Friday, July 25, 2014

Dorothy Caldwell Extravaganza 5

Back to unfinished business, showing you what I made in the Dorothy Caldwell workshops last month.

We experimented with many ways to make marks in addition to the obvious use of ink (or paint) with a pen or brush.  Perhaps the most fun was the day we got to burn holes in things -- outdoors, with a big pail of water handy for those awkward moments when things got out of hand.

First we played with a candle, holding the paper carefully above the flame so the soot would waft up and coat the paper.  After the paper got a good layer of soot, you could draw into it with the end of your brush.  We had to use spray fixative to keep the soot from smudging.

Later we worked with incense sticks, useful because they smolder rather than burn, and because you can poke them through your paper to make a nice round little hole.

On vellum, we noticed that white blisters surrounded some of the holes, and upon experimentation found that you could barely touch the incense stick to the vellum and get a trail of blisters with no holes.

On heavy paper, it was hard to get neat holes; the paper was too sturdy to be easily burn/poked through, and when you held the smoldering incense against the paper for a while, it tended to catch fire.  But we noticed that if you held the side of the incense stick against the paper it would char a bold mark on both front and back of the paper.

My favorite material was a crisp, starched organdy, which gave beautiful holes with charred edges.

As you can tell, it was easy to get into a zen of burning holes, and hard to stop.  I may be compelled to do more of this.


Update:  I'm linking this to Nina-Marie's blog, where each week you can check out what other fiber artists have been up to.


  1. The organdy is beautiful and I can see lots of way one could take this idea further. Really interesting post, thank you.

  2. Never would have thought of fire! Opens a whole new range of possibilities. :)

  3. looks like fun play time, holes have so many uses!

  4. mark making while playing with fire... winwin!
    LeeAnna Paylor