Mineral Roller-coaster

Roller-coaster of minerals,

Say what?


Yeah (ooh ooh, ooh ohh)

 This week saw the inspiration of mineral coasters. The idea formed from me wanted to make my own agate. With some spare resin lying around the house (don’t ask me why?) I squeezed out some rough agate shapes onto some cling film, and left to dry. Ideally the resin should have hardened until rock solid (no pun intended), at which point I would have been able to paint some agate bands on top, forming my own minerals.


What happened instead was that the resin only dried in the middle, and was really crackled where it did. Off to the bin with that idea, or was it? Now I don’t know how my mind made the leap from making my own agate into making agate coasters, but I won’t fault it, it was a good idea, and one which I got a lot of satisfaction from creating.

So starting with some watercolour paper, paints and my colour board, I set about painting a collection of four agate painting, which linked together by use of colour, which would sit nicely with the table linen I’m designing for my collection. And what’s a napkins best friend? Coasters of course!


With the first agate I painted, I started to think about ways in which I could add the texture of a mineral into the otherwise flat painting? I created really saturated rings of water on my page so that the bands I painted on the edges, would bleed and mimic the natural formation of the mineral. Once the painting was completed, but while it was still wet, I sprinkled salt on top, so that it would suck up the extra moister, and add little dots of texture to the whole thing.


The other three coater all dried rather quickly, and short of pouring water on top which would have ruined the appearance, the paintings were too dry to add salt too. With each mineral painting I varied the colours slightly, though making sure that each had some colours that linked, so that together, they could be classed as a set.


Once all the paintings were dried, it was times to turn them into coasters! I did this by finding some cardboard that was lying around the house, and then tracing the shape of each minerals onto the cardboard, twice. Once the two cardboard pieces were stuck together, they would create more height in each coaster. I then painted the underside of the coasters white, but I didn’t like it. I wanted something that would reflect the nature of the mineral itself. The answer came to me in the form of a bottle of gold glitter, which I used to add extra mineral-ness to the paintings.

I coated the bottom of each coaster with two layers of glitter, and then sealed the whole thing with glue. The end result was that I had agate paintings on the top of each coaster, and then a mottled crystalline base, which helps reflect that even though it’s made of cardboard and paper, my influences have come from a completely natural occurring crystal substance.


I had a really fun time whilst creating these coaster, I was able to find an outlet for all the creative ideas I’ve been getting since this change in my collection. I’ve felt really inspired by the work that I have been doing with Richard Weston and I think I have conveyed this inspiration through my work.20151204_141237679_iOS


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