The following article preview on mixed-media collages is from Unique Layers: 10 Ways to Enhance Collage Art, available at North Light Shop as an instant download.
Unique Layers for Mixed-Media Collages
By Susan Pickering Rothamel and Frankie Fioretti
Like most artists, Frankie finds the pretty bits of leftover paper from art making too small for a traditional collage and, as an avid recycler, too precious or captivating to throw away. Every time she works with paper, more bits are generated that often overflow even the most generously sized paper bin.
Putting a new twist on an old technique she learned from textile artist Beryl Taylor in the premier issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, Frankie created a simple art technique that produces what she calls Restructured Paper.
Restructured Paper is made by building layers of paper scraps using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA). PPA dries to form a non-tacky, transparent layer called a skin that bonds to all the disparate bits and layers of paper. More importantly, it provides a stable, yet flexible, backing for the papers.
When complete, the dried Restructured Paper is pulled off the Teflon or silicone mat to produce a piece of paper that is itself a work of art. The most distinctive and interesting aspect of this creative technique is the surprises that result from the transitions between the different sections—opaque, transparent, and window areas.
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Restructured Paper Tips
- Avoid papers that have been stamped or printed with watercolor or dye-based inks, or other water-soluble media.
- Don’t use papers with a waxed, Mylar®, or other water-resistant coating or surface.
- Heavyweight papers such as duplex or double-sided papers should be delaminated, if possible. Do this by soaking them in warm water and then pulling apart the various layers.
- Manufactured or glossy papers may also need to be soaked in a pan of clean water, or well misted to remove the shine/coating before adhering them. Soaking will also ensure that the papers lie flat.
Below: Enjoy this collage instruction video from Chris Cozen!