Friday, September 18, 2009

Gel Medium: My new Best Friend

As an artist I'm ashamed that it took me so long to discover the wonders of gel medium. Seriously. Why did I not listen to the hype. So many years of frustrated paper collage. So many painting that could have been brought to the next level. All those composition books that I altered with bumpy covers. The list goes on and on and on. Ok, starting to get lost in my morose thoughts of regret and sharp desire to do it all over. Did I mention that would take years and I'm already so behind in my crafts. So not a good idea to linger so let's move on to why I'm very in love with gel medium.

Project one: making pretty magnet by covering clothes pins with pretty scraps.
Cut paper to cover top, apply gel medium to paper or clothes pin, add paper, top coat with gel medium, add magnet to back, viola-pretty magnet great for holding papers. No bumps in paper. Dried clear. No need to add protective coat. Quick and easy. I whipped up a small army of them in less than 15 minutes.

Project two: covering a chipboard word book with decorative paper.
Have I mentioned that I love my cricut expression. I do. Especially when paired with design studio. So after designing and cutting out all the pieces of a word book (chipboard base, decorative papers to cover) the problem becomes how to adhere paper securely. Solution, gel medium. Apply gel to paper or chipboard base, add paper, smooth with a bone folder or old credit card, top coat optional. No bumps. Securely adhered. Everything I want in my paper covering. The books look great, well, a little naked at this point but easily fixed with embellishments.

So if you're like me and have tried all the other paper adhesions (is that a word?) for papers and collage this is the stuff to try. I think it works better than other glues and decoupage mediums because it a heavier body but still has some slip. Doesn't really matter to me how it works just that it does. Let's not forget to mention all the other things that can be done with gel. Altered book, absolutely needed for adhereing pages together. Image transfer, ok so I don't know too much about this but I can't wait to try it. And of course it's original use in painting, to add more body to the paint and extend drying time. So many more uses and thanks to the internet all at our fingertips. Let me close by saying that I will never be without gel medium again. It has become a permanent fixture in my crafting supplies. Do you think I'll get funny looks if I make a little bag to carry it around in. You know, like the ones for dogs. Just a thought. Guys have duct tape as a fix all, women have clear nail polish and now gel medium.