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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Numbers and Strips, a collage series

by Jo Reimer
NUMBERS, a series
Collage
5" x 5" x 1.25"

As summer winds down I realize that it's time to return to blogging. Taking nearly three months off was good for me but since I enjoy writing and have actually made some art I figure it's time for some show and tell.

Working with the idea of strips, bands, stripes, slices led me to experimenting on a smaller scale, working on 5" x 5" cradled canvases. I discovered some things that might interest the collage artists among you.

Canvas isn't the best surface for collage. Save canvas for paint. Because it's a rough surface, even gessoed, the papers don't adhere well unless I really slather on the gel medium. Thin acrylic medium doesn't work at all. The solution was to glue thin paper, sort of an underpainting, to the canvas, working it into the fibers of the canvas. Then I could glue my strips of paper to the new surface using just about any permanent glue. It would be better to use a wood panel or gessobord, stiff paper, or simply a block of birch as a substrate.

As I worked with small strips of paper, applying glue to each little strip, and then carefully placing it, messing up my manicure and frustrating me with the time it took, I thought of a better way. 
  • Using my old Xyron 850 adhesive laminating machine with it's 8" wide double sided adhesive I fed sheets of my collage papers through the machine. The results gave me paper with a peel-and-stick backing. Now I can cut the strips however wide I need them to be, peel off the protective backing and stick them in place. Easy-peasy.
  • Another kind of adhesive backing is a product called Gudy-O, available through Talas, but the Gudy-O isn't as easy to manage as the Xyron, though it's still available. This particular Xyron machine is no longer made but a similar product is the Xyron 900.
  • Perhpas some of the iron-on interfacings intended for fabric could be used for collage.  If you try the fusible interfacing let me know how it works with paper. If I try it I'll report my findings.

Ever A Good Thing
Collage
5" x 5" x 1.25"

 

11 comments:

  1. Boy howdy, do I love stripes and numbers!!!

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  2. Glad to see you back to blogging! Love your new pieces!

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  3. But messy is part of the fun! :)Thanks
    for sharing! I will think twice now before
    i buy a canvas for collage!
    Hugs! deb

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  4. Thanks friends.

    Deb, I've made collages on every surface possible (well, not glass or metal) and I know that the smoother surfaces are the best for collage. I have worked on canvas but it plays second fiddle, by far, to any hard surface or paper. I hope this saves money for all of us.
    The attraction of using cradled canvases is that when finished the work is ready to hang, but so are cradled panels. I particularly like the cradled birch panels from American Easel; I buy them from Dick Blick.

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  5. Hi Jo! I wondered, when I saw these in person how you managed to do such a "neat" job of it...a laminating machine! wow---! Great to know this tip. I have not worked with papers/mixed media in awhile, but still, great to know about something like this. Your work is fantastic--I totally LOVE it! I'm tuned in to see more! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Celeste. Making sticky back papers is one way to work faster; there are other ways. Jonathan Talbot paints acrylic medium to the back of all his papers, lets them dry, and then using the heat of a tacking iron to fuse them into place.

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  6. Nice to see you back in blogger land. What a great series, love how these look and appreciate all your helpful tips.

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  7. Awesome to see the series Jo..great works, I would like to agree having coated papers with Polymer medium,(gloss) by Golden works for me..and I collage on canvas all the time...thick papers too.

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    Replies
    1. Coating the papers first with gloss medium works like a charm every time, but it seems to slow me down too much to do all that preparation. It doesn't seem to slow Jonathan Talbot who does the same and uses a tacking iron to soften the medium and stick everything together. Perhaps I need to switch mediums.

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  8. Hi Jo, yes it makes it go really fast, I spend days creating the collage papers and coating them with the Polymer medium and then layer them with wax paper or deli sheets so they don't stick together till you ready to collage with.. Jonathan does have a new book out..

    have fun.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up about Jonathan Talbot's new book. From the description on Amazon it looks like it's a compilation of acrylic transfer techniques... useful to know.

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