Friday, April 07, 2006

Second Set of ATCs of Block Collage Method With Ephemera Made

Ephemera Collage Artist Trading Cards

Here is my second set of ATCs which I made in the method of a block collage. I made these a few days ago. I made this while procrastinating about finishing two presentations I will be giving at a conference this weekend!

Unfortunately I cut the collage into ATCs before I scanned it. I really wish I had scanned it first.

This was my process.

I started with a thin cardboard piece which was 7.25 x 10.25 inches in size, so that eight ATCs would be made out of it, with a little room for cropping in case I make a cutting error.

I selected a 8.5 x 11 inch paper which was a map of a craft fair for the background. I did not attend the craft fair, it was actually an insert in the local newspaper acting as an advertisement for the craft show. I liked it because it showed a map of the building and all the little booths then had a lot of numers and tiny font with the names of the crafters on it. Most of this ended up being covered up but I liked the way it looked. It was black ink on white paper.

I took the junk mail and catalogs received in the mail that day. I skimmed the letters asking for charitable donations and cut out some phrases. I cut out some images from the letters and paperwork received. One had a full color envelope with photos on it. I cut out some of the things that say "postage paid" on the return envelopes.

I used some cancelled stamps that I had on hand (I stopped throwing away stamps when I began making ATCs).

I went through some saved papers from past magazine skimming and cutting. I keep those in a accordian type paper organizer thing that I found at the dollar store.

I went through some papers that people have sent me when I hosted the swap. This is interesting to do because they give me stuff that is different than what catches my own eye to save or stuff they bought that I don't buy.

I grabbed a Dover catalog ...
(you should consider get on their mailing lists, they have great small images in black and white and some in color) can fill out an online form to say which catalogs you want. You may be surprised to know that the children's catalog is full of non-fiction stuff, such as showing famous people in history or even period costumes and other interesting old images. I cut out some small images from the Dover catalogs. I am actually a customer of Dover and own a large number of their books, so I don't just get the catalog to raid for images to use in artwork!

I glanced around the kitchen and took some food labels such as butter box pieces. I had a McDonald's Happy Meal Box on hand and used part of that--the "M" shaped handle of the box.

I also had decided the 2nd set would concentrate on golden yellow and purple, so I looked for things with those colors. I decided that color scheme just because some items I had with those colors caught my fancy at the time.

I had a newspaper given to me for free and I glanced through it and found some words and also some maps.

I then looked at tiny scraps from past collage work from some 1956 and 1963 magazines--I love the color of the aged paper (from the oxidation of the acid in the paper). I put the tiny scraps in a very small Rubbermaid container. It is fun to dump this out and root around to see what is there.

I also had some old books that I bought for as low at 50 cents intentionally for ATCs, a French dictionary was one, and cut some stuff out of that.

I used some images from mail order catalogs also such as sizing grids, lists of tiny font letters which listed out retail store locations, (I also love the sizing charts).

Some of the layers are 6 deep in this collage. I made a concerted effort to use tiny items so that this time each ATC would have a lot more tiny elements on it, to be busier.

By the time I felt I was done I didn't feel like adding paint or rubber stamped images to it, so I inserted one word "time" in rubber stamps and otherwise left it otherwise as a plain collage.

I used Golden soft gel medium as the adhesive. I really enjoy using this product. I apply it either with a foam brush or with my fingertips.

Also I should say that sometimes I pick up a piece that I like, put the gel medium on the back and then and only then, do I find a place to put it. Rushing like that to get it on before it dries helps me make impulsive decisions and to not worry about what I am covering up. I used to have this problem with ruining or covering up the good thing that was already on there which I wanted to keep in one piece. I am getting over this.

I was impatient to see how the individual ATCs came out so cut it while the gel medium was still damp.

I really have fun doing this method and think I will continue it as I have time. I am trying not to think about others who may think this looks like a mish-mosh. There really is a thought process and an attempt to select colors that look well together or placements that are pleasing to the eye. Sometimes I have themes going. It may not seem that way but that does go on in my mind. I would estimate that I spent nearly two hours on this collage which then ended up being eight ATCs, so this is not as time consuming as when I set out to do a similar looking collage in the size of one ATC--that takes me about one hour per ATC.

I enjoy the surprise of seeing how each ATC comes out in the end. The ATCs look different than if I had tried to make each one individually. I still do have that concern like "Oh, I can't cut this stamp into four tiny pieces and use just the corner" but if I make a big collage then chop it up and end up with 1/4 of a stamp on it, it is 'acceptable' to me.

I am really curious about people think about the look of these. Please consider leaving a comment here on Blogger or by emailing me (click on the link to my profile and you will see the link to email me).

Hope you like them.

Addendum: One person is encouraging me to offer this type of a 'method' and style as an ATC swap. I am seriously considering it. I do wonder how many would be interested, this is so against the style that is popular now that I don't know how many would actually participate. However I have Teesha Moore's voice inside my head telling me to not worry about what others think, to just do what I enjoy and to have fun with it.

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Nicola said...

Hi Christine, Just wanted to tell you how much I like these collages. I've been wanting to do this myself for a while and when I saw your first ones a few days ago it gave me the push to do it. Love, love, this freestyle type of collage. I'm not into ATCs, I do APCs and 4x4s but go ahead and do a swap if you want even if it's not the "in" thing there are plenty of people, like me, who like this type of collage better than the cutesy stuff!

Mary Ann said...

Very cool method! I am going to have it give it a try. Thanks for sharing it.