After having an Open Studio event this weekend where the class printed on rice papers, it is now time for the next phase. And that involves cropping and combining papers to create a piece. I chose an 8" x 10" gessobord with a 2" depth as my support.
It was my desire to have text pages from the Psalms to be showing through the lighter printed portions of the rice papers, so I adhered those text pages first. (with gel matte medium) After drying the pages thoroughly with a hair dryer...I then sprayed them with spray acrylic coating and dried them again.
The choice of my first layer of rice papers was a decision between static and dynamic lines with the static lines dominating (taking up more of the design space). I further emphasized the static lines by deciding to orient the piece in a horizontal format. But this is not the end of the design work.
If you choose to not include text pages, it will still be a strong design. That choice is up to you. After these first two layers, I will think about it today and will probably have made my choice of additional papers by this evening or early tomorrow morning. So by showing the process in this fashion, it will give you an idea of how you can work on your piece layer by layer. All decisions do not necessarily need to be made all at once.
It is a very good strategy to allow the piece and the dynamic of the first layers to speak to you. You could even take a few more days before progressing on...especially if you work full time. What I will be thinking about in my next layer is how to include more rice papers (probably in color or with a pattern or both) and determine the placement of those additional papers by looking at the lines that are already there.
I could also choose to use plain rice papers to cover up any areas I choose to eliminate visually. The very cool thing about this process is that you have the freedom of moving things around and seeing if you like it before committing and gluing them down.
Now you know why I had you create different types of line work as well as soft and hard edges and all of the ones in between. It is difficult to construct a piece like this if your papers are not printed in advance. It will ruin your flow of creativity if you need to stop and print more papers...although it might be necessary at times. The happy discoveries come by having a good strategy.
When adhering the rice papers to the support...make sure you lay the rice paper on wax paper and use a palette knife to apply the medium. It will help smooth out the paper as you apply the gel. It will also give you good coverage and remove more of the excess gel than if you use a sponge brush.
After applying the gel...lift the paper carefully and lay it in place on your support. (You can also adhere your papers to 140 lb. HP and then crop it to fit the support for more options.) After layering the paper on the support...lay a piece of wax paper on top and smooth out with your hands or a clean brayer. Carefully remove the wax paper. Sometimes the rice paper will stick a bit to the wax paper. Going very slowly will prevent this. And if it does happen, don't forget that you can apply more rice papers wherever needed. Also, if you have a predetermined support, you will need to crop your rice papers to the correct size before adhering. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.