Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Acrylic pours with strappo

 It might seem my post topics are all over the place with me jumping from a new theme to technique, but rest assured it all fits together in my head.  Last Saturday I visited friends who were doing day 2 of a strappo workshop I took at Torbay Bight Studio last year.  I wrote about it here.  I never wrote part 2 as promised and I need to rectify that.  In addition,  I want to create new pieces using strappo so a refresher is in order.

 This is where I left off in the last post.  I had pulled the image off the glass plate and applied two coats of gesso and watercolour paper to it  in order to stabilize the image. See the white backing below.

 Then you sandwich this work between parchment paper and cover with a board and heavy object to let it dry. It  has to dry for several days to be sure all moisture is gone.

I'm now going to change images because I didn't do a pour on the landscape in the previous post.

 Tape around the edges of your cradled panel to protect the sides when you do the poor.

Put a layer of gesso on the surface of the support and on the back of the strappo piece. Sandwich the two together and  put under weights to dry. Make sure your strappo piece is at least as big as the support. Having a little hanging over the edge of the panel is ideal then you can trim it when the work is complete.


Getting ready to pour 

Golden Self Leveling Clear Gel

This product is great for a clear top pour because it is thick and easier to control than other products.  It has a high gloss sheen when dry.

 Put parchment paper, wax paper or refrigerator paper under the work to catch the drips.  It should have a slick surface to allow you to scrape up the drips and save to another bottle for  future use as an adhesive. in collage.  Returning it to the same bottle may cause problems  later ( it might have dried somewhat and shouldn't be mixed with fresh gel).

 For ease of application a squirt bottle works well.  Don't shake the bottle and transfer it several hours before you are ready to use it to prevent air bubbles.  This medium is thick and holds it place as you begin.
 Pour in a circular motion.

 When you get near the edge stop pouring and begin to tip the board to get  the gel to move to the edges.

 When the drips become too much, clean up with a palette knife and put back in another bottle.

 Wearing gloves helps to keep your hands clean.

 Check for level application.

 If you have an area near the edge where the gel is thin, apply more. Resist the urge to poke at it with a palette knife ( my specialty).

 Dealing with air bubbles

One of the solutions to air bubbles is to stick a pin in them. If you have a lot of bubbles you can try lifting the piece about 6 inches and letting it drop as you would a cake pan. You may think you have all the bubbles, but more can rise to the surface.  Check back in 15 - 20 minutes.  Another solution is to put isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle and mist the top of the gel while still wet. you can repeat this more than once.

It will take several days for your project to dry. 

Additional pouring tips
  • use a level to to check your table.  If your table is off, your pour will not be evenly distributed.
  • use a makeshift dome (paper, fabric or a large plastic container with air holes in the sides to keep dust and falling debris off the work surface
  • If you have a lot of pieces or a large piece, make sure the room is properly vented.  Gels contain ammonia which  evaporates  as the piece dries.
Other Golden pouring mediums

GAC 800 -  works well when tinted with paint because it has a hazy surface when used alone

GAC 500-  thinnest levelling product that has little tack when dry; it is best used when creating poured  acrylic skins. 

Clear Tar Gel - by far the thickest pouring gel. It is best used if you want to pour lines on top of a work by dripping from a palette knife. You can thin it up to 1 part water and 3 parts gel.


Carole said...

Woo hoo I can hardly wait to try this.....after the studio renos when all the drywall dust settles! Thank you!

Kim Hambric said...

I love this technique! I see there is a plan for getting out air bubbles. Would I do the same when trying to fish out cat hairs? That has to be my worst problem when gluing and glazing.

Margaret Ryall said...

I think tweezers are best for cat hairs. I've had some practice with that problem. Make sure you do it when the pour is fresh. Tenting the work helps to prevent this problem.

Photo to acrylic said...

It's a very interesting post.

Kirsten Elizabeth Gilmore said...

I just started doing acrylic pours today and found your blog post. Thank you for such excellent instructions! I've been working outside and learned the hard way that "tenting" to protect the work from falling leaves and miscellaneous wild life is a good idea. :)