Recently I had some emails in my in-box. One was a wonderful shout-out from Heart Woman who not only shared that she liked the work on Altered E but connected with how the sensibility of the work that I feel. My little city in the Shenandoah Valley is not a very congruent place for my altered art, so I’ve made my home on the web and it’s always special when someone ‘out there’ finds and appreciates and takes the time to share.
Another email came from an assemblage artist asking my recommendation for glue. As you can imagine GLUE is a big factor in bringing together and keeping together all the odds and ends of an assemblage. I’ve tried a slew of glues over time.
My essential and singular glue now and for the past 5 years is Liquid Nails Small Project glue. There are many other Liquid Nails, including construction grade glues but verifying that it’s ‘small project’ is important because it dries clear. Oddly, I have yet to find this glue at craft stores. I buy it at Home Depot, Lowes or WalMart. I not only use this for all the assemblage pieces but have used it to add embellishments to fabric, canvas board and more.
Small dabs will hold well. This is not a fast drying glue. Position and leave it alone. It will do a first ‘set’ in an hour or so but be sure to let the piece ‘cure’ over-night for the fullest adhesion. Typically, I glue all the pieces I can [those which can easily fit next to and with each other] in one sitting. Then I either work on another piece or go away. Yep, I often have to just get myself out of the studio so I don’t touch the work.
If you get the glue on your fingers or on the piece where you don’t want it, regular petroleum jelly will remove it. On a piece, I usually apply a bit with a q-tip and then use the other side of the q-tip to remove the glue or a piece of paper towel. On your hands, rub it on and wipe off with a paper towel.
For paper collage, decoupage and paper embellishments, my other essential glue is actually not designated as a glue. I use artist-quality acrylic Super Heavy Gel Medium. This product is meant to be used with acrylic paints to add body. I use it for that at times, but I primarily use this as my main paper glue. It’s great on flat paper as in collage but equally great in adding paper to a curved box, such as the diner box. I apply with a brush.
On flat surfaces, you can ‘burnish’ the applied piece by placing a sheet of paper over it and rubbing with a popsicle stick. You can buy paper burnishing tools. I use a wooden clay tool to burnish and I use the waxed paper from used label sheets to put over the image. Wax paper also works well, Clean up with water like other acrylic paints.
Thanks for the inspiration to talk on glue. I haven’t shared techniques much in the blog but am most happy to reply to your emails and share in a post.