Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Working Small

In my Yahoo mixed media group we have started another book study, Mixed Media Mania by Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater. When the group does a book study, we go through the book chapter by chapter and members and try the various techniques and projects. We post our works so we all can get inspiration and make comments. There are also frequent swaps where you send in your version of the project, and receive an equal amount of the same project from other members. The results are always surprising and the swaps cause me to try new techniques.

One of the swaps coming up is 1.5 inch squares. It’s more than just cutting a photo out of a magazine, it’s a mini collage that can have a lot of elements. So here’s my take. I started with junk cardboard, painted it with black gesso and then used iridescent, and interference paints to create backgrounds for my squares. I learned this technique from Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard’s online class, Pretty Papers.

cardboard pretty papers

Next I painted metal foil with alcohol inks.

painted foil

The foil comes in rolls in copper, and brass colored and has a silver back which can also be painted. I always paint both sides so I have a variety of colors.

Next, the foil is tooled using Walnut Hollow’s creative metal tools. I was introduced to these products at the Quilt festival in Chicago last year. Judy Coates Perez was the instructor, and she does beautiful work. Check out her copper book covers.

I purchased a beginner’s kit last year, here are a few of the tools. Walnut hill sells real copper, not the color coated foil like I have.

tools for metal work

But back to the 1.5 inch squares. I’m having so much fun creating them. I’ve laid out my finished or nearly finished ones in a grid pattern, and it may become a larger work

mixed media composition

I’m going to try to do the 1.5 inch squares in at least 5 techniques that are new to me.


  1. Wow, Susan, these are impressive.

  2. Hi Nancy
    I've become addicted to making them!

  3. Susan, those are beautiful -- I really like the colors you're using.