Do you have a “frustration pile”? It’s a stack of artwork that isn’t bad enough to trash or paint over completely, but it isn’t going anywhere, and maybe never will.
While I was working on my Lotus Book workshop, I found several 11×14″ encaustic and mixed media collages in that pile that had never quite come together for me and were just sitting there. It occurred to me that I could make cover-sized (4.5″ x 4.5″) squares for Lotus Books from the work.
Here’s one of those collages. It’s not terrible, but it lacks focus and purpose. I remember that I was trying six or seven techniques, and I learned a lot, but the piece already looks as if it’s begging to be cut into squares. Right?
I whacked it mercilessly (but carefully) with my trusty Ingento paper cutter. Here are the resulting six book covers.
If you’ve taken my free Lotus Book workshop, you know that the back side of a cover doesn’t have to be waxed because the pages stick directly to it.
But there is one more important step to make these more suitable for Lotus Book covers. Because the paper cutter leaves a clean, but unfinished edge, it’s best to dip each of the four edges into the wax medium to smooth and seal them.
You can see, below, that the wax-dip barely noticeable, but it makes a big difference in helping the newly-cut covers feel finished.
Here’s a tip – let the dipped edges cool a bit before you turn it to dip the next edge. Otherwise, you will end up with a blob.
Oops. The blob can be scraped off, but best to do it right and be patient (which is NOT one of my best virtues).
And, Voila! A new Lotus Book arises like the Phoenix from the Pile of Frustration!
Now, if you have sharp eyes, you’ll see that I left the Blob on that cover. Blobs add character, and don’t let anybody talk you out of your blobs, personal or artistic! Perfection is boring.
A couple of notes:
Be safe, trust the process, and celebrate your blobs today!