The Hundred Day Project Day 35: Battlements and Brickwork

Having made five boats (in thirty-five days, so not quite as quickly as planned), I’m now going to turn my attention to castles as well. This pottery castle was one of the first thing I made at evening class, many, many years ago. Courtesy of the local council we had basic red earthenware clay and a selection of brown and sludgy glazes (some were brown, some were sludgy, some managed an unfortunate combination of the two). The castle itself wasn’t very well made, the enamels improved the brown, but not much, and I always wanted to do it again, but better. It has also suffered through several house moves and a couple of disagreements with the cat.

Rather than diving straight in I decided to experiment a bit first with battlements and paints. The pointy battlements are based on the towers at the entrance to the Arsenale in Venice. They are very fiddly to papier mâché and I think, to be practical, the raised bits (which probably have a technical term) need to be further apart.

The paints are a mixture of acrylics for the main areas and watercolours for the details. I want the paint to resemble brickwork and acrylic paint mixed with Golden Pumice Gel gives a nice rough, matt surface. It has volcanic rock mixed in with the acrylic binder and comes in Fine, Coarse and Extra Course. I used the coarse pumice gel on the battlements and sanded one side to expose bits of the paint below. Applied a bit more thickly, I think it will be perfect for the rough stone and brickwork. The loo roll turret has the fine pumice gel and it doesn’t work so well for ‘stone’; I’m already using this pumice gel for the boats as it gives a really nice matt finish that looks reasonably ‘woody’. Both can be painted over easily for the details.

My paints are a mixture of old and cheap but I would be the first to admit that I am easily seduced by pretty packaging. Apa Color matt acrylics come in enchanting little jars and I would have loved them even if the paint had been useless. As it is, it’s really nice paint and easier to use than tubes.

I shall try and put all this into practice on a castle while Chris is doing the next batch of posts.


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