• Kerrie Lee

Koi Relief: Part 1

I hesitated posting this work in progress since I don’t yet know if it will be successful. But then I thought it might be interesting to share my creative process, and that includes things that don’t work out quite the way we expect.

There’s a large wall in my dining room, and I’ve been unable to find the right piece of art to strike the mood I want. I knew I wanted to feature koi, so I decided to try my hand at combining Creative Paperclay and canvas.

First, I made a sketch to get an idea of scale. The large koi in the corner will be a low relief in Creative Paperclay, and the rest of the canvas will be painted.

I transferred the sketch to my canvas using the grid method and pressed my first thin layer of Creative Paperclay directly onto my canvas. What I forgot to take into account was the slight shrinkage that occurs when the clay dries. As the clay dried, the canvas began to buckle.

You can see the distortion around the clay here.

To correct the buckling, I removed the layer of clay and re-adhered it using Paverpol fabric hardener. My thinking here is that the Paverpol will stiffen the canvas beneath the clay, while at the same time adhering the dried clay to the surface of the canvas.

I used a palette knife to gently pry the thin layer of clay from the canvas.

Though I know the strength of Paperclay, I was amazed that the very thin layer didn’t break when I removed it from the canvas.

I thinned the Paverpol with a little bit of water, about a 1:1 ratio, just to make it a little more fluid. (Note: Since Paverpol dries completely hard and waterproof, use either a brush you don’t care about or a brush you are committed to washing with soap and water immediately after use. I’m not kidding. You will have a rock hard waterproof brush if you don’t!)

After I applied the Paverpol, I set the layer of Paperclay in place and pressed the clay into the wet surface.

I smoothed the entire layer of clay from the top and from the back of the canvas, and now I wait.

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