Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jonathan Talbot's Collage Technique

Jonathan Talbot is an American collage artist, painter, and printmaker. He is also the creator of an innovative collage technique that eliminates liquid adhesives from the collage process. His book Collage: A New Approach was published in 2001.

I will try my best to simply describe the process for you. Paper is coated on both sides with Polymer Medium Gloss by Golden Paints. The image side needs to have two to three coats of polymer. The back only one. I dry mine on an old window screen and if in a hurry, I use a hair dryer. After the papers are dry, using a release paper (the paper leftover from postage stamps or address labels) the paper is adhered using a Tack iron- so the release paper is between the Tack iron and the surface you are tacking down. Polymer medium is applied after every stage/layer of tacking. When your collage is complete, you seal it with varnish.

My "Love" collage is made up of altered papers, a coffee filter with coffee grounds and polymer medium (too much fun) and tissue paper. The love and heart were printed with a laser printer (can't use an inkjet) on HP Presentation Paper soft gloss. Jonathan Talbot sells acrylic transfer papers to use instead of the HP presentation paper. The HP paper can be difficult to find sometimes. I ordered mine online after searching all the big box office supply stores in my area.

Love was printed reversed. Applied as described above then a wet wash cloth was used to soak it. Rubbing gently in a circular motion until the backing of the paper starts to rub off. Once the paper is off it is important to quickly dry with a paper towel and apply a coat of polymer medium. If you don't do this quickly, you get white streaks from the little bits of paper bloom that doesn't come off.

Jonathan's technique is a fun and interesting way to create a collage. Please let me know if you have any questions. I especially want to know if anyone gives this form of collage a try. Happy creating!


  1. Thanks . . . I'll start saving the backing from all the labels I print/apply at work!

    1. You only need a few. Mark which side you put down and use it all the time. The iron side will turn black after a while. Hugs.


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