Part II: Gluing the Damned PaperAugust 13, 2008
It should be an Olympic event to wrestle a 45 x 62 inch piece of watercolor paper with a mind of its own. I let it sit for days (see my last post) under the weight of books, and yes, I did think to put it face down away from its curl. I carefully began removing the books fearing the worst, and as soon as the last book came off it snapped back into position and laughed at me. I made the executive decision that I would apply the glue directly to the 1/2 ” gatorboard since I clearly was not going to get any cooperation from the paper.
The spreading of the glue–the building of the pyramids. Here are the tips for anyone crazy enough to want to do the same thing:
1. Make sure you have energy bars on hand.
2. Make sure you have a towel to wipe sweat since you must turn the air off so that the glue does not dry before you get it spread on such a large surface area.
3. Make sure you are not mad at your husband that day. You will need his help.
4. Make sure you buy the LARGE container of glue so you can avoid a heart attack when you have finished the small one and only half the board is covered.
5. Listen to your husband when he tells you to get the trowels with teeth instead of flat edges. Chances are he knows more about these things.
6. Don’t get too mad at him (refer to step 3) when you return with the toothy trowels and he tells you you should have gotten the ones with the shallower teeth rather that the deeper teeth since the deeper ones consume FAR more glue (refer to step 4).
7. Work fast and furious to get the entire surface covered without a spec of the original acidic gatorboard showing through and threatening to cause a big yellow acid mark on your drawing that you have worked SO hard for. (Never-mind the drawing itself. The prep is the hard part.)
8. Find your rolling device BEFORE you even start the project because you will immediately use it to commence rolling FROM THE CENTER. Eat an energy bar first.
9. Have a bucket of water on hand in which to rinse your glue laden paws so that it does not end up all over the obstinate roll of paper that you must then force onto the glue surface.
10. Make sure that your husband has a metal fabrication business directly next door, and two burly welders who can hoist a piece of sheet metal large enough to cover your paper once (and if) you get it laid down, so that it will distribute the weight of the books you will then pile on top.
11. When the last books are placed, call it a day, and go chug your favorite beer (right now that happens to be Corona with lemon thank you.)