Hello all my ‘Blog Followers’! I know it’s been a while now … but I have been busy. I really wish I could just get into the shop at 9 a.m. and stay there without any interruptions … but those kind of days are few and far between. Life may be down-right interesting around here … but I have felt stirrings of panic every now and then. What?!! How is it these days keep going forward?! Sometimes I swear I’m walking backwards!!
The painting has begun! These four pictures show the varied stages. I use acrylic paints for the bulk of my Intarsia projects. However I wanted the grain of the cedar to show through on the branches, so I used NGR (non-raising grain stain). All my paints and stains are compatible with lacquers, which I use as a spray on finish … having a fully equipped spray room with fan, etc.
The first coat of acrylic paint is thinly applied, covering the edges as well because they will show with elevation. This stage of painting is done rather quickly as it is just more or less to ‘set the stage’ …
All the leaves have their first coat … and the NGR stain applied to the branches.
Next … the first coat of acrylic on the dogwoods …
All those individual pieces had been placed upon the original waxed paper design to completely dry. Before setting them back into the cedar background, each painted leaf and pedal was lightly sanded using a flex-sponge. Fine grit to coarse wet/dry sandpaper adhered to both sides of thin sponge makes for easy sanding of contoured pieces. Fine grit was all that was needed to smooth off the surfaces.
- Note to those who wish to try this style of Intarsia … It definitely pays to keep your paper design because it’s not hard to loose track of where these little parts go!!
Now comes the tricky part that makes me want to hold my breath! In the previous blog, I explained how everything had been squared up, so that the design fit snuggly inside the temporary framework. The time has come to glue the background pieces to the substrate. This is a tediously slow process, as each section is dismantled, the backing cleared of dust then marked for glue area.
As you can see, very little glue is necessary … too much, and a section could slip out of position while in the process of clamping. That wouldn’t do!! Not to mention, glue squeezing out into areas where it’s not wanted.
It’s important not to remove too much of the surrounding bits and pieces … just enough to give adequate clearance for gluing. Before the clamps are applied, some of those bits and pieces of branches and leaves are double checked to make sure they are not too tight to work back into place later, after the glue has set.
It seems like a chaotic mess!, but in actual fact is quite organized. The large section of background surrounding the birdhouse, is marked and ready to glue into place … with smaller sections ready to slip into place making sure they will fit properly …
Sometimes is necessary to slip saran wrap into sections where glue isn’t wanted. The background section has been removed, the area cleared … you can see a part of the pencil line that will guide me for gluing.
And then there are times where an inventive thought has to be worked out for applying pressure. There’s my tuning pin can again! It sure comes in handy when the throat of a clamp just isn’t deep enough!!
I use Weldbond wood glue. It goes on white, but dries clear … and extreme pressure is not needed to do a good glue-up for this project. In previous Intarsia projects, I’ve used this glue to lay a bed of sand and rocks!!
There have been some good days in my workshop lately, so it shouldn’t be much longer before I can blog again … stay tuned! Meanwhile, keep happy in your own workshops!!
-- Elaine in Duncan