Lesley Venable’s "Treasure Within"

Another wonderful class I took at Art is You was Lesley Venable’s “Treasure Within.”  In the morning, we made the tin, and in the afternoon we made the little collage booklet (next post) that goes inside.

In the class kit was a tin similar to the old-fashioned Band-Aid tins.  Lesley had prepared them by burning them with a torch to remove the paint and give the tin an old-looking interesting patina.  We then coated the tins with Sophisticated Finishes’ Copper emulsion and then the green patina solution that Sophisticated Finishes pairs with the copper.  I’ve used these products before and really love them.  What I learned about them from Lesley was to put the patina solution on while the copper emulsion is still tacky.  I always waited till it dried, and the patina took overnight to develop, whereas with Lesley’s method, the patina developed in maybe half an hour.

Then we used chalk paint to stamp over the patina’d copper.  The stamping on mine shows best on the back.  I also used letter stamps, but the letters are a bit tricky to read.  On the sides, it says “what would life be without cats?”  and on the back, under the bird stamp, it says “sounds good to me!”

 From that point, it was a matter of adding the embellishments, some of which we antique’d with paint or ink pads.

The knob is a small glass knob that I’ve had for a while.  I had to punch a hole in the top to put the bolt in the knob through, and then secured it with a nut.  But I also added some glue (Lesley prefers Liquid Nails) on the bottom of the knob for extra strength.

The cat head is one I made from polymer clay a few years ago.  The details are painted on.  The ruff around the cat’s neck is just made from dyed seam binding.  By threading a row of running stitches in a wide “U” pattern along the length of the ribbon and then pulling the stitches tight, you get this scalloped pattern.  I then sewed a small glass pearl to the tip of each “petal.”

The handle is a piece of sari silk.  It attaches by threading the ends through holes in the tin and knotting them on the inside.  But first, I knotted the silk through a large jump ring near one end to attach the charm and pearl dangles.

I think I’ll use this for a little dress-up purse (although I don’t go anywhere to dress up!)  It’s just the right size to hold a driver’s license, credit cards, a bit of cash, and a lipstick and small key ring.  I may add a beaded tassel to the bottom, but, of course, then the tin couldn’t stand up, so I’m not quite sure of that!  A fun time and a great project.

What I so love about mixed media is the opportunity to use materials and skills I’ve collected over the years.


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