Monday, December 10, 2012

Answers To The Making of Collage

I'm three weeks into recovery from a second spinal surgery and I am quite and properly bored.

I have to lay down almost all the time, so it's lucky I have this i Pad to stay in touch.

I recently received a wonderful message from a reader with a lot of questions about the making of collage. I requested that she ask her questions here so that other people who have similar questions might enjoy reading the answers.

Anyone else with questions, chime in and ask now.  While i'm out of work it's the best time to ask.
In fact you'd be doing me a favor, by giving me something meaningful to write and work on.

Here are some of her questions:

"Do you combine papers of different weights, different textures, and gloss and matte papers together in the same project? (I have been trying to use similar papers together in the same project; but, find that it can be very limiting.) What magazines do you use--the ones I come across are mostly very thin and flimsy. Which glue stick do you use? I have tried several different types of glue and glue sticks and have not been completely happy with any of them. Sometimes the glue sticks leave the paper stiff and don't give a permanent hold. And, at times, other glues will buckle the paper. How do you get all of the edges of the paper glued down without getting glue smears on the top of your collage? Do you ever work with wallpaper samples and, if you do, does the glue stick work on them as well? Once the collage is finished, do you apply Mod Podge or some kind of gel medium on the top to seal the entire surface?”


1) I definitely combine different weight papers. The variety gives it a varied feel that is hard to get otherwise. 

2)  I’ve learned to stay away from magazines because of copyright issues (more on that later). I have come to rely on a color laser printer and troll the internet for copyright free images.

3)  I use regular glue stick like Avery brand in my case, and I like the “disappearing kind” that’s purple to start and dries clear.

Yes, the hold is not permanent. It varies with the weather, such that items that are mailed often arrive falling apart. 

It helps greatly to bray the images after you glue them down. From the center out I use an old tablespoon to smooth and press the paper firmly.

4)  Decoupage glue is one choice (eg Mod Podge) . It’s just watered down white school glue, so save your money there. It’s very useful if you have your collage mounted on something sturdy like wood. Our basement project re-do yield many, many collage substrates for me. I have not tried it on mat board, but have heard that mat board may also be sturdy enough for this application.

The truly major problem is that white or decoupage glue is water soluble. So any elements, eg stamps, writing, etc should be used with permanenet ink. If not the whole thing will smear and be completely ruined.

5)  The answer seems to be gel medium, I like regular, not matte or glossy, although you should experiment. It’s pricey, I’ll warn you.  So I save it for things that will travel, be on display, are being sold and things I really want to save for posterity. 

Just a quick plug for my calendars which are on sale for $25 on RedBubble.

Also coffee table book of my art is available through Blurb, but it is quite pricey (actually ridiculously pricey). I'm not sure  its worth it for 60 images. But I made it for parents and grandparents, so they'll get them from us as gifts. That is why I chose to make a larger more expensive book. If you want to check it out:


I will certainly write again before Christmas. Hope to hear more questions, especially from our recently curious reader.

I hope everyone is excited by the holiday fun (and not too bothered by the holiday hype).

Till then~
Goodnight from New York