Chalkboards are all the rage right now. In addition to using them in home décor, they’re a great way to stay organized. Use them as message boards to jot down a phone number, note an appointment, or my favorite, keep a honey-do list (waves to husband).
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m obsessed with chalkboards. I use miniature versions on stands to temporarily label iced tea or raisin pie at my potluck parties. I paint signs using white acrylic on black foam core. And I have a small chalkboard easel in my sons’ bathroom, where I write notes to make them feel special as they start their day.
Jen Cushman has gone above and beyond with her love of chalkboards and chalk paint for mixed-media art projects:
“Chalk paint has become trés trendy in home décor,” says Jen. “You can purchase some wonderful chalk paint products that provide nice, smooth coverage and are easy to work with–all you do is open the paint can and begin. Being a mixed-media artist, however, I always like to see if I can whip up my own recipes. To this end, I share a tip in my new DVD, Mixed-Media Chalkboard with Cast Resin, so you can make your own chalk paint. Full disclosure here: This recipe isn’t as creamy as the commercial paints, but it works just fine and is as easy as looking in your kitchen cabinet. To give acrylic paint the matte and textured finish of chalk paint, all you need to do is add a couple of tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, and mix it up.
“The ‘wow factor’ in this project is the cast resin embellishments that are created from some of my favorite found objects. The sweet cherubs are vintage brass stampings that I made molds from and cast in ICE Resin®. The hardware pieces were made the same way. I’m addicted to making molds from just about everything. I then use these molds with ICE Resin to create three-dimensional objects for my art jewelry, collages, and assemblages. I’ve developed some unique surface treatments for the resin castings using paint and other mediums, and I teach workshops across the country to inspire others to look at objects in an entirely new light. When you look at my work, you’ll usually notice an unexpected vintage touch or detail, strong color, and always elements of storytelling. This chalkboard message center may be a home décor piece, but it has stories to tell.”
It’s wonderful to see artists taking things to a new level. Watch a preview of Mixed-Media Chalkboard with Cast Resin here, and let us know what embellishments you plan to make for your next project! And stay tuned: Later this week I’ll share my exclusive Q&A with Jen, where she’ll discuss using mica, tintypes, and torches to create mixed-media art.
Until next time,