One of the questions that sometimes comes up about working with encaustic wax paintings on paper is how to mat the paintings when the artwork is soaked in wax? I usually simply use white painters tape to hold the back of the wax soaked paper works when the piece extends beyond the edges of the mat opening, but what to do with a piece that is smaller than the mat opening? I have been experimenting with buying different glues to find what works best for this task and just came across double-sided acid free UGlu Tape! Here is a tutorial on how to mount your encaustic wax on paper works with UGlu Tape to fit inside a mat opening...
Encaustic Wax Monotype or Painting on Paper
1 Roll Double-Sided UGlu Tape
1 Mat Mounting Board with Precut Hole (mine is 9in x 12in with a 6in x 8in hole)
1 Sheet Watercolor Paper the size of the Mat Board (mine is 9in x 12in)
1 Alcohol Marker (I used a Utrecht marker in a color to compliment the artwork)
1 3inch Piece of Silicon Paper (the UGlu is on silicon paper)
Cutting Mat or Pad of Newsprint Paper
Piece of Waxed Paper
Step 1. Using the chisel point tip of the alcohol pen, run it at an angle along the beveled part of the mat opening. I like to also run it slightly over the edge of the bevel to get an organic looking uneven line.
Step 2. The UGlu glue strip is attached to a piece of silicon paper. To get a piece of plain silicon paper to use for this tutorial, unroll about 3 inches of the tape and fold it forward on itself so that the glue strip portion sticks to itself. Place the tape on a pad of Newsprint paper or cutting mat and cut through the doubled over tape section, making sure to cut where there is silicon paper both on the bottom and top, with a razor blade. Pull apart the silicon paper part of the strip and attach the doubled over glue to a piece of Newsprint so that it will come off and leave you with a 3 inch strip of plain silicon paper.
NOTE: You can not cut directly through the glue side of the strip as the glue will stick to the razor and bunch up. Also, I have tried to use Freezer paper and Waxed paper as a release paper for the glue and they do not work. Only silicon paper works as a release paper for this glue.
Step 3. Measure a 6 inch strip of UGlu glue tape. Place the plain piece of silicon paper on the glue tape at the end closest to the tape roll. Using the razor on a pad of Newsprint paper or cutting mat, cut through a portion of the tape that has silicon paper on both the top and bottom about 1/8inch from the double silicon paper end. Remove the top piece of plain silicon paper to re-use for your next cut.
NOTE: You will have a little piece of silicon paper left on the top of the glue strip nearest the tape roll when you finish cutting. Leave this there to help you pull out your next length of glue tape before making your next cut. Be sure to remove this small strip of excess silicon before using this piece of glue tape.
Step 4. Cut another 6 inch strip of UGlu glue tape and two (2) 4 inch strips as in step 3 above.
Step 5. Position one of the 6 inch glue strips, glue side down, in the center of a 9 inch side of the BACK of the mat board. Do NOT remove the silicon protective strip on top! Do the same for the other 9 inch side on the BACK of the mat board.
Step 6. Position one of the 4 inch glue strips, glue side down, in the center of a 12 inch side of the BACK of the mat board. Do NOT remove the silicon protective strip on top. Do the same for the other 12 inch side on the BACK of the mat board.
Step 7. Remove the silicon paper from the top of one of the 9 inch side glue strips, exposing the glue. Position the 9 inch x 12 inch watercolor paper with one of the 9 inch sides over the exposed glue and lay it gently on top of the glue strip. Press on the back of the watercolor paper from the center of the glue strip out to the sides to remove any air bubbles and attach the watercolor paper to the back of the mat board along the glue strip.
Step 8. Lift the watercolor paper off the back of the mat board and remove the silicon sheets from the other 3 glue strips. Gently lay the watercolor paper over the exposed glue strips beginning from the already attached end, lightly burnishing the back of the paper with your hand to help it adhere to the glue.
Step 9. Flip the mat over to the front.
Step 10. Position your artwork over the watercolor paper in the opening to determine where to put glue strips to hold the work in place and see how many strips you will need. Cut the strips as in step 3 above approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches shorter than the length of your artwork. Place the strips glue side down on the watercolor paper inside the mat opening.
NOTE: I cut 2 pieces of UGlu glue tape to 5 1/2 inches in this example as my art paper is 7 inches wide.
Step 11. Remove the silicon paper to expose the UGlu glue strips, position the artwork over top of the glue as desired and gently press the paper down onto the glue strips. Cover the painting with a piece of waxed paper and gently burnish over the surface, starting in the middle and working your way out to the edges, to assure the artwork is securely attached to the background watercolor paper.
Voila! Your piece is DONE. Enjoy! :)
Remember, you can choose any color and texture of background paper other than white watercolor paper to spice up your mounted print. Just make sure the paper you choose is heavy enough (at least 100lb / 270g/m2) to handle hanging long-term without sagging. If you prefer a lighter weight paper for the background, just attach it to a piece of heavier watercolor paper with permanent spray adhesive, YES paper paste or acrylic regular gel medium matte and allow to dry before starting this project.