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Designer of the Month: Meet Vickie Densmore

June 10, 2010

Hi, and welcome to this month’s edition of Designer of the Month!

Funny thing about parching in the US, there could be a parching nut in the next state from you and you might never know it! That was the case with Vickie, who I finally met on Facebook a while ago. Vickie displays some amazing work, all based on a technique that she developed and calls Etched Glass Technique. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to sit down with her (okay, it was via email) for this  month’s DotM.

CEP: Being a self-taught parcher, was it difficult for you to learn the various techniques involved in parchment craft?

Vickie Densmore: Yes, actually it was.  When I began there were no local classes to attend….no tutors/instructors/teachers here in the US and not even anywhere to find supplies so I went to the web!!  I was totally on my own.  Then I discovered I couldn’t afford the ‘proper’ parchment craft tools so I used what I already had on hand for other paper crafting techniques.  I was determined to learn so I managed to at least get the ‘feel’ for things and that made me even more determined to save til I could afford a proper tool here and there.

CEP:For those of us on Facebook, and/or those that follow your blog, we have been treated with fabulous images of your Etched Glass technique. What prompted you to develop this technique?

VD: Several years ago when I ‘discovered’ parchment craft I managed to teach myself as many of the techniques as I could and that process took me two years to accomplish on my own.  In 2007 I designed and won the Pergamano Int’l Design Challenge!!  I had polio when I was a young girl and the majority of damage was to my right upper body (and I’m right handed!!).  As I now age (gracefully!!), I found it was becoming more and more difficult to do some of the traditional parchment craft techniques and I could not bear the thought of giving up my beloved parching.  Once again, I was determined to find a way I could continue without the unbearable pain in my polio arm from some of the techniques traditional parchment craft requires.  After 1 1/2 years of trying various ways to better suit my own medical, and age related, issues I finally hit on a technique that worked very well and today I can still parch in relative comfort.

CEP:Are there any special tools needed for this technique?

VD: There are no special parchment craft tools required.  I don’t have a large inventory of parchment tools so my technique is based upon what “I” have to work with.  The tools required are:  shaders/embossers/grids (bold only), however, my technique allows everyone to find their own way with whatever tools they already have and enjoy working with.  My technique does require a good photo editing program because the technique requires printing on parchment.  I use Paint Shop Pro 8 but any version thereafter does the same thing…just has more bells and whistles!!  Any photo editing program* one might already have, or might consider purchasing (like Photoshop or PSP), will work just as well.  Simply think of the photo editing program an another parching tool because that’s exactly what it is…..or will become.

ed. note:  when talking about a photo editing program, she means a comprehensive program that can handle masking and layers.

CEP: Was there any specific event or reason that prompted you to decide to write and self-publish your book on Etched Glass Technique?

VD: Yes.  The time is going to come when I will not be able to use my polio arm any longer and delaying the journey of writing down the method I created needed to be shared with parchment crafters who might have handicaps or age related health issues and do not want to stop parching because of them. We all want to continue doing the things we truly love as long as we possibly can…..this technique will provide more time to do just that.

CEP: What should folks expect from your book?

VD: A journey into a world where modern technology is combined with traditional parchment craft.  A ‘step out of the box’ if you will.  It is a detailed, step by step, “classroom in a book”, with lots of visuals. It teaches how to make grid border TEMPLATES;  it teaches how to print direct to parchment and place your images exactly where they need to be on the parchment in order for the borders to then be made around the image and finally it teaches the “Etched Glass” technique.  It then teaches how to combine the modern technology with any/all traditional parchment craft techniques you might want to use to complete the project in the book.

If you have not yet seen Vickie’s Etched Glass Technique, you really should hop on over to her place and take a look around. Or if you would like to know more about the book, you can read the blurb here.

I hope you enjoyed this months edition of Designer of the Month. Thank you for stopping by!

  1. Katy Kasar permalink
    June 10, 2010 7:21 am

    Hi Chiara – another super write-up of yet another outstanding Designer in the world of Parchment Craft – I also met Vickie via Facebook, and now feel very privileged to have this lovely lady as my `friend` – I just love all of Vickie`s work, but her Etched Glass Technique is just something else!!! – I have fallen in love with it, and I have bought Vickie`s E-book, which is well written and has excellent and very clear instructions on how to do this beautiful and fascinating technique –
    I am awaiting delivery of the heavy duty vellum needed to do my first `border template` – however, I was so excited at the prospect of `having a go` that I cheated a bit and actually did the part (on screen) of putting the `etched glass mask` over my chosen picture – I was amazed at the result, and it looks super – thank you Vickie, and thank you too Chiara xx

    • June 10, 2010 8:05 am

      Oh my goodness, Katy!! Thanks so much for the very kind comment :)) I am so very pleased you are finding lots of FUN with my new technique and the more you get ‘into it’ you will truly find it is a wonderful alternative to totally traditional parching on those days when you want/need a bit less movement and stress on the arm/hand/fingers!!! Continued success in your new journey and don’t forget I’m only an email ( away if/when you need assistance.

      Thanks so very much, Chiara, for the honor of being this month’s Designer of the Month xxx

  2. June 10, 2010 8:53 am

    What a wonderful artcle on Vickie, Chiara. As Katy states above, Vickie is one of the sweetest persons I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on line! Her work is incredibly gorgeous, she has a talent beyond belief. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to purchase her book, but it is most definitely on my “to do” list! Thank you Vickie for taking the time to share your techniques to the parchment world!

    • June 10, 2010 1:23 pm

      Thanks so very much, Jerri for your kind comment. I hope when you have the opportunity to give my technique a try, you will find it a very FUN process to do……well, after the learning curve, that is….lol

  3. Nelly permalink
    June 10, 2010 10:55 am

    Hi Vickie, nice to meet you here. It was a pleasure to read your interview with Chiara and I am in love with your technique. It’s so delicate and wonderful to put these images on parchment and do a nice border around it.
    I am a registered Pergamano teacher and Chiara’s tutor. She is one of my wonderful students and she works very hard on all the techniques I can offer her. I live in the Netherlands and very close to Annie and Piet and love there borders too. I use them a lot, but always change a little thing to make it something of myself…..
    These lovely people make wonderful borders and they are so generous to share them with the rest of the world.
    In 2008 I had the oppertunity to meet Chiara in the USA where I have done 6 workshops and that was a great event.
    I have put your book on my to buy list…………and hope I can buy it soon.

  4. June 10, 2010 1:37 pm

    Hi Nelly,

    Oh my goodness, I’m honored to receive your very kind comments!! Being self taught, I’m over the moon when compliments come from a Registered Pergamano teacher :))

    How exciting to know you are close by to Piet and Annie. They, and Arie, have been so very gracious in allowing me to redesign their patterns to better suit the American standard greeting card measurements and I’m truly grateful to them for all they do to keep us happy
    in the craft we all love so much.

    I hope you enjoy my book, Nelly. If you have elderly students who might be suffering from all the wonderful ‘age related’ health issues (I’m 65 so I know all about those things!!) then my book will greatly benefit them.

    Thank you again, Nelly, for your very kind comments on my work.

  5. dorita permalink
    June 10, 2010 2:47 pm

    fascinating article, Chiara! Thanks a lot! Your interview to Vicky enlighten her as a very creative interesting person.
    I’m solidarity with her health condition now that I don’t know if i will ever be able to parch like i used to do.
    Maybe i will need to master her technique for that.
    Vicky`s works are magnificent and in a fantastic level for a self taught! I wish i was half good as she is.
    Wish you both lot of good health and lot of fun parching.

  6. Sue James permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:58 pm

    Lovely interview Chiara. Vickie you are very talented and have a very nice website.


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