied for Spanish Market last year and was rejected.  I believe it was primarily due to the fact that I had not developed my work enough for it to have a consistent style (ie. my pieces did not look like they were painted by the same person).  But, the rejection (as rejections are prone to do) stunted my motivation.  My brother has been encouraging me to continue to develop and suggested this workshop.

image of clay pigmentsI jumped on it immediately.  As a one day workshop, the actual workshop was casual and not filled with too much technical information.  We were given prepared boards and Juanito jumped right into a retablo.  Each artist has a preferred media.  Some use acrylic, others watercolors, others natural pigments.  Juanito uses earthen clays which gives his pallete a very natural complimentary feel.  I found myself freed to paint, unburdened from the responsibility of choosing or representing colors.  The freedom led to a natural evolution of the painting and I was very happy with the result.  Juanito himself has a very fluid, interpretive style.  And, although my work is very different from his, his permission to loosen up with my hand gave me some confidence to trust my insticts.  I’m very hopeful about applying this year for market and look forward to developing a few more potential portfolio pieces with the new techniques I have adopted.  The piece shown is the retablo that I finished today, the image of Alma de Maria.

image of Alma de Maria retabloI was also quite happy to find out I had won the workshop raffle!  Juanito painted a demonstration retablo depicting Saint Anthony (patron saint of lost items).   He asked us to pick a number between 1 and 40.  I picked 27 and hit the nail on the head.  He personalized the retablo to me.  It was a good day.  If you ever get the opportunity, I recommend taking a workshop with either my brother at his shop (www.NewMexicoTinwork.com) or at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts (www.SpanishColonial.org).  You can view photos from the workshop at my online gallery.

I would love to collect some clays from around the world!  If you would like to send me some clays from your region, please send to:

SEAN WELLS
3167 SAN MATEO BLVD NE
ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87105

Saint Alma retablo with tin accents by Jason Younis y Delgado.

UPDATE 09/22/2010:  My brother just added tin accents to my retablo.  Here is the beautiful collaboration!

August 1, 2010 at 7:06 am 3 comments

featured on creature comforts blog – haru’s lokta paper mobile

I woke up this morning and discovered that creature comforts featured my latest paper mobile in her very creative and inspiring blog. Thank you Ez! I feel honored to be included with many of my favorite artists.

By the way, you can view her beautiful photos on her flickr photostream.

♡Beth

July 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

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