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Monday, April 23, 2012

Dancing Rubber Fish

Bet that title got your attention didn't it? That was the title of the class my friend Pam and I took from Fred Mullet at Carolina Stamper. What an amazing store! If you are in the area, stop by and I promise you will not be sorry. Janet, the owner, has an amazing inventory of the coolest toys for rubber stamp art and scrapbooking. She's knowledgeable and friendly making a visit to her store a real treat. I can't wait to go back:)

I've wanted to take a class from Fred ever since he wrote an article on Gyotaku in Somerset Studio magazine.  A follow up article on his rubber stamp company appeared in that same issue, titled "Nature Prints" May/June 1997. Over the years I have continued to see his stamps and cards made with them in stores, and in magazines. I never dreamed he would come to my little corner of the world.The class was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. We learned about "the spot application of color," or painting with little pieces of plastic. This technique involves using transparent as well as opaque embossing powders and watercolor paints. Fred came armed with an arsenal of specialized tools like technical paper, otherwise known as TP or toilet paper. We learned the proper use of precision thermography powder application devices, also known as cocktail straws, and we were instructed in the art of using tactilely interactive vulcanized tools for the replication of graphic imagery. Now these technologically advanced tools are in the studios of most paper artists.  You surely have them as well. Have you guessed yet? That's right rubber stamps! Fred is a terrific teacher and extremely entertaining as well.

We also received a lesson in color theory, learned how to make our own custom colors of transparent embossing powders. I learned how to use this technique to produce amazing works of art. Now, I'm not saying I have mastered the technique, yet. I've got some practicing to do.  I can look at all the examples I created below and tell how I could have made them better, or what I would do next time. I plan on getting a little practice in tomorrow. Yeah, it will be such hard work lol! Seriously, this technique is loads of fun. I wish you could see the examples in person. Photographs can't adequately show the depth that is produced using this method. Nor can you see the pearlescent sheen or the iridescence that makes these images dance. Oh the title of the class? We made the fish 'dance' as we tapped the paper in order to disperse the various thermographic powders across the surface of our papers.

If you ever get a chance to take one of Fred's classes, I can promise an experience you won't soon forget.  Check out the Fred Mullet website. Below are scans of what I produced in class and a few photos from Pam's phone. Would you believe I forgot my camera!!





Fred delivering some fishy instruction.


15 comments:

  1. Wow! Carole, your fish are amazing. I can't wait to see what you can do after more practice! Glad you had a great trip.

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  2. Hi Carole ! I love the fish, esp your top one ! The texture & color is so beautiful ! It would have been so awesome to take that class too, but we gain also from looking at the beatufiul creations that you will be posting ! Thx for sharing ! Have a great week, Shirley x

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  3. Hey Carole, well this is a really cool looking technique. Where is this place?

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    1. Tami, it's in Beaufort, 203 Carteret Street. 843.522.9966
      They have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CarolinaStamper

      Have you been to the stamping/scrapbook store in West Columbia or the one in Lexington?

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  4. Love your fishes! Those are some very unique techniques. Looking forward to seeing what more you make with these!

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  5. Those are so cool!!!! I'm glad to hear that the class was everything you wanted it to be!

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  6. So glad you had fun! Those fish are truly amazing! I am looking forward to seeing what you do in the future with your newly learned techniques!

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  7. What a great time we had! Fred is quite a "Card" which made his teaching so enjoyable.
    Can't wait for our next road trip. Maybe Savannah?!

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  8. What a great experience! Those fish are awesome, and I love the octopus too!

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  9. You were right! That looks like an amazing class! So glad you and your friend got to go and have that experience! What a treat for your readers too !

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    1. One of things I'm most excited about is how large these stamps are. Not for card use. I'm planning to make large pieces to sell. The smallest being 5 by 7. With a school of fish and some ghosted images they could be 8 by 12ish.

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  10. What fun!! What gorgeous sea critters too! That octopus is AWESOME!!! I really, really, really love it!! :)

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  11. Amazing! Those fish look real!!

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  12. Awesome art, Carole, and TFS

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  13. Gorgeous work Carole! I just got back from a trip to take Fred's classes and I completely agree with you about how great they are! Thanks for the blog post.

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