Monday, August 3, 2009

Lesson 5 - Getting started

Preparing the pages. To prep, or not to prep? That is another good question. It's a matter of personal choice. I do not prep my pages. I don't see the point. If I need more coverage with paint, I'll just give it another coat. In many cases, I like some of the text to show through. And if you are using collage, the glues will stick to the paper; they don't need paint or gesso underneath. Board books are the exeption. Please refer to the sections on board books.

Adhesives. My personal choice is Golden's Acrylic Gel Medium - glossy. I also use the GAGM with a matte finish. It's a matter of personal preference. Do you want a glossy finish, or a dull one. If you are only using the gel mediums underneath a fabric or papers, it makes no difference. With whatever adhesive you choose, you want a lot of adhesion without a adding a lot of moisture. Adhesives like Elmer's glue are too "wet". Many glue sticks work well. Generally, however I find that the Gel Medium holds better. I apply it with a sponge brush, old paint brushes, fingers, spatulas - whatever is handy. For tiny spots that might be along edges that don't stick well, you can peel it up a little, and work more in with a little brush or a toothpick. Then if you really want a stubborn little piece to stay put - you can gel medium right over the top. I often use glue sticks because they are so handy and easy to use. I also often coat over my pages with gel mediums to hold everything down - or even acrylic glazes.

When to remove pages. I remove pages when I see that the book is getting thicker than I want it to be. If you glue several pages together, or glue on heavy embellishments, or thick fabrics , you will need to remove enough pages to allow the book to close - if you want a book that closes. Think of how you want to store it and display it. That will determine whether or not you want it to be flat. Do not take out hunks of pages. It is better to take out one page here, another there, tearing or cutting at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the stitching in the binding. I do this on an as needed basis. That protects the integrity of the book binding - or the whole thing might fall apart.

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