Monday night there was a meeting for POST on the hottest evening of the year (97F or 36.1C). Fortunately, it wasn’t only about business, but involved a potluck dinner too! It’s always fun to gather with such a diverse group of artists! Not everyone could make it, but there were several new faces and some of friends not seen for quite a while. One in particular was Shannon Weber who I met only last year during a show at The Arts Center. That lead to my taking a one-on-one weekend workshop from her last spring and pushing me forward with more sculptural paper and wax combinations.
Seeing Shannon made me think about reconnecting with beeswax again. I’ve been struggling with glue/paper issues on all of my creations. Photomount spray glue is a massive pain in the ass and doesn’t seem to hold firm forever (I’ve been watching work at friends homes for the past couple of years). If you roll or brush on PVA glue over a thin papercut work, the glue always seeps around to the front edge and creates a glossy surface after drying (and buckles the paper below). Annoying and thoroughly frustrating after all that work. On Monday I had created and colored another black berry piece specifically to fit a black frame sitting on my desk. After the glue application, in which loads had seeped around to the front, I had about had it. That night I showed it to my husband and he proclaimed, “why not wax it?” Duh! Why not indeed?! That particular piece is too late to save and is pictured below. Maybe someone will still want it with the flaws.
So here I am on Wednesday and decided to give it a good test. I used 140# coldpressed watercolor paper for the cut and colored it with acrylic ink.
Next it was attached to the mulberry paper via a cellulose glue. I made sure to add plenty of glue to have it seep around to the front.
Once the initial glue dried, a balsa wood frame was attached and the mulberry paper glued to the surface.
Wax was applied to all surfaces then heat saturated. Everything always shifts to golden yellows after applying beeswax. In the case of the blue, it gave it a green tinge.
However, when light is placed behind, the yellow disappears and the paper becomes more translucent.
So, I think I’ll create another larger work to test out this idea more thoroughly before tackling the tree rings. With the additional reminders of color shifts, I will probably darken the tree rings even more.
More thoughts and tests to come. It’s also time to start working with the bench router I brought home a couple of weeks back. It should enable more control and smoother cuts on the fir or hemlock to frame the works.