Posted by: Jocelyn | July 4, 2008


frottage 1

frottage 2
Lesson One in Sharon Boggon’s online class about developing and using a Studio Journal, and one of the exercises is Frottage – rubbing over textured stuff with a pencil.  For the first page, I just tried it out on various objects and with various grades of pencil – I really didn’t like one patch so rubbed it out with an eraser, and found that I really liked the effect that gave.

So I did a 2nd page – completely covered it with frottage, pressing heavily or lightly to create a swirling pattern (loosely based on the sky from Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night, which is the subject of different exercise Sharon gave us). Then I drew on the tree with an eraser, basing it on Klimt’s Tree of Life. 

Wouldn’t this make a great Blackwork piece! I can see the background done in shaded blackwork, leaving the tree design (or any design) blank as negative space.  I am in the middle of a couple of other WIPs right now so this idea will just sit percolating on the back burner and one day, I might just start it.


  1. Those frottages are beautiful, very inspiring! Well done.

  2. I really like the results. Sounds like fun. What surfaces did you use for your rubbings?

  3. I love this idea for blackwork! It probably helps that you are REALLY speaking my language, as I have designed a small cross stitch piece based on the Klimt’s ‘Tree of Life’ & have just written a piece on stitching with overdyed threads using van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ sky as an example. I’d love to see any work you produce from your frottage experiment. I’ve been looking into blackwork in a little more depth just recently, and think I may have to try some experiments of my own. Thanks for the inspiration!

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