What happens when hand joints start to age and change their mind about jobs we ask of them? Over the past week, three fingers on my right hand have been abused to the point of massive swelling and some serious pain. Today was the first morning I’ve woken up to decreased swelling and pain. Of course the decrease was due to forcibly taking Tuesday and Wednesday off from anything wire related. No wire bending, no paper abuse, no nothing. I’ve actually been rather cautious with the extra stress I’ve been asking my body to take on. I learned back in 2011 with my first installation that wire work is exceedingly tough from fingers up to my shoulders, neck & back. I take lots of breaks, vary tasks to diminish repetitive motions, stretch fingers & wrists. I also work with more flexible materials. Maybe tomorrow I can do a bit more, but I’ll have to evaluate again in the morning.
Wednesday: I tested how best to apply gold leaf and when/how is the best way to wax the piece. I set up 3 tests.
Test 1: involved applying the sticky sizing/glue to the paper prior to waxing. Once the glue was tacky, I applied the leaf and secured it down with a brush. Then I dunked the paper into the wax bath and watched as sections of gold lifted of the paper and became free floaters. Hmmm. Not the best method. We want the gold leaf to remain on the paper.
Test 2: similar to test 1 but I painted wax on the surface rather than dunking. This was a success! It also helped to be able to wax the back of the page with the brush. The gold blocks the wax transfer through the entire surface.
Test 3: Wax first, then apply sticky glue (which doesn’t want to stick at all to the wax surface!) allow to dry to tacky, then leaf and wax. Hmmm, not a good method. I like #2 the best!
Below are images of test #1. Before wax and after wax.
And yes, the wax does change the gold color. Kind of a bummer that I’ve already waxed all the purple flowers. Guess I’ll have to do the stamens and flower center with gold.