Posted in Professional Practice

Art Supplies Haul – August 2019

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Only one item this time, because I can see my budget running away with me! I was definitely tempted to get some more silicone, but ultimately I needed a bit of a break from metal casting and decided to focus more on the basics of constructing my prototypes.

Here’s what I did buy:

Art Supplies Haul – July 2019

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July was a bit of a frustrating month because of just how unforgiving some of my chosen materials are… but I just can’t shake the feeling that they’re what I want to use right now. That’s why you’ll find a repeat appearance here, and probably again sometime in the future!

Art Supplies Haul – June 2019

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There’s not much of a shopping list this time, because to make a list you kinda need more than one thing!

My art spending is strictly budget-based though, so when I discovered this beauty I had to funnel all my funds towards it… and if you’ve been reading my Studio Notes series you may already know what I’m talking about. Let’s have a look at my big buy then:

Brother Scan N Cut CM300 machine

A few months ago I watched a video of a Cricut Maker cutter-plotter machine for the first time. I was researching some art supplies and I don’t know why I ended up there, but I was hooked on the possibilities.

I could tell that it would be an amazing tool, but I knew nothing about cutting machines, and it seemed like an entirely new language to learn -software, hardware, brands, all the technical jargon, comparisons between old and newer models… it took a while to figure it out.

Brother Scan N Cut CM300 review
Click here to see on Amazon*

Eventually I settled on a Brother Scan N Cut CM300, which I bought second-hand on eBay.

You might remember that as early as May I was wondering whether I could use it to cut out kraft paper pieces to make a 3d form – well, that’s exactly what I did.

As for the original Cricut machine that caught my eye, it probably is better, as it has a higher cutting pressure and can cut thicker materials. Still, I like the scanning function on the Brother machine, as I naturally want to scan a lot of my hand-drawn designs.

You can click here to get a Cricut Maker at CraftStash*. Here’s the video that got me hooked:

Art Supplies Haul June 2019

Art Supplies Haul – May 2019

You can tell I’m back into the sculpture phase of my work. I tend to buy ahead of time and have my supplies sitting around for a bit, but with these purchases I decided I needed them right away.

African Black Soap Base

More soap sculpture? Oh yes.

Since Use Him in 2013 I’ve been thinking about doing some smaller scale sculptures in soap, and it suddenly hit me that I had to get the right stuff in to have on hand for that time when I could jump right in to it.

This is definitely the stuff I need – 2kg cost me £13.45. It’s going to look at me judgmentally from its spot on the shelf until it forces me to make the darned thing happen.


I found out (fairly late) about Composimold, a food-safe mould-making material that can be melted down and re-used up to 35 times.

This is great for the way I work, casting positives, then refining them and casting them again. I could have saved a lot of money last year if I’d have known about this! It cost £46.99 for 40oz.

40 oz Composimold - cheapest on eBay.

However, it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing with this Composimold – I got it badly wrong and my first mould was a disaster.

I hadn’t counted on the water content of the material itself and left my paper model in it for way too long. Also, the melting point of the Composimold was too close to the wax in the model.

Next time.


I happened to be in Aldi a lot back in May, so I was poised to find some great deals on their special buys.

When I saw a set of metal files for £5.99 I knew I had to have them to work on my next pewter casting – not having any rasps makes metal work very difficult!

Aldi's pyrography set and metal files on patterned rug

Pyrography kit

In the same trip I picked up a fantastic pyrography kit for the unbelievable price of £7.99.

Now pyrography as a craft isn’t something I’m terribly interested in, but it’s the potential applications of a hot branding tool that make it an essential for my current work.

I’ve been using it to model paper and wax sculpture – it’s surprisingly good for shaping and burning away kraft paper layers, and I’m so glad I didn’t leave it behind!

I’m very pleased with what I did manage to pick up over the month – now it’s time to put these things to work.

Art Supplies Haul May 2019