|maps, printed text, wine labels and images torn from a travel brochure are combined in this collage, intended as a base for further work. Double-click to view detail.|
Being short of time, I have found a new use for collages that I made at least five years ago, intending to cut them up as a part of tiny travel journals. Each collage takes quite some time to assemble the necessary components, and then to prepare the surface on which to mount the pieces. I use a 12"x12" scrapbooking foam board (can't recall it's name). I cover it with two layers of cling-film, and then wash over it a layer of very dilute pva glue. Onto that I immediately lay a piece of acid-free tissue, brushing it into the surface with a decorator's paint brush.
When this is dry, I apply the collage pieces, again using very diluted pva, until the whole 12"x12" square is covered. Once dry, I think I may have given this a wash of tea or coffee or very dilute acrylic ink. You really need to double click on the image to see the complexity of random pieces - they were obviously laid out in such a way as to allow a book title to be stencilled on top of the less busy area; or I was going to cut the paper into smaller pages. Discovering it in my stash, and wanting a fabric lining for a new journal, I photographed the piece, manipulated it in Phootoshop (constraining the proportions so it became A4), and printed it 'best-quality' on very thin but tough layout paper = 31lbs / 45 gsm.
Once dry, I fused it with Bond-a-Web / Wunder Under to very open weave cheesecloth, and then fused it again to back the fabric book-cover I was making today. Before this second fusing, it has the feel and appearance of soft suede. I intend to try a similar piece using this same image but scrumpling the paper into a ball and then ironing it flat before fusing' it takes on quite a different appearance and feel but you have to select the image carefully or you loose all subtlety.
I don't think my technique is new by any means (in fact it probably emanates from Cas Holmes' book ('The Found Object in Textile Art') but it does mean I can now crate my own fabric papers using photographic images of trees, grasses, bark, stones etc, to incorporate into other artefacts. I'll post pics of my grandchild's gift when I have bound the pages into the cover tomorrow.