Sunday, April 01, 2012

Way back when, Sean Cloran asked what the specific supplies were that use in creating my collages. At the time, my son's cockatiel dismantled the lens to our digital camera (in a split second of amazing dexterity while my son was trying to take a picture of him) keeping me from supplying the necessary visuals to answer this post. By the time I'd picked up a new camera I'd forgotten.

So at long last, here is my answer:

As you can see my tools are pretty simple. My favorite pair of scissors is a cheap pair of Crayola scissors I picked up years ago when the Bradlee's department stores went out of business. I only wish I had bought more of them. I've looked pretty extensively for the same type, but they don't seem to exist any more. They're pretty easy on the fingers and have some nice action. I do have a back up pair of scissors that I don't like as much which cost a dollar.

The scissors with the orange handles are a pair of Fiskars scissors made for very small detail work which I don't use all that often.

For the first few years I worked in collage, I only used the one pair of scissors. It took me a while to feel a need to use an X-acto knife. I now use one a lot with the #11 blades which work great, though the tips tend to break pretty easily. I probably go through 1-2 blades per collage, though I just finished one that used up about 10 blades. I tend to work pretty small, so the X-acto works well in getting into small details.

My glue is simply an Elmer's glue stick. I prefer the blue gel looking washable school glue sticks, but will use any. I don't like working with liquid white glue because it needs to be watered down and has a tendency to buckle the paper. Also, it's messier to work with and glue, even when it dries can be seen on the paper and detracts from the look of the finished piece if it gets on the side it's not meant to. I'll use white glue on occasion with some of my 3-D pieces as it holds better. I've yet to have pieces of paper dropping off because of the allegedly inferior glue sticks.

I also use tooth picks for applying glue stick to small pieces of paper and for manipulating these bits of paper into position on the work in progress.

The ruler comes into play mostly for measuring than creating straight lines, and the measuring tends to be for setting the depths of the various layes in my 3-D collages, though I prefer to just eyeball it.

I cut everything on a self healing cutting mat, though I've used cardboard and scrap paper in the past. I have an entire table to work on now, but for a long time used the space where my keyboard sits on my writing desk. I'd just push it out of the way and work on that tiny 5 or 6 inches of space.

For paper, I primarily use the card stock that you can find in the scrapbooking section of craft stores, as well as magazine and catalogue images, though I only use those as colors, patterns, and textures, never using actually images found in the photos such as an actual hand or telephone.

For the 3-D collages, I'll often create a miniature model of what the piece will look like mostly just to figure out the layers and the engineering. These models, such as the one shown above, aren't really detailed, but help me figure things out for the actual collage so that I'm not wasting large sheets of paper.

That's pretty much it.

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