Sunday, February 10, 2008

My new bamboo pen

I made myself a bamboo pen today! I've been wanting one since seeing Laurelines lovely pen and wash sketches, and on Friday I spotted a pile of cut bamboo on a neighbour's pavement, waiting for disposal. So I guiltily sidled up to it today and pulled out a few sticks, feeling like a burglar (which we really had - 3 of - in our driveway yesterday morning - but that's another story). Dogs barked and cars slowed down, but I soldiered on - brought them home and searched for how to set about it.
I found wonderful instructions and diagrams on Daily Art (mas o menos) blog, and his flicker site on exactly how to go about it. It isn't as professional looking and beautiful as his, but I intend to practise and make some thicker and thinner ones - I have enough bamboo for at least fifty. Mine is very green - easier to cut I think without it splitting, but I wonder how it affects the line, it will be interesting to find out. I had to try it out immediately, of course, so here's a rather wonky quick drawing of Johnny Depp - I'm not really an avid follower of all these celebs, but I found a magazine of one of my kids with lots of rather good portrait photos in it - something I don't manage to take myself very often, so I hope nobody minds if I do these exercises using them.


Cathy Gatland said...

Well thank YOU for the very detailed and clear instructions. Was dry bamboo not very hard to cut? And what did you use - a craft knife (called NT cutters here)as i did? I need to work on the reservoir bit - it does run dry quite quickly - but I'm so thrilled with it!

Gillian said...

Well you are a clever, Catherine!!
I'm very impressed. I'll look out for bamboo now too - what an amazing plant - grows everywhere - and so many uses. (It's the latest in GREEN thinking here. So far I only have a bamboo cutting board. But I did see neat bamboo storage boxes in a favourite store today.) I think Chris would like to know how to do this.
Thanks to drb too.
Love G.

Tahirih Goffic said...

Thanks so much for your comments on my horse picture! They are wonderful. I am getting some great feedback. It's really helpful for me to hear from people that see the painting with fresh eyes. I totally agree about the feet, mane and tail, and I'm going to re-work it some. A mistake I think I made is cropping it too much, it's too zoomed. I think that is another reason the horse looks like it's going to's coming up so close to the right edge.
I love your work, I wish that I could let myself be imaginative, free and spontaneous. Your paintings are very fun and happy. They make me smile.
Have a wonderful day!

Vivienne said...

Johnny D should be very happy I think. Well done on the pen. I have made random stick ones from bamboo and other stuff, but they are always dip and splatter, so I should try to do it properly. I've had good results, though, with big feathers, just slicing through the quill at a good angle.

Bob said...

Using green bamboo, it becomes more stable if you let it stand in water or dry out for a week before carving it.