-----Original Message-----
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It was submitted by anders on Mon Oct 14 13:57:05 2002.

comments: i was just wondering if you'd divulge some of your collage-making secrets..? i've never done much collage but i have an idea for a piece similar to the effect in your "what you pay" collage.... so far all of my attempts are coming out looking to rigid, too calculated. have any tips? would help a tremendous amount, i love your collage work!

- anders

-----Original Message-----
From: sbsmith
Date: Monday, October 14, 2002 6:52 PM
Subject: Re: Questions and Comments

my secrets for "what you pay"???

well, i glued down a bunch of basic rectangular pieces of paper... then made sure i had some irregular pieces added over it. also carefully cut out individual figures (like elvis).

sometimes i cut the paper, sometimes i tear it to make it irregular and sometimes i even burn the edges. i coated the whole thing with matte acrylic polymer. then i put wood stain over it and immediately wiped it off (i think this is called 'antiquing' in ceramics circles).

i added a piece of clear plastic from a wallet, some tiny mirror shards, i used black paint to paint over the bird, and i added two strips of barbed wire, some photos of me, buttons, a strip of a wooden ruler, an old rusted bottle cap and a small rusted chain and a lens from a pair of glasses, a safety pin, a bobby pin, a couple of paint rings, and a tiny crayfish claw. plus this piece is over 25 years old so the paper has also aged (but you can get around that by starting with really old paper, or put some newspaper in the sun and it will yellow in days). i think it's the antiquing that ties it together.

also, you can't be too neat. i also make sure it's not all rectangular grids - i add diagonals (for a purely rectangular grid piece, see "Voodoo Lounge"). another trick is to cover your collage with dress patterns because you can see through them when they dry.

but the most important 'secret' is what you yourself select to use. i go through magazines and tear tons of stuff out for my stash and then when i make a collage i go through my stash and select that which seems to belong together for the piece. in essense, it's not all me but rather a collaboration between myself and the stuff i chose.

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