One reason I have so much respect for our artist contributors is that they continually come up with cool techniques, hacks, tips, and shortcuts that make mixed-media art projects even more fun than they already are.
Case in point: The collaged wooden box with metal embellishments featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. When Elitia Hart submitted a photo of her box I was instantly smitten, but when her artwork arrived in our offices I was completely blown away. Her embossed metal flowers and butterflies are exquisite, and create a stunning focal point on the piece.
I've done metal embossing before, but one technique always drove me nuts: filling the concave portions with modeling paste or stencil paste. This ensures that the raised portions won't get dented. However, you have to wait a super long time for those mediums to dry.
But Elitia has a brilliant substitution: beeswax. In the article she writes: "Using beeswax allows you to continue working within minutes, because it hardens so quickly, whereas the self-leveling paste will require a few hours to set and dry."
Beeswax also smells wonderful when it melts, so it's a win-win! I can't wait to try this out on my next metal embossing project. If you give it a go, please post your artwork to our online gallery.
And, if you're feeling extra generous, leave your favorite art-related tip, hack, or shortcut in the comments! Here's mine: When punching holes in pages or signatures before binding a book, use a pin vise instead of an awl. Place the same size needle you're using to sew the book into the vise. This way you won't have big, gaping holes, since most awls are fairly thick.
Photography by Sharon White