|Oh, Goldens! Oh, glass beads! Oh, JOY!!!|
Ouch! Late in the studio humor, which stinks actually, as I don't like that ad! Yep, that was ripe. (channeling the Grinch here...)
Moving right along, we're off with the beginning of the gel mediums tutorial. First things first; I am only using soft gloss gel medium in these demos unless I should mention otherwise. The first I had heard of this was for transfers from inkjet transparencies a long time ago. It wasn't until I began mixed media work that I really discovered all the possibilities it offered.
You will need stencils to shape the gel, and I cut mine from the bottom parts of foam fruit/veggie/meat trays. All are not of the same foam, and some cut smoother than others. As long as you are using a metal cookie cutter for the shape, it will be a lot easier.
I am doing hearts, no surprise if you've been to this blog much, but mostly because I have a lot of heart cookie cutters and I knew where they were!
I use an embossing tool to heat the cookie cutter, and hold it with a pair of pliers or something to keep your fingers away from the heat of the gun. When warm enough, lay it immediately on the piece of foam and press down with the pliers, NOT YOUR FINGERS!
|Fingers away from the heat please! ♥|
Now you're ready to take some gel medium and mix in glass beads. Don't add so many that you have a hard time mixing them together, just a bit at a time.
I use a glass palette--actually an old glass tray from a microwave--and then the gel stays workable longer than mixing on something absorbent. As soon as you have the two parts mixed, place your foam stencil on whatever substrate you choose to use and fill with the gel/bead mix.
|Smooth gel as much as possible--it will not be perfect and some texture is nice.|
|A well removed stencil--clean, clear edges! YES!!!|
This is going to take quite a while to dry thoroughly, as I found out. Mine was about a week until it was solid. While I was waiting and dabbling with other things, I took the little paperclay hearts I had and gave them a first wash of color....
|Wow Anne....nothing subtle about this color.....|
|Oh much better; I don't need sunglasses now.....|
Soft gel in the drying process can be helped along a bit with a hairdryer, but only so much. I frequently will dry it just long enough to stabilize the top layer a bit, then set it aside somewhere safe for the remainder of the drying. A hard bonnet hair dryer works too; I have one that various art goes under besides using it for my hair......multitasking at it's best!
At this point I will close and the next post will deal with something similar to a basic mica gel. I am also doing a very bare bones sample card so there will be a photo of one commercial gel medium and then the possibilities of all the junk I save. It even surprised me.
I'm not usually that organized or far sighted!
Okay kiddies, go sling some gel!!!