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Mar 5, 2008

Mounting a Rice Paper painting

I thought it might be a good idea to explain what it means to back or mount a rice paper painting. Washi is commonly referred to as Rice paper. Once it's painted on, it can be framed as it is, but gluing it to a thicker sheet of rice paper will sharpen and enhance the colors of the painting. Years ago, I learned how to make my own glue and use that to back my paintings. For large paintings, I still use that method. For smaller paintings, I use a more convenient and popular method in Japan. I buy thick rice paper which has already been prepared with the archival glue. A warm iron is used to fuse the painting and backing together.

Backing a painting is always nerve-racking for me, regardless of which method I use. First I have to lay the paper face-down. Then I fully wet the painting and hope that the sealant keeps all my paint set. I carefully brush out all the bubbles and hope that it doesn't rip. After letting it sit for a bit, I place the backing paper, glue side down, and brush repeatedly. Let it sit a bit and then smoothly and evenly brush the backing with the iron. Let it sit a bit again, then it is ready to be cut to size. In the first picture, the backing paper has been brushed onto the painting. You can see the picture peeking through the backing paper. In the second picture, the process is finished and dried. The mounted painting is ready to be lifted and cut to size. You can view this painting in my Etsy Gallery Juana shop.


High Desert Diva said...

Nerve racking is right!

Shannon said...

Wow, I'd be so worried about messing up. :)

Linda Branch Dunn said...

I wish I could be there to watch.

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