What goes on at ChirpHop Studio?

Studio table with collage elements
One of the studio tables in full pre-collage mode

These days, the ChirpHop studio and blog are dedicated to fine art and related tutorials. After many years of teaching art courses, if I learn something new, I’m eager to share it. Whenever I come across a technique, new material or a tip that might save time and effort so you can get to the fun part faster or with better results, I’ll post it here. If it needs video for explanation, it’ll also be on YouTube.
(Previously there was more focus on one-of-a-kind handmade objects, so you’ll see some older posts about those).

Friends and loved ones roll their eyes at the frequent phrase “I could make that”. I love to experiment and learn about new techniques and materials, get inspired by other people’s ideas and workarounds and try to invent even better ways of playing with a medium or fashioning tools out of what’s lying around the house or the woods or headed for the trash. Hopefully, you’ll find something that sparks your idea generator and gets you experimenting.

There are always multiple projects in the works. What drives the activity here is the pure love of making things… hopefully some beautiful things, sometimes just to know it can be done, other times so you can learn from my mistakes. If materials that someone else has overlooked or thrown away can be used, even better!

What do you make?

If you check out the gallery, you’ll see that I currently create abstract mixed media pieces on paper, most often based in collage and acrylic paint, with some graphite and inks. When it comes down to it, though, I’ll use anything that works, if I think it’ll last.

A while back, the ChirpHop Etsy store (no longer enabled) carried one-of-a-kind resin pendants, (made with original artwork and found photos), decorative handmade bowls from recycled cast paper or papier-maché clay and line of polymer clay earrings. That’s where some of the older posts come from.

Where did that name come from?

ChirpHop bird image

It started with a magazine photo of a curious-looking little bird that always made me smile, and sat around forgotten for years. When it came time to name the Etsy store and create a logo, that bird showed up and just had to be the inspiration. I took a look at the picture and said “What would you do?”.

Eventually “chirp” came to mind and it was all set to be Chirp Studio. The logo was made, all the paperwork was done, on and on. I searched shop names on Etsy to make sure the name wasn’t taken, but didn’t know the search didn’t cover any shop name that had ever been used (which takes it out of the running) … and it was taken. Back to to square -8.

I had to undo some of the paperwork and after hours of fruitless searching, I took another look at the bird and said, out of frustration, “What else would you do?” and “hop” was the answer. ChirpHop wasn’t taken, so there you have it!