Scottie Brooches

November 27, 2010

As an experiment, I thought I’d take a cast of my favourite celluloid brooch. It was made in occupied Japan (around the late 1940’s).

I’ve also made card labels with a scottie graphic because I can’t resist doing a wee bit of packaging!

When they come out of the mould they have to be trimmed, and the wax mould release removed before painting. A brooch pin is glued on to the back and the final stage is sealing them up in cellophane bags and stapling on the card header.

They’re all slightly different, even though I’m not particularly trying to make them that way, but when I find a combination of base colour and paint that looks good I’ll probably try to stick to that for the sake of consistency.

Here’s the finished result.

White Scottie brooch

White versions

Assorted Brooch Samples

Some steps in the process:

curing in moulds

Removed from mould, still with flashing

Test Pieces

Packaging design and Sample

Might consider full-time production!


Christmas, Vintage Items

September 10, 2010

Nothing encourages my hoarding instinct quite as much as coming across websites that sell old store stock of Christmas related items. Everything here and in the slideshow is either still made somewhere or is ‘new’old stock.

I got these lovely gummed seals in January last year, so I’m looking forward to putting them on envelopes this Christmas.

These lacquered trees in the slideshow have metal glitter on them, they’re quite old but in good condition. I bought a few bunches of them to use for making decorations. The hooks for hanging baubles on christmas trees are available in Germany today. I love the simple card box they come in.

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The little tinsel icicles are fantastic, they really shimmer and sparkle in the sunlight – and make a lovely sound when you shake the box!

This is the kind of Christmas wrapping paper I love! It’s printed on crisp newsprint, and the simple, cheerful images are very appealing. The printing is fairly basic – I love the dot matrix patterns that you see when you examine it closely, and the fact that some of the print is out of registration. I’m sure that although some of the designs do look 60’s or 70’s, there will be older ones that were reprinted year after year.

It’s a pity this kind of paper is not available anymore. It was cheap and plentiful – you could tear it off your presents wild abandon, and you didn’t mind throwing away afterwards. Some gift wrap that’s around today is very beautiful and substantial and I often want to leave presents intact and just admire the wrapping. Of course, you can’t really do that so I end up unwrapping things very carefully (annoying everyone because of the time it’s taking), and then storing the paper somewhere for ages hoping that it will be put to use again – which pretty much never happens.

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I was absolutely delighted to come across these examples of old stock in a small newsagents near where I live. There were only a few sheets left, they are in imperial measurements and they had probably been lurking in a storeroom somewhere for decades.