Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Great Tattoo Cover Up, part 2

Well, it's been a month since the Great Tattoo Cover Up part 1, and it's finally done!  It took 3 sittings and around 8 hours to complete.   I covered up an old letter L from a zillion years ago, you can see the before pictures if you click on the green link above.

I am really happy with this new tattoo,  I may tweak a bit of it in the coming months, but for the most part it's pretty darn cute!

Goosebumps not part of the design...

I would like to state for the record, IT HURT A LOT!!!!   Like, seriously, a lot...
I am happy to say goodbye to my lil old L, and I do not miss it one bit.  Now I have to go to the gym and start lifting weights....ah, the pain continues...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Buttons and Glitter are a Girls Best Friend

I think I speak for all crafty gals when I say, "we love buttons and glitter!" We would sew buttons onto our skin if it didn't hurt.  And glitter, those Martha Stewart's, I wish I could sprinkle them onto ice-cream!   This project I made up a few months ago and have received lots of compliments on it.  It's a bracelet and hair rubber band all in one.  It's so simple but so darn adorable.

Here are the materials you will need:

If you have ever made jewelry with elastic you know that it frays and gets gross pretty quickly.  I love the colorful elastic and knew I needed a way to prevent the fray.  I bought the above elastics at Michael's, the rainbow one is a bit heavier than the solid colors, and I like it better for this project.  Cut your elastic into a 9 inch length.  Feed your button on through both holes and tie it off where it fits your wrists comfortably.   After tying, I cut my ends to different lengths so they are not symmetrical.  

Next, dip your ends into a very thick white glue.  I am using this Ultra Seal from Tap Plastics.  Whatever you use, it should be really thick, you don't want it to drip.  

Next, we glitter them up.  I found that actually the Martha's are too fine for this.  You can experiment with all different glitters to find the ones you like the best.  Dip your glue ends into your glitter, or sprinkle the glitter on.
Figure out a system for propping them up while they dry.  Let them dry for 24 hours.

The next day, give the tip a little squeeze to make sure they are hard.  If they are, we now need to give them a clear coat to make sure the glitter stays put.  I am using a polyurethane.    Give them a dip, and wipe off the excess so it doesn't drip.  Let them dry over night.

And, voila!

  Enjoy your glittery button bands!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hurricane Lolo, part 2, The Complete Studio Makeover

Well, a few weeks ago I decided it was time to give my studio, the laboratory, a good cleaning and organizing.  What started off as a weekend task became a 2 week task as "oh, I'll just paint a little pink on this wall" became a HUGE paint job, many new pairs of curtains, and most exciting, a new floor!
I would say my garage studio is looking pretty darn good.  I will not post the before pictures, too embarrassing, but feel free to check them out from a few posts ago...

Behold, the awesomeness...

Like many artists, and I suspect most, I have a lot of stuff.  Years of flea marketing, garage sale-ing,  thrift storing and yes, even Ebay-ing has left me with quite a lot of booty to work with.  It's all basically inspiration and I have always had lots of it surrounding me when I am working and I guess you could say I create little displays with all my stuff.

This is in the corner above the sink.  A combination of found stuff and items I made.

A bulletin board of inspiration and ideas.

New curtains, and a new crazy paint job.

I added curtains to this shelf to hide a bunch of wood and materials.  And of course, more stuff, er, I mean inspiration...

A window between the garage and the other smaller rooms I work in.

The window sill between the 2 rooms, I stash lots of quick studies and experiments here.

And there you have it, all squeaky clean and fresh faced...until hurricane Lolo strikes again...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Great Tattoo Cover Up, part 1

In addition to the studio make-over that is underway, (http://lolodaniellenathanson.blogspot.com/2012/01/hurricane-lolo.html) I am also in the process of a complete tattoo make-over!  My little ole tattoo is looking pretty darn shabby and has needed a renovation for a while now.

When I got it, a long time ago, it was pretty cute.  Now....uuuughhhh

I am lucky to live in Oakland California,  the most amazing city in the world, and right in my little neighborhood we happen to have the most amazing tattoo shop in the world as well, like, really...

I entered Lucky 13 (http://www.tattoo13oakland.com) with my cute little design which my artist Sonju said he would only do if we made it bigger, there was just too much detail for how small I had printed in out.   That did freak me out a bit because I was thinking it was pretty big already, but I had heard so many good things about Sonju so I decided to trust him and go with it.  

Sonju tracing over my design.

While Sonju worked on my design and had some tacos, I hung out with the guys and learned a bunch of facinating facts about their lives and what it's like being a tattooist.  (Many of which I swore to them I wouldn't mention here!)  I hung out with Stash, Paul and Dustin and I must tell you they were sweet as can be.  I was kinda nervous about the whole forever thing and the pain, and Stash, with his pirates swagger and a tattoo on his eyelid, was so reassuring when he said, "Don't be scared, we're fucking professionals!"

That's Sonju and Stash working on drawings.

The design transferred on.  Once I saw this, I was feeling pretty excited.

Sonju getting the needle thingy ready.

So it turned out that my design was pretty hard to do, especially the concentric circles at the bottom.  We did the outline and that took 3 hours.  And, yep it hurts...

During the 3 hours Sonju and I talked about everything from art to religion to barfights.  He had such amazing stories and such a unique perspective on art and life, if I weren't in so much pain, I could have stayed for 3 more hours. 

Ta da...the outline is done!!

I have an appointment next week for all the color, and if you know me, you know there will be a lot of crazy color!
I can't say enough great things about the guys and the shop, and what a wonderful tattooist Sonju is.
Stay tuned for part 2, and see it all finished!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hurricane Lolo

Warning!  Some of the following images may include disturbing content.  Please do not allow the following images to reflect negatively on Laurel or Lolo's Laboratory.  Do not judge harshly, she is indeed human, despite what you might think...

 A few weeks back, after a making frenzy, I looked around my studio and was shocked and horrified at what I saw.  Every surface was covered in stuff.  The floor was littered with little pieces of paper, the sink was full of dirty paint containers.  How in the world can I work in this mess?  I decided then it was time for a huge studio clean up, and so the clean up began.  The following are the incendiary before photos:

The main room of my studio, it's my garage.  What a mess, yikes!
So, I am pretty lucky to have a very large and amazing studio,  and I need to have a big studio because I am addicted to far too many crafty processes and create stuff out of tons of different materials and techniques.  So in defense of my own slovenliness, it's darn hard to stay neat and organized when you've drowning in a whole lot of stuff.

Oh man, this is embarrassing...

In addition to the garage, I have 2 other smaller rooms that are connected to the garage which I use as well.  One of the little rooms is what I call the mini wood shop.    Here's what the work surfaces currently look like:

The next room is the room where I store my artwork, where I sew, have a jewelers bench, and where I keep my printers.

Ok, there is actually a jewelers bench somewhere under that pile of stuff.  If you can believe it, I was actually working in this mess!  I totally need one of Oprah's home organizer's for hoarders to come rescue me!

But alas, the clean up has commenced.  In fact, I am excited to announce I am giving the garage a complete studio make over!! Tune in next week for some major surprises.  The after pictures will I hope redeem me...

Keep in mind,  it takes a pretty creative person to make such an outstanding mess...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Dreamy Day Job, Part 1-Rings

I have been a high school shop teacher at the same school for the past 11 years.  Some wonder how in the world I can bare to teach teenagers, and at the same school for so long?  Well, it just so happens that I pretty much have the most awesome day job around!

At my school we have 5 shops, and I am the jewelry/metalsmithing teacher.  I basically create the curriculum I want, and have total freedom to try any techniques and materials that I think the kids will dig, and dig they do...

The other cool part about my job is that I have had the opportunity to teach lots of other courses, art classes to glass shop classes.  And, as all teachers know, prepping is essential, so I have to make lots of cool stuff for myself in order to come up with the projects I plan on doing with my kids.  Plus, since my own art is no longer metalsmithing, I need to keep my soldering skills up, so I just must make cool stuff for myself...

For my advanced class we make square rings where they learn a technique called scoring.  The rings on the left I made when figuring out the best way to teach them how to score...so to speak...

Rings are my favorite things to make and wear, and over the past 11 years I have made a lot of them.  The kids love them too, these days we are all into wearing lots of stacked rings. 

In my advanced class they learn to set stones.  Making these little stackables are their favorite things to make.

I have fairly long fingers so I can wear a pretty tall stack.

I can't believe I get paid to play around with resin!

A few years ago I taught a class about incorporating handmade glass elements into metal.  I made the fused glass pieces in our glass shop, then had to come up with different ways of incorporating them with the metal work.

The ring on the left, store bought beads, the one on the right was a left over bead that I found in the glass shop that a kid had  made.  I am always emphasizing design with my students, I am particularly proud of how I integrated the bead with the metal on this one, and it had no soldering involved!

As a bead freak, I knew I had to start incorporating glass beads with my metalwork.  I decided after making a bunch of stuff with this technique, that I am not actually going to let the kids do it.  I am afraid they will crack their beads and hot shards of glass will fly around and hit them in their pretty faces.

The idea on the left the kids can do, because there is no torch needed to incorporate the beads.  The 2 others are really cool because the beads move back and forth and rotate around.

I suspect you believe me when I say I fricken love my day job.  I must add however, part of what makes it so great are the wonderful folks I work with, and yes, believe it or not, TEENAGERS ROCK!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Children: works in progress

With the new year comes lots of cleaning, organizing, goal setting, and contemplating the year that has just passed, and passed in the blink of an eye...

I am in the process of a total studio make-over, the before and after pictures will begin in next weeks post, so stay tuned.  In the mean time, I am going thru lots of work that has accumulated over the past year.  Last year for an exhibition I was in with 2 of my girlfriends, I was going to do an installation based on children.   I started making children out of all different materials and thought I was going to make one huge installation with them on a large wall.  I didn't do that, and I just stumbled upon some of the children I began making, that maybe, just maybe one day I will finish...

These boys heads are made on heavy matte board and are a bit larger than life size.

Little Miss Pouty is acrylic on canvas.  Ha ha, look at her ears, they are so not even!!

This silhouette  is cut from 1/4 masonite.  It's kinda larger than life size, like 20" across.

This creepy kid is made from a 1950's illustration.  I laminated him, and added the felt tears.

Playing again with silhouettes and negative space.

3 heads, pen on paper.

Kids have hilarious teeth!

This baby is small, around 9 inches high, and it's made from 1/4 plywood and collage.

So those are my kids in progress, I guess all of us are in progress, really.  I for one intend to keep on growing...just never growing up...