How to Decoupage a Traycomments (13) August 24th, 2012
My relationship with paper-and that's what it is, a relationship-is a curious one: I love it, I appreciate it, but more often than not, I cut, fold, or otherwise mutilate it after which I usually get rid of it (pass it off to a client, a photographer, a friend). Visitors to my studio are always surprised by the fact that for someone who works almost exclusively with paper, there is so very little of it on view around me.
To help remedy this situation, I have lately been thinking of ways in which I might get some of my more prized pieces of paper out of the storage drawers (where they lie perfectly flat and protected from creases and dust) and into my actual world where I can see and feel and appreciate them for the beautiful things they are.
|More découpage projects:
• How to Make Découpage Candle Holders
• How to Transform Holiday Tins
• Découpage a Colorful Pendant and Earrings Set!
Recently I visited an Ikea store in New Jersey and there found a lovely, 15-inch-diameter plastic serving tray. By lovely, I mean the size was great (large enough to hold a sandwich, some soda, and a plate of chips), it was sturdy (so it might well serve to carry a steaming pot of hot tea and a plate of biscotti), and it was inexpensive (marked down to $5.99 from its regular price of $9.99). The only thing wrong with it was, it was an ugly computer-beige with rather insipid little amoeba shapes printed on it. However, ugly seemed like a problem I might be able to tackle.
In my studio was a gorgeous piece of Japanese paper-a decorative Katazome-that I had been saving for just the right application. Katazome is a handmade process of stencil-dying paper using a starch-resistance method that can be traced back to 15th-century Japan. In brief, a design is cut into a stencil (the stencil paper for this particular process being a work of art in itself-it is treated with an elixir made from Persimmon, which gives it a rich tobacco coloring and prevents it from absorbing any of the starches used in the design transfer process). Once the stencil has been prepared, it is placed over a sheet of handmade paper and a starch solution is then applied through the stencil onto the paper's surface. When the starch is dry, pigments are applied by hand. As a final step, the entire sheet of paper is placed in a bath to loosen and remove the dried starch. The result is visible below. (Note: The areas of the paper that appear "white" were covered with starch prior to the pigments being applied. Once the pigmentation was complete and the starch was washed away, the white areas of the paper became visible again.) For anyone who is familiar with the beeswax and pigment process of making Ukrainian Eggs, Katazome is very similar.
Beautiful, bold-shaped tray, meet gorgeous handmade paper. The marriage has resulted in utter bliss. The finished tray sits beside me on the table as I write this (holding a pot of coffee, a newspaper, and the most delicious H&H bagel-a New York treasure-I have ever tasted).
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