Module 1 – Rubbings

Making shapes from wire that’s fine enough to bend easily with your fingers is a great way to get linear marks on paper using rubbings.  Any textured/relief surface can provide a interesting surface to make a rubbing but fine wire is particularly good because it creates a crisp, fine line.

Here I’ve made the shape of a pear, an apple and a leaf. I used florist’s wire which was only in very short lengths so I needed a piece for each side of the fruits and a third piece for the leaf. You can of course trim off bits you don’t need. Old scissors are perfect for this if you don’t have wire snips. It’s easy to feel where the wire is beneath the paper so I could overlap shapes and target the bits I needed to suggest one pear was sitting in front of the apple and I could place the leaf shape to connect at the stalk end of each. I only needed one of each shape – just moved the shape if I wanted  repeats. I could make a whole fruit bowl this way!

The detail shows how I created a textured pattern as a background by placing a rubbing plate under the page. My plate was 3D printed but there are many available commercially from craft stores. This one was rather blurry because the lines were really closely spaced and my pencil very soft.

The cups were made with one length of wire for the main bowl with its handle and a second length for the saucer. I made this rubbing with a water soluble pencil and added a wash of clear water to increase the tonal value on the lower half of the paper. This suggests the ‘table’ is darker than the area above and gives a visual weight to the drawing. There’s a ghost of the corkscrew salmon showing through the page on the left hand side – I’ve obviously been too heavy handed with my pencil and will need to disguise that later!

This pear rubbing looked a little isolated on the right hand page so I added a column of white squares and a wash of dilute paint to add more interest.

Continuing the line and tonal value of the tabletop across to the left page has helped to ground the pear and stop it floating in mid air. I might come back and add something interesting on the left page at some point. Some text might work!

Talk to you again soon.

Bye for now,