Friday, November 1, 2013

Peek Inside Gigi Floyd's Creative Process- Beeswax Collage Demo

We've gushed on and on about Gigi Floyd's beautiful beeswax collages- and at long last she's given us a sneak peek of her process. Take it away, Gigi!

What you'll need: Crockpot, canvas, natural beeswax (available in the 'candle making' section of many craft stores), quilting iron (also available in craft stores), natural bristle paintbrush, detail scissors (Not pictured. My faves are 'cutterbees'.) and imagery. In my collage, the Dover imagery can be found in the “Kings, Queens, and Courtiers” and “Redoute Flowers and Fruits” collections. I've also used a decorative paper napkin, and a scan of an antique board game.

Heat the beeswax in the crockpot. When melted, brush on three or four layers of beeswax, making sure all of the canvas is well-coated. As I like to wrap my imagery all the way around my piece, I coat the sides, and brush one layer on the back as well.
Cut out your imagery, and position the first few pieces on the beeswaxed canvas. Heat up the quilting iron, making sure to avoid touching the extremely hot metal parts. Begin to 'iron' your imagery, a little bit at a time. To keep the paper from buckling, hold it taut with your other hand, being careful to keep the iron away from your fingers. The beeswax under the piece will melt and saturate the paper, fusing it to the canvas below. When planning your collage, note that the saturated paper will become translucent, allowing glimpses of previous layers.
Continue fusing collage elements with your quilting iron till everything is in place. If you don't like a particular element, or where something is placed, re-heat it with your iron, and peel it off a tiny bit at a time. You might have to re-apply more beeswax to area where you removed the piece. If you decide to build up multiple layers, brush a single coat of beeswax between each layer before fusing.
As a final step, brush on another coat or two of beeswax, making sure that all of the cut edges are sealed underneath. If you'd rather not see the brushstrokes, use your quilting iron to texture the surface. Add some hanging hardware, and your masterpiece is ready for the world to see!

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