Monday, August 10, 2020

Solution for warping paper with collage

Blind contour drawing with collage. Judith Hoffman 2020
Blind contour drawing on collage. Judith Hoffman 2020

 In my last post I was worried about collaged papers warping. I got a number of suggestions from my book arts group and friends online. I think I have found a solution that is not perfect but will work for my method of collaging. Most of these are in my Flickr albums.

Here are my notes, which I intend to print and hang on the wall in my studio.

  • Try to have grain of substrate and major collage pieces in same direction.
  • Coat back and front of substrate with Gold matte medium. (not liquid matte medium). Coat one side, allow to dry, coat other side, allow to dry. 
  • Draw on tissue paper (yellow stuff I have been calling architect's tracing, but may not really be that. It's light yellow, in a roll.) - at least the blind contour can be drawn on, can also add hatching. Coat back and front of tissue paper with matte medium to increase transparency. Coat one side, allow to dry, coat other side, allow to dry.
  • Make the collage using PVA for the opaque papers.
  • Add the transparent papers using matte medium as the glue. The would be last or almost last to take advantage of the transparency and layers. While adding transparent papers paint the whole collage with matte medium.
  • Between all stages dry under stacks of books.
  • It is possible to draw on the collage with d'Atramentis inks at this stage. Adding small details and patterns.
  • If the collage is still too warped when it's done, wrap in a damp dish cloth (smooth texture like the black and white ones), wrap in waxed paper, leave under a few books for 15 minutes. Put between two pieces of blotter paper, leave at least overnight. First test was about 18 hours. Things are not perfectly flat but fine with me. Things can take days or a week to dry in blotters.

Blind contour drawing with collage. Judith Hoffman 2020
Looking Back, blind contour drawing with hatching and collage. Judith Hoffman 2020

Substrates that have worked:

  • Bockingford - has textured surface like cold press. 
  • Rising Bristol 2 ply - very slight texture.
  • Strathmore mixed media - also fairly smooth.
  • Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. 


Hilke Kurzke said...

Mhm, sounds interesting. If you want to leave it as a single flat sheet, I can imagine it'd work. I have made bad experience with acrylic medium in books as it remained sticky - sort of. Not to fingers, but facing pages that both had medium stuck together. So you'll have to be careful with that.
I heard that "frog juice" is really good for that. - I have never tried it.

Judith Hoffman said...

Hilke what is this frog juice? The googles says sunscreen. That can’t be right. Renaissance wax is good too. I was hoping with the matte medium it wouldn’t be a problem. I know gloss medium sticks to opposite pages coated with gloss medium.

Sue Collard said...

I admire your documentation of processes. I am prone to forgetting something I figured out a few years back. Do keep calling it tracing paper! I might have a quibble whether your brand of canary yellow resembles the hue of canary yellow I used in architecture school, but it's definitely arhitect's tracing paper. In my mind, tissue paper is a flimsier substance not really meant to draw on.

Judith Hoffman said...

Okay, I will call it tracing paper. I forget a lot too. Every time I look in my notes and find what I need, I am pleased. But many times it’s not there.