This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
These columns are free to all. It is only required that(l) questions dealing with different topics be written on separate sheets ot paper with the writer's name and address on the back of each, and that (2) stamps accompany all pictures, drawings, prints, etc, to be returned. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor of Arts and Crafts, 37 & 38, Strand. London.
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You will find such particulars in our advertising columns.
S. J. - (1) Sony we cannot spare the space. (2) We are always ready to consider contributions germane to the magazine.
At request, John Murray, publisher, Albemarle Street, London, will send you descriptive pamphlet of his art manuals.
Amateur, and S. B. - Barnard & Son's " Velvotint" powder colours are much used for colouring photographs and postal cards. They are applied dry with paper stumps. Read the advertisement.
"Carver." - (1) We did so in the first number. (2) What you suggest is more in the way of The Wood-worker, an excellent weekly periodical (price 2d.), which makes a speciality of answering such queries as yours about matters of construction.
For the embossed leather a stiff paste must be used as a backing, to keep the border to an oval shape. Flour and water mixed to the consistency of cream, boiled, and, when cold, mixed with enough cotton wool to render it stiff, makes a capital backing.
"Loom - (1) We have anticipated your suggestion, and shall soon give some "Practical Demonstrations" in the simpler kinds of pillow lace, with many illustrations. Lessons in pillow lace, as well as in all kinds of embroidery, are given by Miss Edith Swinhoe, 10, King Street, Kensington Square, W.
E. J. - The Harebell Design (page 127) is very suitable for stencilling, and could be worked in as a border, or an allover drop pattern. If all the lines given in the illustration are cut out, the paper will be rather fragile; to avoid this, eliminate some of the least important, which may be done without loss to the general effect. Stout cartridge paper is the best to use.
(1) There is no reason why you should not prepare the liquid gold yourself from a gold coin, as you suggest. If you like, we will tell you how to do it, but the description is too long for this page. (2) The Lacroix colours are most generally used, (3) The tube colours you mention are sufficiently fluxed, we think.
Carve it in low relief. The ground should not be taken deeper than 1/16 in., rendering only a slight modelling necessary. The veiner should be used to suggest centres of the flowers. Your design might be adapted as a straight border. Another treatment would be simply to vein in all the lines and stamp down, with a coarse punch, all the ground. A good effect might thus be gained with little labour.
The correct shade of green for clothing the altar is a pure bright emerald, with less of blue than yellow in it. It should be such as will harmonize well with gold and red, and upon which blue may be worked without detriment. All these qualities may be proved by simply placing several skeins of gold, red and blue silks upon different hues of green, and marking the effect before deciding upon the material. This test will answer well for every colour about to be chosen as a foundation for needlework.
"An Art Worker's Library."
"Art Worker." - Your suggestion that we publish in the magazine a list of books suitable as a nucleus for "An Art Worker's Library " will soon be carried out; but the details call for very careful consideration. In the meanwhile, for your own special purpose, you cannot do better than ask Mr. B. T. Batsford, High Holborn, to send you a catalogue of Lewis F. Day's admirable series of Handbooks on Design.
Queries about Painting.
"Silver Medal." - It is difficult to advise you without having seen your work. On general principles, however, we may say that though it is perhaps more difficult to excel in landscape than in figure painting, it is easier to produce satisfactory and even valuable work. A long course of study of drawing is necessary to enable the student to produce a passable figure; but if he have a feeling for natural beauty, a little practice will enable him to do meritorious work in landscape. A sufficient mastery of drawing may be acquired in a few winters by studying from copy and from still-life objects indoors. That is sufficient to begin with; for the better the landscape painter draws, the easier it is for him to paint well, and the more his painting signifies.
Your friend's advice is sound. The lightest spot in the heavens, in nature, is always lighter than any objects in the world beneath. No white in nature is ever as luminous as the light in the sky. Effects may be forced by ignoring this fact, but they will always be at the expense of the picture; for the moment you create a light more brilliant than that of the sky, you deaden it and rob it of air. Objects in the foreground of a picture appear lighter than the sky sometimes, but that is because they are contrasted with darker planes or masses, which heighten their relief without increasing their intrinsic brightness. In painting from nature remember that the sky is a luminous space, with light within it, while all mundane substances are more or less substantial, and receive light only on their surfaces, and consequently cannot be more brilliant than that which gives the light to them.
(Answers to several correspondents are unavoidably left over until our next issue.)