Tuesday 5 May 2015

"Because he loved her he let her crack open his shell and push his most sensitive buttons."

Servus and welcome to today's start of the new challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd!

This month the theme is 


so show us your mixed media threesomes!

A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections. Nowadays it is seen done on canvasses too but most of the time it is a piece of art closer to a shrine with three (often carved on the outsides and painted on the insides) panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It originates from Christian art and is mostly known with church altars that fold open on Sundays and holidays to display the most beautiful and precious paintings and show the outer (also painted or otherwise decorated) sides (when closed) on work days.

By now they have also found their way into mixed media and art in general - and to many artists they still mean more than just a certain format to work on: they are keepsakes in a way and still imply that their shown contents are highly treasured and/or meaningful ones. But of course one can also simply play with the possibilities and visual benefits the tryptich format offers.

My tryptich is made from corrugated card which I treated with white Gesso, crackle media, metallic paints (DecoArt misters) and guilding wax. 

"Because he loved her he let her crack open his shell and push his most sensitive buttons" was the line that came to my mind when I looked at the spread out tiny treasures that I had collected for a possible use on my tryptich. 

Love is pretty much about trust and opening up and it is also about letting the partner not only see your more vulnerable sides but also bring out the best in you or even bring some hidden potential to the surface. But it needs a lot of trust and caring, right? 

The broken button was part of a fleamarket find and I thought it shows perfectly how "sensitive" buttons might react to being pushed too hard. The tiny shell is one that can be found with our lakes in the Austrian Salzkammergut and I have been collecting them since I was a child. Now my son is the one who snorkels and collects those tiny treasures. ;)

(click images for larger view)

The three panels are hinged together by a piece of rough ribbon that was glued between the front and back panels of each section. I love to use fabric (especially linen) as hinges as they are flexible and soft at the same time. 

I first gave my die cut corrugated card panels (with the openings already cut into them) a heavy coat of white Gesso. Once that had dried I added some white DecoArt Crackle Paste with a palette knife and a brush and let that dry naturally (and thoroughly). Then I covered the whole surface with DecoArt Raw Umber Antiquing Cream and let that dry before I wiped off the excess with a baby wipe. I love how weathered the result looks! 

The faces were stamped onto acetate that was first treated with alcohol inks. I cut the acetate slightly larger than the window openings so I could simply glue them in place without visible traces of the glue. 

The background colours were painted in using a fine tip brush and DecoArt media fluid acrylics. For fixing my found objects to my tryptich I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page (my all time favourite when it comes to adding bulkier items to my projects). 

The winner of this month's challenge will be offered a guest designer spot for a future challenge - so why not join in and take your chance? I would love to see your interpretations of a tryptich! I also recommend you check out the makes of my fab teamies over at The Mirror Crack'd! I promise you will find some wonderful inspiration on how to approach this theme! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Looks wonderful! Love all the texture!!!

  2. Gorgeous, love the texture and colours . Fabulous piece x x

  3. Hello Claudia,
    Gosh your base looks like wood not corrugated cardboard, I just want to run my fingers over it and feel the texture, as it looks amazing. As usual you have created a splendid piece, the broken button is unique and I so enjoyed reading your post on how this triptych came together for you.

  4. This is so touching Claudia. Your message is wonderful as is the fabulous artwork you did to portray it. Love the broken button - it's perfect and the stories about how you found it and the shell. Thanks bunches for sharing. j.

  5. Great Triptych Claudia, love the texture and images. Have a good visit to the UK and happy crafting, Angela x

  6. What an amazing story to go with an amazing triptych! I am really diggin (haha!) your use of found objects, awesome sauce! Hugz! ~Niki

  7. Stunning triptych Claudia! I love the wooden look!

  8. Wow Claudia, I love the textures on the corrugated card. It is reminiscent of driftwood which goes so well with the shell. Love it, a beautiful piece to match the phrase. Hugs Jan x

  9. I love this piece! The crackle effect is so cool. And the text that goes with it. I always like when the faces involved tell a story.

  10. Love the corrugated card effect Claudia- very cool! xx

  11. AMAZING, Claudia!! Where do I begin? :) Well, firstly--your treated corrugated, does not look like corrugated cardboard at all! It looks like beautiful weathered wood, maybe washed up on a distant shore somewhere? ;) And that darling little shell from a freshwater crab or snail--Soooo cool!! Oh and the stamped faces on acetate!! I thought that maybe you had treated thin pieces of metal to achieve the rusted, crackly looking effect--NOPE! :) You've blown me away again Claudia, with your expert use of all of the mediums you've got in play here!! I Just love this triptych!! You've got my creative wheels turning for the weekend!! :) :) XOXO-Shari

  12. I love tryptichs and this is an excellent idea for a challenge. I am very inspired by yours, especially the scale of it.

  13. Just love the combination of colours, texture and images. Ab fab hun xx

  14. Beautiful post..nicely described everything. I got to know about triptych origin for the first time.
    your triptych is amazing with beautiful corrugated and crackle background. Small button and shell make it more prettier.
    Your work is always inspiring Claudia !!

  15. This is amazing Claudia. I love the texture from the corrugated card. Until I read how you made this it looked to me like something reclaimed from a sea worn boat! Fabulous how an old bit of corrugated can look so fantastic.


  16. One of the best Triptychs I've seen in a long while, such texture and the colours are perfect. Fabulous! Ruth x


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