Alexandra Sheldon

Collage Class January 31 & February 1

Alexandra SheldonComment

We continue to learn about Anni Albers, the brilliant fiber artist. I am encouraging people to make quick collages in the little notebooks using whites while everyone arrives and gets settled. I am also encouraging each of you to make small collages at home. Personally I am attempting to do a small piece daily for the month of February. I like to do them in a small notebook. 

We used Cold Wax this week. I have two similar kinds, one made by Gamblin and the other Jacquard. Cold wax is a combination of bees wax, paraffin wax, damar resin and mineral spirits. In encaustic the wax is heated. The way we were using the wax, the wax is cold, but soft and pliable like softened butter. Always use either barrier cream on the hands or gloves. We mixed about one tablespoon of wax on a plexiglass sheet with small dabs of oil paints using a narrow plastic scraper. We played with many techniques:
Using less paint for a more transparent wax color or more paint for a richer deeper hue.

Covering an area of paper with the colored wax - in thin layers, either using a scraper of a brayer (roller). These solids will make great collage material when dry.
Making paper stencils and templates and using the wax with them.
Using a brayer on the plexi and then doing ‘trace monotypes’ by laying paper over the plexi and drawing on the reverse side: this makes a print.
We introduced white into the colors to make greys and offwhites.
Why cold wax? Because mixed with oil paints (Windsor and Newton) the color is rich and wonderful. I also notice a texture that’s different. It feels soft, sometimes furry (especially when on rice papers). Next week we will start collaging with these papers and see what happens. We will also learn about the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. And watch a short film about Josef Albers.