Monday, July 10, 2017

stylostixis failings nimonic

“You can’t make a whistle out of a pig’s tail!”  Vermont Saying

OK, Back to Collage, and today we'll talk about materials and methods.

First, you need s substrate and that can be anything with a surface that your items can be attached to. Examples are cardboard or Bristol Board, a piece of masonite for more 3-D items, stretched canvas or even three dimensional surfaces (think posters attached to brick walls!)  For decoupage, glass is popular, with the images glued to the back of the transparent surface.  

Preparation:  on cardboard, for a uniform surface you can use Gesso-  two layers going in opposite directions are good-  it's a plaster like surface that takes glue and paint well.  This step can be skipped if you're using primed canvas (if you bought it stretched it is probably already gessoed.)  If you lay down acrylic paint it will act in a similar way forming a tight bond with glues.  Paint or lay down your first layer that will act as the background. Wait to add subsequent layers until it is dry to the touch.  

Fabric Background:  Use fusible web on your items if they are fabric, fusible web OR thin layers of glue if paper.  If you plan on stitching on the surface, try to avoid the paper images because it will tear easily with needle holes and they can't be hidden. I've found it works well to add a bit of fabric to paper collages, but not as easy to add paper to a fabric collage UNLESS you have a stiff substrate.  

For glues:  Any PVA glue (Elmers) works well, even student glue sticks get the job done but you will find that some magazine illustrations, depending upon the thickness of the paper being used, buckle from the moisture and dry with hills and valleys.  Test each paper-  take a scrap and add the glue to one side and paste it onto a scrap cardboard.  If it forms wrinkles and dips, don't use glue on the that magazine paper.  You can use the re-positionalble glue sticks if you like to move things around.  To apply the PVA glue, dot a few spots on the BACK of your illustration, put it face down on scrap paper and smooth the glue out with the edges an old credit card. Place on background and cover with parchment to burnish it down gently.  (use your fingers, to that cleaned up old credit card, or even the back of a spoon.  BE GENTLE) Set aside to dry before you add another layer.

Alternately, you can use gel medium and heat set.  Put two or there thin coats of gel medium on BOTH sides of your illustration and let it completely dry between coats.  Put a layer of gel on the substrate and let it dry. Trim any raggy gel off the edges so it's clean and smooth, place on the cardboard and  COVER WITH PARCHMENT OR SILICONE MAT, and iron it down with a regular iron or a tack gun. Third choice is to use fusible web on the back of your item.  Again use parchment or the silicone mat and press the fusible onto the back.  When it becomes shiny, remove the paper and trim the edges (or cut out your design), place on the background and iron down, again WITH THE PARCHMENT.

For permanence, look for archival materials, but for practice and experimentation, found cardboard works fine.  Think cereal boxes with their images already printed, old letters or ephemera like concert tickets or stamps. Stencils, printing, or transfer images from your inkjet.  BEWARE-  inkjet images are usually dye based and will smudge and run if they get damp. TEST TEST TEST.  If you have a pigment ink printer your prints will be permanent and you can use them like you would any magazine picture.  There are photo transfer papers available from office supply stores that will work but the image will be backwards when ironed on, so make sure and mirror-image the picture in your computer before you print it.

Adding color can be paints, oil pastels, permanent markers, watercolor pencils- just about anything that gives you the desired color or tone.  There are packs of printed papers in small sizes at craft stores, then also large sheets of hand made papers of all types, as well as different assortments of similar papers to use together.  Look at wrapping papers, paper products for dining-  plastic tablecloths, paper napkins, crepe paper (which runs when wet and can be quite beautiful!)

The thing I most want you to know is that there aren't 'rules'-  just about anything goes, BUT think about what your story is that you're telling.  it can certainly be fanciful, it can be art, it can be just a fun pastime or something you continue with for the rest of your life.  

In Other News:
What with getting things purchased, backings cut up, collecting every cutting device I have, and occasionally making a meal, I have FINALLY finished, once and for all, combining the contents of five Metro shelves into THREE Metro shelves.  I have tossed, donated, and boxed up all the extra dumb, faded, or too small scraps and winnowed them down to this:  I have also accomplished the same thing with drawers and drawers of paper ephemera.  Out it went, and I can now move freely about the studio.  Haven't been able to for a long time.
It's taken months and I am so pleased that it is done so I can get on to things I would rather do-  like MAKING ART!  I'll start that tomorrow and cut up the latest quilt top into something smaller and louder!  Should keep me occupied through the summer.


As part of a royal event in Abu Dhabi, Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi was tasked with the creation an immense environment of architectural elements built from wire. The variety of objects fully encompass the event space, creating elegant partitions and environments within the 7,000 square meter space. The installation was designed and built over a period of 3 months in collaboration with Dubai-based studio Designlab Experience.

1 comment :

Deanna said...

I'm envious of your neat fabric piles. One of these days, mine will look like that too! And the wire sculptures in Abu Dabi are fabulous! Thanks for finding such great art. And please do continue to let us know the stories of your life, in addition to your amazing quilts and art lessons!