First off! Happy Birthday Michele! Hope you have a lovely day!
So, this maker post is about 2 recent make which were both for birthday girls who have an interest in a certain actor….ahem *coughs* Richard Armitage *coughs*
I knew I wanted to try and make something different but wasn’t sure what. I knew the characters I wanted to make the items about because they are favourites of my 2 fan friends -Mikhail Astrov from Russian author Chekhov’s play “Uncle Vanya” and John Proctor from American playwright Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.
The big associations for me with these two characters is nature. Proctor is a man of the land, a farmer and speaks of the purple smell of lilacs. Then we have Astrov with his love of trees, forestry and care for the environment.
Coincidentally my chap is a bit of an Astrov. He loves trees and cares deeply about the environment. He quite often shares his sadness that he didn’t purchase a beautiful woodland in Monmouth a few years before we met and is a skilled craftsman. The relevant point is he happened to be looking up some information on some trees in a book from his library when the book spilled out my inspiration!
He’d previously picked some leaves on a walk and stored them in the book and they had dried up beautifully.There were maple and oak leaves. Those served as my inspiration for my Astrov piece and he kindly let me take them for my project.I decided that I would like to make a piece of art with one of Graham Michael’s beautiful photographs of Richard on stage as Astrov decoupaged with the dried leaves.
I also felt the easiest thing would be to ask my chap to use his laser machine make a frame specially. And to my luck, using the website Thingiverse I actually found a picture frame design that incorporated a tree image!
I used Modpodge (a decoupage medium) to glue down and varnish the image and also a couple layers of shellac to protect the laser cut wood frame.
and the final result!
So it seemed a good plan to also use the frame design for Proctor aswell, this one I was making for Michele’s birthday because I know how much she loves him.
I knew I wanted to juxtapose images of Proctor all dark, hard and gritty (photograph by Jay Brooks) surrounded by an array of lilacs.
I found various images of lilacs online, printed them out, cut around the leaves and fiddled with the images til I was happy. Again I used Modpodge to seal the images to the wooden back plate of the frame.
I also asked chap if he could engrave the famous line from the play “Lilacs have a purple smell. Lilac is the smell of nightfall” onto the frame.
This time I decided to try colouring in the tree branches this time to make them stand out more and give a more 3D effect. I achieved this with watercolour pencils.
and here’s there final product, hope you enjoy looking at him Michele!
Thanks for reading!