I often find that places I’ve visited or books I’ve read act as a basis for new projects. Looking back over the sketches and photos I’d created after an inspiring visit to the British Museum (see my British Museum page), I decided to use some for a couple of experimental projects.
I’ve created a selection of art cards (see my post ACEOs and art cards) and thought that a couple of things I’d seen and sketched at the museum might be suitable to add to the collection.
I’ve always liked to look at and sketch hieroglyphics. If you observe them closely, you can see that they contain elements of humour as well as seriousness (they do to me anyway) without actually understanding the literal meaning.
Using what I’d seen in the Egyptian collection I decided to make an ACEO from clay and paint it to look like a small tablet (see using modeling clay to make an art card). Obviously I don’t understand the hieroglyphics so I copied the ones I liked the most (not very scientific and I hope the Ancient Egyptians aren’t rolling in their sarcophagi at the thought). I used clay to create this, which dries at room temperature (no need for a fancy kiln).
As you can tell from this, ACEOs can be made from any material (within reason) and not just paper as long as they are of the right dimensions (2.5×3.5 inches) and are not too thick.
Hieroglyphics as they appeared on a sarcophagus in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum
My clay version of a hieroglyphics tablet
I also modelled several other ACEOs in clay while I was at it. After I’d modelled the clay I made a latex mould and cast them in plaster of Paris so that I could make several out of one design.
As an alternative I also made a ACEO using watercolours and masking fluid. I was trying out a Masquepen, which I thought might be a useful alternative to ruining my brushes with masking fluid. But it also has its limitations.
Hieroglyphics on the false door of Ptashepses in the Egyptian rooms