Thursday, 14 September 2017

Metallic Blooms !

Hello everyone it's Sue here and it's my turn to share an inspirational post with you. I decided to indulge my love of metal for this post so grab a cuppa and get comfy !

The magic of seeing embossing powder melt for the first time is almost on an equal with the first time I was introduced to using metal in my art work at a PaperArtsy Artsy Craft weekend many years ago. There are so many techniques you can use with metal and it adds that different element to your projects. I've covered some of them but there's loads more, so, without further ado, I'll get started !

 I've used the reverse side of a framed canvas for my substrate, before I knew what I wanted to do I taped the top of the sides to cover the staples, but after I'd applied the Texture Paste you wouldn't have seen them anyway !

The tape lifted off the frame in places as the paste dried but I actually quite liked this as it made it look more rustic and shabby.

I glued small square pieces of mountboard onto the canvas, having in mind the sort of pattern I would go for if I were having paving put down in a garden. This piece is in part inspired by an old UK gardening programme called Ground Force. They've been showing re-runs recently and I've been hooked, I love to see the transformation of the gardens and the process is not disimilar to designing a craft project, get all your hard landscaping in first before you plant any flowers ! 

I used Prima Art Alchemy metallic acrylic paints to paint the background canvas, these blend beautifully and have a lovely, subtle metallic sheen.

Now that my hard landscaping was done it's time to turn my attention to the flowers. I've used the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die and cut the flowers from my dwindling stash of Ten Seconds Studio metal.

Metal is great for creating texture so I wanted the flowers to have lots, so used a technique by Lin Brown. I was very fortunate to attend a metal masterclass workshop by Lin before her shop closed and I still refer to the piece we made as a reminder. The tools you can see above are a ball and cup and one of the many different wheels.

When working with metal it's really important to work on the correct surface for the technique. I'm using the ball end on the ball and cup tool above and because I need it to make an impression into the metal I'm working on a thick piece of cardboard. This has some give so allows the tool to press into the metal. You'll also have noticed the metal has changed colour ! This is because I wanted to use the silver side and all of the pieces I have left are all coloured on one side.

You can see on the above the impression made by the ball, now it's time to use the cup. The surface to use for this end of the tool needs to be hard as you don't want it to make an impression into the metal only refine the ball effect, which is why I'm using an acrylic block.

To create detail on the petals I've flipped the flower over again and using the wheel I'm drawing lines out from the centre using the cardboard underneath so the wheel will make an impression into the metal.

The above is the finished effect !

For the next size flower I'm using the cardboard as my platform and using the Teflon tool which is a plastic, pointed tool. If it was metal the tool would puncture your metal and you'd be left with holey flowers ! This technique is just scribbling in to the metal, easy !

The above is what you end up with !

Time to add some colour and Alcohol Inks work really well on metal.

I've knocked the colours back slightly by using some of the Prima paint and dabbing it around the edge of the petals. I love this colour which is Blackberry.

I've trimmed the smallest flowers petals and given them the same treatment with the Alcohol Inks and dabbing more paint onto the petals.

If you're still with me you'll be relieved that I've jumped ahead to the finished piece !

 Being able to photograph metal effectively is something I've never mastered so I've taken a second finished shot.

 The metal flowers were all layered up and I've shaped the petals around my fingers to get the shape I wanted.

The leaves are also a Tim Holtz die and I've used the Teflon tool to draw the leaf veins on the reverse side of the metal before using Pesto and Oregano Alcohol Inks. 

The ink pot and quill is another die by Tim Holtz, I've used a metal wheel on the ink pot and then Alcohol Ink but on the coloured side of the metal this time. The ink removes some of the colour but leaves it looking worn. I used the Teflon tool on the quill and then Slate Alcohol Ink. A few splatters of Bombay ink around it to reflect it's use. On the Ground Force programme the presenter, Alan Titchmarsh, would always present a beautifully painted and elegantly written design of what the garden would be transformed into and I thought the quill and ink pot could be a tool of choice.
The tiny metal flowers have had the same treatment as the largest flower but I've used the coloured side of the metal.

Last, but not least, is the stamped sentiment which is by Yvonne Blair. It's stamped onto Smoothy card then with a baby wipe I've wiped some Prima paint over it to give a subtle metallic sheen. I also did this over the crackle frame to age it but not cover the crackles.

I hope you've enjoyed my indulgence today and hope you find time to join our current challenge Metallics.


  1. These metal flowers are so neat Sue! And your collage is absolutely stunning! I so want to play with metals now, great inspiration! Hugs, Autumn

  2. Lovely project Sue! Those metal flowers and leaves are gorgeous. I also love the textured frame and background. Altogether fabulous ! Xx

  3. Wow Sue, what a wonderful inspiration post, I am SO glad you have written down the steps re tools and you know I never can quite remember which surface for which tool but you have made it so easy for me now...thank you for my own personal reference post :)) The inkwell detail is delightful as are all the other beautifully altered metal embellies and the whole canvas is a stunner.
    I too remember ground force so it was lovely to be reminded. Fabulous!! Ruth xx

  4. Oh wow Sue - this is truely inspirational! I love the way you worked the flowers and coloured them - the whole project is so gorgeous! Brilliant! Hugs rachel x

  5. waue metal flowers are so great and this is just a very lovely frame love it..great inspiration - and thanks for visiting my blog please do come again

  6. What an amazing piece of art !!! I LOVE and adore your work and today your metal flowers took away my breath. They are fabulous ! Also the square tiles you started to add make a perfect elegant background....
    Thank you so much for your great easy-to-understand tutorial. It really inspired me to grab my metal left-overs and make some pretty flowers ....
    Hugs from Monica

  7. That is beautiful! I love all the different textures.

  8. thank you for this your broadcast provided bright clear concept..