I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 15 November 2013

Angels and ArtAngels




Hello all!  Thank you so much for stopping by today.

It's Our Creative Corner time, with some mid-month creations from the other half of the team, including our new DT member, Astrid.

So if you haven't yet played along with Claudia's wonderful Steampunk Tic Tac Toe challenge, you'll discover lots of amazing inspiration at Our Creative Corner today, and you can find all the challenge details and join in the fun here.

I'm here with an Altered ArtAngel, who has in fact had me in something of a devilish thrall for the last few days - possessing me with an idea which proved very difficult to turn into reality.

If you look at the face which appeared, you'll see why I'm in two minds about her origins - divine or demonic?

Perhaps best to think of her as a Diva: she's certainly been highly demanding, including requiring a very long post and photo shoot!  (Remember you can click on the photos for a closer look if you need one.)







As soon as I saw the Steampunk Tic Tac Toe board, the top row called out to me - Wings, Gears, Wire - and I knew immediately that I wanted to create a wire-work crinoline skirt as part of whatever I'd be making.

I figured it might be a bit fiddly... but as it turned out, it was one of the simplest things about this make.  That's not to say it was simple - just that everything else seemed even trickier.












My next thought went to all the bottles I'd refused to throw out during the recent house move.  Time to prove there was a reason for hanging onto them by pressing one of them into service.

This one held White Balsamic Vinegar (which I thoroughly recommend by the way!), and after a good dose of washing up liquid and steel wool to remove the labels, I started to build my layers.










I embossed some sticky-backed aluminium foil using the Alterations Gears folder and stuck it around the bottom half of the bottle.












I also die-cut some cogs and, having used wax paper to make it easier to get them out, I thought I might as well use that as well as the paper versions.

I stuck those to the upper half of the bottle, curving them around the corners and neck to add interest.










Then I gave the whole thing a quick coat of gesso, to give all the different textures "tooth" to hold whatever I decided to sling at it next...














Paint, obviously... lots of it, mainly DecoArt, starting with the Traditions Blue Green Light and Aquamarine...















... and then dry-brushing Indian Turquoise and Spa Mist around the place.















There were many other layers, but towards the end I added some Fresco Translucent Pea Coat from the bottom upwards, as well as some Treasure Gold in Sapphire and Aquamarine.

I think the ArtAngel's mischievous side intervened, because I had intended to add some embossing powders to the bottle too, but by the time I'd remembered that, there was too much other stuff already in the way!










I wove the crinoline structure out of silver garden wire, and it was just as fiddly as I'd expected it would be.  But once I could see that it was going to work, I was happy to persevere.

It was very fine wire, which meant it was easy to manipulate, but also meant it would occasionally snap mid-twiddle - very annoying (ArtAngel in action again?).












Once the weaving was complete, I added a tiny twirl on the end of each stalk - wrapping the ends around a piece of dowelling to curl them.













I gave the whole structure a coat of DecoArt Metallics Worn Penny.

It really is the colour of a worn penny - exactly as it says - and with a lovely metallic sheen to it.






Time to get the wings under way... I had a Tic Tac Toe line to complete, after all, and the Gears and Wires were already well catered for.






I cut the Layered Wings out of aluminium (a cut-up Coke can, since you ask), and embossed them with the Wings folder.  I wanted them made out of metal so that I could bend and shape them easily if necessary later.

They also got various layers of paint to match what was going on with the bottle.













The idea of a clock face for the ArtAngel's face happened quite early on, but when I held up the largest Idea-ology clock against the bottle neck, I got a strong message through from her that it was simply not large enough.












Something considerably more imposing was required.

I happened to have the interior of a die-cut Weathered Clock lying on the craft table (left over from my art journal page earlier this week).  I lay the Idea-ology clock face down on it, and inspiration struck - more gears needed (definite external input, I'd say... ArtAngel up to her tricks again).









I grabbed several cogs and gears and started to create her hair.

It's one of those eighteenth century wig affairs, piled high, and with some little ringlets either side of the face too, courtesy of some curly rusty wire!





I obviously couldn't have the hair mounted on boring cardboard, so it was out with the paints again, this time given a layer of the DecoArt One Step Crackle.  

Once it was fully dry, I splurged Faded Jeans Distress Stain over it so that it would seep down into the crackles to highlight them.






I played around with eyes and mouths for ages, trying this, that and the other, and in the end I yielded to the strongest impulse, which was this rather alarming configuration, with frowning Idea-ology paper clips and an ambiguous game spinner for the mouth.  

I can't help but feel that this wasn't entirely my decision!







Finally some adornment.  

I'm delighted with her ruff.  I'm aware it makes her rather more Elizabethan than truly Victorian or Edwardian - which would be more appropriate time periods for Steampunk - but I couldn't resist it.  

It's another bit of salvage from the house move - one of many ring-bindings ripped out of notebooks which were headed for the incinerator.










The ruff got a coat of the Worn Penny, so that it would tie in, and I added one of the Tim Holtz tassels for extra decoration.

On a piece of the ball-chain, I added another little cog, a large game spinner (the other hand from the clock face?), and a Muse Token stating the ArtAngel's strong claim to being Unique!












Things were simpler to start with, but ArtAngel kept wanting to wear more!
















She didn't make life any easier when it came to the photo shoot either... ArtAngel is very difficult to capture in her full glory.


Anything too fussy in the background really didn't work; the shine on the crackle background kept obscuring the crackles themselves...


It seemed to me that her frown got deeper and deeper the harder I tried.
















Almost no light variation that I tried could really capture the detail of the embossing at the same time as the delicate wire crinoline.

In the end, I just had to go with lots of photos, rather than trying to hit that special one that does the job in one go.












It's been another mammoth post here at Words and Pictures - but, given the number of very short sneak peeks lately, I hope you'll forgive me.  

If not, I'm just going to blame the ArtAngel in any case, so there!







If you're still eager for more inspiration, do hop over and see what my amazing team-mates have been up to over at Our Creative Corner, and I do look forward to seeing what happens when you play Steampunk Tic Tac Toe - you have until the 28th of the month, so I hope to see you there.

Oh, what may man within him hide, though angel on the outward side!
William Shakespeare

If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.
Tennessee Williams

Every angel is terrifying.
Rainer Maria Rilke

I'd like to enter my ArtAngel for Bonnie's fantastic Art Dolls Challenge over at eclectic Paperie (my old stamping ground - nice to be back for a visit!)

73 comments:

isisimaginings.com said...

I completely & utterly LOVE your Art Angel. She is so gorgeous & an amazing work of art. You'd better keep her somewhere where she can see & be seen, I don't think she'd be happy left in a box, or a dark corner somewhere. :)

Andrea Small said...

My, my - she is FINE!
Brightened up my day considerably :-)
Should she grant me an audience, I look forward to being presented to her.
A x

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

totally amazing project , Alison! loved to see the process!

Maggie said...

Wow Alison Art Angel is fabulous and certainly a "Diva" you have inspired me to look at the box of bottles I have kept just because I can lol!
I love all the details and her hair and face are just fantastic thanks for sharing in such detail.

MaggieH

chrissies said...

Your angel is truly amazing. The first thing I thought, when I saw the first picture, was how can Alison have got the pattern onto the bottle. Thanks for showing how to do that :)

Wonderful colour choice and additions-especially the copper wire skirt.

Have a terrific day

Love Chrissie x

Amanda said...

Alison, she is fabulous, I love your chosen colour scheme and the look on her face
Love
Amanda x

Netty said...

Terrific alteration Alison, methinks she has a foot in both camps, neither angel or demon, but suggests she could be swayed with the right incentive. Hugs Annette x

May said...

WOW...Love the colours & fantastic elements...what a transformation... your angel is divine.... Hugs May x x x

craftytrog said...

She's utterly fabulous Alison! xxx

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Absolut amazing project , Alison! I love to see your process!

sally said...

She is deliciously wicked! Love her layers & jewels :-)

Sally

Redanne said...

She is completely wonderful Alison, I just adore her ruff and necklace and I love the way you used the wings - stunning work! Hugs, Anne x

Dorthe said...

Wow Alison, she is wonderful,- you truly have the greatest ideas, as to create : the embosssed foil on the bottle,- the face ,-love it-- and the wings are so beautiful, ,she is a fantastic steampunk angel !
xo, Dorthe

Hettie said...

Brilliant Alison. This is fan-blinkin'-tastic! Great idea and great take on the challenge.
Hugs
xx

diane hasthorpe said...

What a fantastic Diva, Alison, and what a make-over! This is a fabulous piece of sculpture, and I loved looking at all of the steps and processes you used for her construction. Have a fabulous weekend. Cheers, Di.

cathylynn said...

I'll just call you creative genius! Holy smokes this is totally phenomenal! Amazing transformation of a vinegar bottle! Only you Alison can create magic like this! I love it all!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Julie Ann Lee said...

A stunning make and totally compelling to follow the process through. The colour, the texture and the shape and that wire crinoline are all so exciting as they take shape! You know in the Bible we're warned about demons masquerading as angels of light? Well, I think this Art Angel is that concept in reverse! She may look a little bit mischievous and she may have been the very devil to create, but she 's gorgeous through and through!!! Love the Tennessee Williams quote, by the way! Julie Ann xx

Deborah said...

She is fabulous, if rather frowny. I so love the colour and am in awe of your inventiveness, especially recycling the spiral wire from a notebook. Superb!

Terry said...

Well Alison, I have to hand it to you! This is one unique and clever altered bottle! Over the top fabulous! I love her face and it gave me a little chuckle! Happy Friday! Hugs!

Meggymay said...

Wow, she looks a real Diva to me as well. Great details especially the face and the jewelry.
Yvonne

die amelie said...

LOVE that crinoline wire skirt, Alison!

Hm...maybe she is just having a bad hair day? That might explain the expression on her face (I know I look the same when I get up in the morning to find that my hair has decided to stand up where I don't want it to and vice versa *lol).

Love your altered bottle angel-diva-goddess...yep,she is a goddess! Maybe some of her subordinates drove her mad. (Or maybe her hairdresser did it...;).

Hugs,
Claudia x

Brenda Brown said...

Wow Alison what an angel you have created here, just beautifully put together with so many wonderful details to take in. A great make.
Have a great weekend.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Nan G said...

I'm in complete and utter awe of Art Angel!! A magnificent creation. A herald of steampunk-ness. The texture, the face...The Face...wow! Fab crinoline skirt and that ruff....you've outdone yourself, butterfly!

Astrid Maclean said...

Well, I loved the title of your post already and the actual Diva Angel certainly lives up to it!
Fabulous project and great to see you creating something 3D again!!
I now NEED that embossing folder lol....

sam21ski said...

Fabulous make, great face. I thought it was based around a bottle when I first saw it, great ideas as always.

Sam xxx

Micki said...

Wow that is a wonderful way to create an art doll.....from a bottle! LOVE it. Love that texture and that gorgeous color.

Annie said...

Hi Alison :-) fab make x she looks a bit oriental to me....!! And I haven't had any wine yet !!! But plan to x have a lovely weekend
Annie x

Mona Pendleton said...

Wow Alison! What a beautiful and creative project! Love all the texture and collection of metal trinkets!

toni said...

Great piece of altering Alison! I agree with Annie definitely oriental! Love the amount of texture you've got on your bottle good idea to go with the embossed foil , a fabulous diva, great to see you're joining in with the eP challenge x

Helen said...

The plain bottle was pretty cool to start with but wow, your Angel looks fantastic!!

Sue C said...

Fantastic project Alison! Love how the bottle has been transformed and your narrative is a pure delight, as usual. Sue C x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Wonderful altered bottle, I love the teal colours and wonderful texture. The wings add wonderful movement and interest. Love how you added the face for your angel too. Tracy x

maj. said...

Wow, Alison...!!! This is gorgeous, such pretty colour and embellies!!!!

Sandy said...

You are just so creative I just can't stand it. A steampunk angel - now who would have thunk it. Well I must say, her face is not exactly what I would call angelic. Would you look at her eyes!!!!!! I must admit I do like her necklace. Clever idea with her "ruff" but then again it only added to her unusual face and I could not help but think of electrical wire. But you know me - I am a little on the weird side.
But at least I know the talent to follow!!!!
Sandy

Paper Profusion said...

Brilliantly entertaining post and creation Alison. All absolutely fantastic crafting. I just cannot decide how to interpretate your ArtAngel - that face sure suggests something spooky / malevolent but then I keep seeing her with rollers in her hair (like a dear Granny) and one contradicts the other. Either way - fab piece! Happy Weekend! Nicola x

Julia S-W said...

Really inventive idea Alison! I love the skirt in particular and of course, the techniques you've packed in (we're both technique junkies I think. . . ).
Have a good weekend. I'm no longer dreaming about boxes which are full/empty/missing etc. How about you?
Juliaxx

Unni A said...

OMG this is amazing! You are so creative, Alison!
hugs, Unni

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Alison, I am playing catch-up myself!
The embossing added to the bottle is a fabulous idea, immediately bringing glorious texture but it is your colour choice that certainly catches the eye.
This Steampunk Art Angel knows her creative mind and isn't afraid to show it!
Wishes
Lynne

Buttons said...

Love your Art Angel Alison. Fabulous idea to use the sticky foil in that way and I love her beautiful head and skirt. Such an imaginative way to interpret this theme. Jenny xxx

Marjie Kemper said...

Hope it's not inappropriate to say, Alison, but I lust after this gal. First her face with those funky features captivated me, but then I got further into the details and all I can say is WOW. Love what you did with the metal foil and every other detail. Amazing!

scrappymo! said...

Love her necklace and her detailed, intricately layered skirt!
I hope she makes it into the glass display case as she so deserves it!

Chrissy said...

Outstanding Alison...love the colours..the textures and those gorgeous wings..superb project.

Luv CHRISSYxx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

It almost is a tutorial Alison...what a stunning result...love love this altered bottle, that looks like an artpiece now!
Have a nice weekend, Alie :-)

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is just amazing, Alison, I love her and all her details. I love all your makes from the left over bits from your family home. I can't help but imagine you as something from a Channel 4 programme about hoarders, not allowing anything to go into the skip though!! Well, you certainly had a good eye for what would be useful later. Thank you so much for your kind visits to me,

Lucy x

Gerrie Johnnic said...

Amazing piece of Steampunk Art! Love it.

Marci said...

Love her. Loved the whole post. You have given her quite the personality. Perhaps she could be your or someone elses' guardian angel. I wonder how you attached her wings. Also, do you have to sand the edges of things you cut out of soda cans?

Silvia(Barnie) said...

How cool, that's a fantastic piece of art.

mark gould said...

Insanely creative Alison. Love the crackle effect and the wrapped cogs. Brilliant. Great catching up with you today. x

butterfly said...

Just an answer for Marci, if you're popping back to check (can't see any other way to get through to answer your questions via your profile!)...

The wings are simply glued onto the back of the bottle - useful that it was square rather than curved. And I suppose it would be good to sand the edges of the tin can things, but I never bother. I find once they're die-cut, they tend to get a slight curvature at the edge which makes them a bit safer. It's at the point when I've hacked the tin apart but not yet die-cut it that the edges are lethal!
Alison x

Marci said...

Thank you, Alison, for the answer! I don't know how to set up so I can get an answer. I'll have to get help from someone more tech savvy than me. I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

Margaret said...

I think I have scrolled through this post at least 4 times, and each time I am more amazed at your fantastic angel! The color is gorgeous and I love how she encouraged you to keep adding things to make her fabulous! This might be my new favorite!

Shelby said...

That is one cool and funky bottle! Love how it turned out and your creativity is always off the charts.

Shelby

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow and a lot more wows lol. Love her, she is absolutely stunningly and slightly spooky, she really does look like a diva. I'm completely amazed at how you have taken a normal bottle and produced such a wonderful angel. I love her eyes and I can imagine that if she wasn't happy those eyes wood deepen. Truly inspirational and awesome. Hugs :-) Kezzy xxxxxx

hazel said...

Wow! This is amazing Alison - I love it.
xxx Hazel.

Chris Warner said...

How inspiring! Absolutely blooming brilliant! Can you tell how much I love this one Alison? [g] Chris xxx

Mary Elizabeth said...

Ohhhhhhhh!! This has been a rollicking ride of a post. I have enjoyed every minute of following your creative process. Don't ever apologize for how long it takes to tell us about all the fabulous details of your project. Taking a coke can for wings and a wonderful olive oil bottle (thank goodness you didn't do away with this bottle) for your angel's body were so inventive. But that crinoline skirt was the detail that caught and held my attention. What a great idea ! The spaces were big enough to frame the textures underneath (brilliant way to achieve this on a slick bottle -- thanks for the step by step on this!). Today ... I think she's smiling, Diva or not, that ArtAngel of yours. -- Mary Elizabeth

Mrs.B said...

WOW - this is an amazing project, love the step x step pics.
I think she sounds a very mischievous angel!
Avril xx

Corinne T said...

Je ne parle pas anglais mais tes explications en photos sont suffisantes pour comprendre le travail que tu as réalisé. Ton ange est vraiment merveilleux, "I love". Bises

Coco said...

Alison, WOW and WOW again, she's really a divine DIVA !!!!! Nothing is missing, she has wired hair and dress, jewels, etc. I'm really in awe, you did a fantastic piece of art, LOVE it ! Sorry to not comment on that and your previous makes before but I was far away... I will try to catch up later as soon as possible. Anyway I'm ending with your blog tonight as a delightful moment..:) Hugs, Coco xxx

Dianne said...

OH MY how you have transformed that bottle is out of this world, must be from Funky Heaven watching and reading her come together was MAGIC, your face is FABULOUSSSSS, her wire
crinoline is too kool, her head gear, her jewels, her fantasy wings, yes I'm in Funk Heaven, thanks for sharing..

barbarayaya62 said...

Amazing! A work of altered art absolutely fantastic! I love the face of your doll!! really a brilliant idea! BArbarayaya

Von said...

So many ideas and techniques have brought together can't think why she looks so grumpy lol
Von ♥

Kelly Neis said...

I love how you made her. She would look awesome in a flower garden, overseeing the bees and such. Your creativity is amazing, I love seeing what you think up. I love her, actually she has some elegance to her and dressed perfectly! Well done Alison!
Hugs Kelly

Anna-Karin said...

Wow Alison, this is amazing!! The construction is so cool, all the texture and metal pieces. Very clever items used to build the face. Thank you for the inspiration!!

Jools Robertson said...

Absolutely amazing! love the angel
The colour and detail is stunning, love how you did the wings and the skirt, you must be so pleases with her

Hugs

Jools x

Cinderella Moments said...

Amazing!!! And my favorite color too!
hugs♥,
Caroline

Tracy said...

Swooooon....oh my giddy aunt Alison...playing catch up...No words good enough to describe your amazing art.......all I keep doing is ooh mmmmmm oooh....love and dore every detail along the way!!!!!!!
Big hugs sent your way
Tracy xxxx

Kasia said...

Wow, wow and WOW! Stunning project, Alison! Love it :)

Ana K. said...

Hello Alison, it’s been a while, but today I took time and.…as always awesome and very creative creations, full of little details....I can stay here at your blog for days to admire your work....

Lucy Edmondson said...

Just came back to say 'You woz robbed' lol! you should have won, this is so amazing as I said before. I deffo want to make more art dolls and this is so inspiring,

Lucy x

Lisa M said...

Dude...seriously??? I'm on the friggin' floor. This completely ROCKS...OMG...love this!!! :D

scrappinlil said...

Oh wow this is absolutely a piece of art...I really love this masterpiece. Very beautiful. I am now a follower of your site..can't wait to see what else you create. Thanks for sharing.

scrappinlil said...
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