It’s always a leap of faith when I try to follow directions in a magazine. Will I forget a step? Will my minor supply substitutions cause an epic fail? Will the directions be specific enough for me to feel confident of the steps?
Recently I’ve been on a sewing room purge. Now that I’m acquiring painting and collage supplies space is at a premium. My back issues of Quilting Arts and other related magazines were a good place to begin de-accessioning. As I scanned them for any articles I wanted to save I found a method to make paper cloth. It called for cheesecloth, freezer paper, matte medium, and lightweight paper such as tissue paper and decorative paper napkins. I possessed all these items, so I went to work.
While I read the instructions through first, and heeded the author’s warning to have all supplies at hand before using the matte medium, I kept halting the process to figure out specifics. For example, I was to have foot square pieces of cheesecloth, but did the author mean a single layer or the multiple layers as cheesecloth comes packed. I first tried a single layer and decided it seemed way too wimpy so I went with a double layer. Then, I was to use “several” tablespoons of matte medium on the freezer paper and add more medium once the cheesecloth was placed on the initial layer. Yet more was to be added after the paper was put down. I had a hard time defining “several.” I ended up using almost half a container of liquid matte medium. The back of the cheesecloth is solid acrylic. Don’t you just love it when the final instruction is “Experiment and have fun!”
I realize I may have overthought the process, but the results were underwhelming.
I stamped over both of them to see if I liked them better. Meh. It may be that my choices of light weight papers weren’t best suited to the technique, but I can get similar effects more easily with paper or fabric collage. I realize that the end product is meant as raw material for a finished piece, but I can’t see sewing over the thick, rubbery material I created.
If I do anything more to these two square feet of paper cloth it will be to paint over most of it and add it to collages.