Hey, Margaret - sorry about giving away the secret of the cell. I think it would be really scary to be shut up in such a confined space so I shall be going straight from now on.
Betty: displacement maps are an effect in Paint programs like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop where one image is used to shuffle about all the pixels in another image. For instance, in the screen-shot below you can see that I’ve just filled a blank page with a gradient colour (left-hand window in the menu box) and used a pic of fossils (below)to displace the pixels. The result can be seen in the image below the box.
I made this a greyscale image but it will work with coloured ones as well. PSP is very friendly for this effect - anything open on the desktop can be used as a map. Good contrasts provide the best result, although, having said that, you can never really tell - that’s the fun of it. I’ve blogged quite a lot about it - so has Margaret Roberts (Digital Gran www.digitalgran.blogspot.com) - worth searching the pages if this aspect interests you.
I have started on the biggish piece that I want to make for the Highcliffe castle exhibition. It began with inspiration from the Above the World book and has been furthered by the visit to the Earth Gallery at the Natural History Museum. I had a long love affair with fossils a few years ago and quite liked this effect - a detail from one of the pieces I made then.
This used Model Soft, the papery moulding stuff, for the fossils and worked quite well, as long as the material was well integrated (by stitch) into the background.
This time I wanted something different. I’ve been working on Thermogauze (vanishing muslin) for a couple of WoW articles so decided to build on that, together with puff paint and stitch. The inside of the globe at the NH museum had lovely metal fossils, so that’s a possibility, too. All layered up on a tissue paper background coloured with walnut ink and Colour Wash Sprays. Then floaty strips over the top of this with couched threads used for the linear elements of the design.
First I painted the abaca tissue (I used the heavier version so that I could wet it) with Moonshadow mist in copper. Nothing wrong with a bit of glitz. While it was wet I added Colour Wash in Stream - my favourite blue. Then I left it on plastic to allow the colours to run. The colours look very much like the ones in the fossil piece above but I want to bring in rich reds in the top layer, so we shall see.
While it was drying I Ironed painted Bondaweb on to white felt and foiled it, very lightly. Later, when my proofing duties are done, I shall iron strips of the tissue on top of the Bondawebbed felt.
I dug out my drawings of fossils - this one looks hopeful. Tomorrow I am determined to do some stitching so I will trace the lines onto tissue paper in readiness .