peeling paper

tomorrow’s going to be even more boring.  who’d a thunk the end of a project could be so prosaic?  aren’t you supposed to end up with the flash and dash, the stupifying theatrics that lead people to talk about you in hushed tones?

the only people talking about me in hushed tones are afraid of me when i don’t get my sleep.

today i spent most of the day dealing with the pages i’m going to stick to the base of the dolphin.  i discovered, thru the magic of image transfer, that i can do away with the messy bulk of paper, meaning i can do away with the risk of delamination later, by delaminating it right not, before i even stick it onto the dolphin.

the first step is several, let’s say three, layers of dried gel medium on top of the freshly printed pages.  i’m using an inkjet printer and regular paper, and altho i let it dry to the touch after coming off the printer, i’m slapping gel medium on it as soon as it’s dry.  and it’s not smearing the ink.  good to know.  test sheets will help if you’re trying to do this at home.

after they’ve dried thoroughly, so the gel medium is clear and not sticky to the touch, then you take the paper off.  the directions i read said to soak the paper for ten minutes or more in a pan of water.  but i don’t like what that does to the acrylic.  it gets all soft and starts thinking about dissolving when you get it saturated.

so i figured that i could lay it face down, acrylic side down, and spray the back, the paper side, with water out of a mister.  and this worked fine.

turns out that the acrylic coating takes a lot of punishment.  i was using my fingers in a scraping and rubbing motion, and the paper was rolling up and coming off in strips and rolls.  i could see the text more clearly as the layers of paper came off, too.  i guess that’s how you tell, because i could keep rubbing stuff up as long as i could spray water on it.

this is the step i like to call ‘testing spaghetti’.  when i was done rubbing paper off the back of the words, i took the sheet and slapped it up against the oven door.  don’t want to put it up against something it’ll stick to when dry, and plastic, glass, and metal seem good surfaces to let it dry on.  so here’s the first few pages.

then i printed out another thirty pages of old articles about atlanta and the carnegie library from several books digitized by google.

here you see them getting their coats of gel medium.  that’s the medium in the gallon tub there, and i’m going from one to the other, coating out the printed area with gel medium.

tomorrow i get to rub all that paper off.  what a mess my floor is going to be.

while i’m taking breaks from this incessant finger work, i can finish up the lines on the head, the printing on the head, the shadows on the jacket, the words on the book on his fin.  i forgot to take a picture of it, but it’s turning out really nicely, so i’ll cover it tomorrow, in between rubbing bits of paper off the back of printouts.


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