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Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Collage Technique: how I made those holiday images

I've recently posted some new holiday designs at my Zazzle store, and I'm still glorying in the rich color of these works. The collage process I used was a first for me - although it spins off from the work I've done with appliqué using fabric - so here's a little tutorial. Basically I adapted a quilting process known as the snippet technique from fabric to paper: you back squares of your color material with a fusible adhesive webbing, then cut the squares into pieces and arrange on you backing material. When you're ready, adhere the pieces into place by ironing according to the directions on the fusible webbing. That's it in a nutshell! I'll give you the technical details at the end of this post - but now let's talk about the fun part: the design process ~
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Note: because I don't have in-progress photos, I'm showing you a close-up of the finished piece combined with overall views:) For this colorful Candlelight's Gleaming image, I first cut the candle shape from the red paper, and then ironed it to the background paper. Then I cut bunches of green slivers, using pinking shears, from about 5 different shades of green paper. I placed them every-which-way around the base of the candle, ironing them onto the paper and building up layers until I had the effect I wanted. This was absolutely the first time I used the snippet technique, and it was tons of fun! I finished with the flame and the candle wax-drips, by just freehand cutting the papers until I had what I wanted.
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This lively Santa's Work is Done image is the most complex of the series. I used the green snippets combined with punched stars to compose the tree. The presents underneath the tree came from an enlargement of my photograph of a Christmas decoration that's been in my collection for some time. When the paper-adhering was all done, I decided that the background paper was a little too busy, so I dabbed over it with mixtures of silver paint, white paint, and glitter glue - a reverse of my usual process, but consistent with the media-media artists' motto - if you don't like it, paint over it and start again :)
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The bright and beautiful Tree of Stars image was composed entirely of punched-paper stars. For the large star at top, I traced and cut from a favorite template. When it was all done, I thought I'd try doodling over the tree with a glitter pen, to simulate the stitching lines that a real quilter would use. Unfortunately, the press-paper I was using to protect my iron rendered the star papers kind of waxy, so it was difficult to get the pen lines to take. Oh well - it still looks great, I think!
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This beautiful peace dove image is my favorite! I started by cutting the bird's body from an enlarged (on photocopy paper) photograph I made some time ago of a seashell. Then I used a scalloped-oval punch to create the shapes for the "feathers," which I placed in overlapping layers. The translucent-appearing feathers were punched out of mulberry paper. Finally, I cut the branches and leaves out of the appropriate papers and added them to the mix. This time, I traced the leaf veins with a gold metallic-marker BEFORE I ironed them! It was part of my original plan to also add a beak and an eye to the dove, but the design came together so perfectly, I decided against it. This is clearly a case where less is more! Oh btw, I sold a print of this image at my craft show yesterday :)
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I had great fun putting these images together, and I hope you've enjoyed them, too. The sources book describing this method as a quilting technique is More Snippet Sensations by Cindy Walter (2000). I used Steam N Seam 2 for my fusible webbing; it's designed for lightweight fabrics. I used an iron set for SILK temperature, and one of the backing papers from the webbing as a press "cloth." The colored papers in these collages are largely of my own design - made photocopies either directly from my design or from altered digital images. Yes, I spend a lot of time at Kinko's doing this, but it's worth it - copy paper, I've found, is an ideal weight for collage work, and when it's my design, it's all mine!

6 comments:

Laura said...

Very pretty! :)

Shrimp Salad Circus said...

Your collages are gorgeous, and it's nice to see how they're made. Thanks for adding me to your blog picks!!!

- Lindsay

Ahsan said...

colorful picture with nice content. I appreciate it

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

Beautiful work!

teri said...

Really like the look of these! Great Fabric and use of pieces!

Kerry_Kid Giddy said...

These are so beautiful. Great technique - coming from a person whose mother is an art teacher - I've never done this technique! I think I may have to try it out! kerry

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