Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Playing with Paste and Paint

I am teaching a workshop at the end of January at Open Drawer in Hartwell, it is going to three days and the theme is sculptural books. It is basically the same as the workshop I ran in Hobart last month and includes a different decorative technique at the start of each day. Included are scraper paper, paste paper and pressure paper. I needed some samples so I made up about 300 ml of cornflour paste by mixing 2 coffee spoons to a paste with cold water then dumping boiling water on and stirring like crazy. I added a teaspoon of glycerine and a drop of detergent because I had them and to aid with the flow of the paste. I then strained this paste into 4 separate containers and coloured one red, one blue, one yellow and one gold with acrylic paints. I proceeded to paste away on dampened 130 gsm cartridge paper. My favourite tools were some adhesive spreaders with different teeth and a credit card. I did try out some stamps that I'd bought and some that I'd cut from erasers and a couple of Indian wooden stamps. I worked on a sheet of brown paper and at the end of the session combed that too.

The brown paper
The first batch of papers
The second batch, I also worked over some earlier ones with different coloured paste and got some great results. At the end of the first session I mixed the red and yellow and the blue and gold and came back the next day to do some more.
Two layers with the wide comb
medium comb and credit card
Credit card
Credit card and ruler
Narrow and medium combs
Wide comb
wide comb
End of fork and hand carved eraser.
I finally finished off the paste this morning and got 50 A4 sheets plus the brown paper from my 2 tablespoons of paste.

I also needed to build up my supply of scraper paper since I used most of my previous stock on my Christmas cards. These are sooo easy to make, just run some acrylic paint along the top of a sheet of paper and scape it down getting it quite thin, an old credit card is good to use as a scraper though you can also use any paint scraper. I first read about this technique on the web but unfortunately didn't keep the reference and don't seem to be able to find it now.
Anyway you run two or three layers of paint on top of each other not allowing them to dry in between and finish up with a metallic, (I mostly use Jo Sonya but other acrylics work fine too) then spray with water and leave for a couple of minutes. Then scrape off the excess water and paint. Not wanting to waste any paint this scraping is usually the start of my next page, the more random the better. This paper can be used for covering books and boxes and for decorating cards.

Napthol red light and opal
Napthol red light, aqua and silver
Brilliant magenta, brilliant green and gold
Napthol red light, burnt umber and copper

Phthalo blue and silver