Nita Leland’s ‘New Collage Techniques’ book has a lot of good information in the ‘Getting Started’ section. The information included preparing the papers and the supports for collage. More often than not, we worry about acid-free glues, sprays, etc., but fail to think about the papers and ephemera we are using. Nita suggests we use a ph pen, found in art supply and craft stores, to test them. If the papers fail the test, we can spray them with Krylon Make It Acid Free® or encase them in acrylic medium. Artist Jonathan Talbot uses the encased technique for his collages. This involves coating both sides of the papers. When they are dry, he uses a sealing iron to adhere the collage papers to the support. This is all a little too labor intensive for me. I have collages I made over 15 years ago and they appear to be the same as they were when I created them. I did use acrylic medium for the glue and the top coat when I finished so maybe that was the reason they remained the same.
The collage I am showing is one I started in an introductory class offered at the Spruill Center for the Arts, located in Dunwoody, Georgia. Contemporary artist and teacher, Chery Baird, had boxes of the most unusual papers. Some she bought, others she altered herself. Digging through these papers was a treat in itself. Chery said she plans to write a book about altering papers for collage. I look forward to it. Chery’s two-day workshop will be held on October 15th. Click here for details.
Chery was kind enough to let me bring some of her papers home to finish the couple I started. Chery uses ‘Yes’ glue for her collages. This glue is not acrylic base so it can be reactivated when wet. This is great for changing pieces around. I did put a final matte acrylic varnish on top to keep it stable. I am not sure that Chery would do this, as it was not mentioned in the class.
I would love to hear about your experience with using non-archival papers and the type of adhesive you use.