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Mui-Ling Teh

Art and Words from the Heart



Working with other materials


While the majority of my works, whether for a drawing or a crafted model, are done with paper based materials, I also enjoy working with plastics, metals, and more.




Early Works


During a school field trip to Quebec in my 8th grade, my class visited a copper museum where we got to do our own engravings on a piece of copper. It was a fun process, though something I never got to do again. I later gave that piece of copper to my father for Father's Day.


A few years later I etched a plate during the print-making unit of my grade 11 art class:


Printmaking plate by artist Mui-Ling Teh


The process of making this plate was similar to the copper engraving in that I used similar tools; one pointed tool for the drawing, the other (a burin) for flattening. There was, of course, a great difference in that making a line on the copper plate didn't have the same look as one done on the print-making plate. The copper sheet needed to be worked on from both sides in order for the lines to be properly defined, whereas on the printing plate, the line would get defined by the burr as it was being scored.


Detail of a printmaking plate by artist Mui-Ling Teh


The texture on the building was stippled; prior to applying ink on the plate it looked nice and sparkly; though unfortunately I have no photos of the time it was clean.

Years later I also often stippled my architectural drawings

The final print had a different look than the original plate. In many ways the process of printing was more challenging than drawing or etching. Even if the plate itself was done to perfection, the way the ink was applied affected the outcome; and with intaglio printing it was impossible to have any surface that was perfectly white. But in some ways, the print also had a more interesting look (generally a higher level of contrast).


"Fragmented Architecture" by Mui-Ling Teh



During that year I also began drawing on acetate sheets with ball point pens (and once in a while with markers or pen nibs with ink); often for presentations:


Drawing on an overhead with done markers and ball point pens by Mui-Ling Teh

Drawing on an overhead with ball point pens by Mui-Ling Teh

Drawing on an overhead with done markers, ball point pens and pen nibs with ink by Mui-Ling Teh

A drawing of a panpie by Mui-Ling Teh done on an acetate overhead sheet for a physics presentation.



Despite that no fancy tools were involved, in some ways drawing on plastic was more challenging than etching on it; as sometimes the ink didn't adhere to the plastic. Sometimes an area already in progress lost some of the ink when I tried to continue to colour it in; as the pen's tip ended up scratching it away.

All images above were done prior to the time I began to master realism

Other than a few other drawings on acetate; I haven't had a chance to create images on other materials since.


"Ikebana on Acetate" by Mui-Ling Teh



Click on the images below to view them large:


"Parallel Moments in Permanence" by Mui-Ling Teh


A dyptich by artist Mui-Ling Teh composed of a diamond flower and diamond snowflake. Ball point pens and markers on an acetate sheet.


A dyptich by artist Mui-Ling Teh composed of a diamond flower and diamond snowflake. Ball point pens and markers on an acetate sheet.




Crafts and models


Since the time I began architecture school, I never had the chance to create images on plastics or metals again. I did however often work with acrylic glass throughout my architectural career to make models; sometimes scoring into the glass to look like mullions (or otherwise use line tape).

See more or my models and crafts here


A pair of skylights, with scored mullions, made of  acrylic glass by Mui-Ling Teh. Detail of hand-made house model by Mui-Ling Tehand a co-worker. Lattice stair made by Mui-Ling Teh.



I also fold origami, including miniature models, out of various materials.

Learn more about my miniature origami here


"Folded Cup" by Mui-Ling Teh

Origami rose folded out of acetate by Mui-Ling Teh

"Glow" by Mui-Ling Teh

"Ninja Star" by Mui-Ling Teh

The ninja star above was folded from a piece of copper tape I saved from my high school technology class many years ago.


Around the time I began folding miniature origami, my patience and attention to detail grew, and I even learned to make drawings more refined when I wanted them to be.

I also sometimes made cases by hand for my miniature origami:


Miniature origami crane folded by Mui-Ling Teh in a hand-made acetate box folded by Mui-Ling Teh

A series of miniature origami cranes folded by Mui-Ling Teh A series of miniature origami cranes foldedby Mui-Ling Teh in a hand made acetate box folded by Mui-Ling Teh


I have found that working with materials other than paper overall takes more time. I still draw on paper, and I have created models out of other materials in recent times; but I have never had the chance to take on engravings, etchings, or drawings on other mediums lately, but it would be something I'd like to try again some day.



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