We are inspired by the world around us and love to showcase new and exciting artist, designers and crafters and our guest designer series is a great way to inspire our Crew as well as each one of you to try something different, show off a new style or help you think outside of your creative box, so from time to time we like to invite crafters to be our Guest Designer/Blogger for a month to challenge us to see things in a different way and so that we may learn more about our products through the eyes of a new designer.
This month we have invited Mark Gould to play with our new 7gypsies line – Architextures.
‘I’m a mixed media crafter and tutor based in the Uk and have been lucky enough to travel the UK and parts of the USA teaching mixed media workshops. I have been crafting for the last 6 or so years when I discovered mixed media, Andy Skinner and the Decoart range of paints. Since then, I have been incredibly fortunate and have been part of the Decoart Media DT since it started a few years ago. I would describe my style as industrial grunge meets shabby chic with the occasional bit of comic or pop art thrown in, really a little of everything as I am influenced by so many things. I live with my two stupid cats, Spesh and Pounce who are my world, and my long-suffering better half, Kelly.’
Before we move on to the arty part of the blog, let’s find out some things about Mark.
We have asked him some questions to get to know him better:
Where are you from? I live in the south east corner of the UK; originally Sussex, but now I live in the county of Essex.
How would you describe your design style? I think my style varies from make to make but, at the core, I would describe it as Industrial Grunge meets Shabby Chic.
How long have you been crafting? I picked up the crafting bug about 6 years ago and have a whirl wind crafting adventure ever since.
Do you have a signature touch you like to include in all your pieces? I wouldn’t say I have a signature touch; I include in my work but I will always finish my projects with a varnish coat, even projects like ATC’s and tags. I find it really sets a project off, the colours pop and it just feels finished.
What advice would you give to someone who gets in a creative slump? First, don’t panic, it happens to all of us. Just keep pushing through, it won’t last for long. Put the project down that you are stuck on and pick up a stack of ATC blanks and have a go at it. Pick your fave stamps and products and have a quick play to just loosen up the creative process.
What is the oddest thing that has inspired you to create? Probably a request I got to transform a 3d Xmas tree advent calendar into a Dalek.
Tell us one thing people may not know about you. I have read comic books since I was a little boy and still do when I can find the time. I am a big geek at heart.
How often do I create? I am constantly creating something, it might not always be a large project or a piece as part of my Dt commitments but several eves a week and free time at the weekends is spent creating in one form or another.
Do you jot down your ideas before you do them or do you create as you go? I probably should jot things down but I don’t. I generally have an idea of what I want to achieve before starting, colours, effects etc. However, normally 10 mins in all the plans I made in my head go out the window as the projects take on a life of their own. I have found it best to go with the changes as they happen; it’s more natural and organic that way.
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The first of Mark’s two projects is an unusual, made from scratch wall hanging, for which he used papers from Architextures 8×8 paper pad.
Wow, I am so excited to be here. I have been a fan of the 7gypsies products for years now and was over the moon and honoured to have been asked to be a guest.
For my first make, I decided to use the pack of Architextures Design papers to make a funky shabby chic wall hanging.
I don’t normally craft a lot with design papers but I fell in love with all the vintage and shabby pages in the pack and there were so many great designs I wanted to incorporate as many as I could. I grabbed a piece of 3inch square timber and cut it in to sections 1-3inches deep.
I used the Decoart Chalky Finish paints and distressed the sides by sanding through the layers to get a combination of colours.
The tops of the blocks were sanded as smooth as possible so I would get a good adhesion with the paper. Sections of paper were cut slightly larger than needed and glued to the tops of the blocks, once dry they were trimmed to fit and the edges were sanded at a 45 degree angle to smooth things out and to distress the edges of the paper.
The blocks were glued down to a MDF base using strong wood glue and then the whole piece was finished using a Satin Varnish. The Satin varnish really helps make all the colours pop as well as offering a good layer of protection.
Mark’s second project is slightly more industrial and with layers of Architextures Tin Tiles! Yes, you got it right! Did you even think that you can make our old-looking materials look even older and more distressed?!?!
Well… let’s allow Mark’s work speak for itself…
For my second project, I have gone down a more grungy and industrial path.
As soon as I saw the Tin Tiles in the Architextures line, I knew I had to create something with them. We have just wallpapered our bedroom with a faux tin tile effect (looks better than I am making it sound) and I recently visited an old bar in Old Town Sacramento that still had it’s original tin ceiling, it looked stunning.
Both the Tiles were added to some pre cut MDF tiles. The Architextures Tin Tiles are peel of stickers with a really good adhesion; they stuck perfectly and held up to colour washes brilliantly. I used a variety of Decoart Media products to create the back grounds and aged effects. The cabinet card, Number and metal bracket have all been aged and distressed and are things I have collected over time; they just seemed to fit together.
‘Thank you for stopping by. And a huge thanks to 7gypsies and Canvas Corp Brand for inviting me along to be their guest. I have had so much fun being here.’ – Mark Gould.