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As indicated, 3-D Paper Tole is an interesting and exciting art and craft of depth, contour, and perception. Five or six copies (and in some cases many more depending on the complexity) of the same print are used.
The 3-D picture is built by cutting out certain parts of different prints of an identical image, then by shaping, layering, and gluing the pieces to the base print using neutral cure silicone, a 3 dimensional effect is created. The option of applying a lacquer or glaze to selected areas is open to highlight the 3 dimensional effect.
There are 3 principle areas that when looking at a 2 dimensional image the crafter must visualize, those being, the background, the middle-ground, and the foreground with several intermediate layers between the background and foreground.
A natural perspective is gained by properly and skillfully shaping each cutout piece before gluing it. In our view, one of the most important techniques that will really elevate your finished tole from being really good to magnificent lies in the skill in which you shape or sculpture the individual elements of the picture.
So often people do a wonderful job of cutting, but then fail to properly shape or sculpture relegating their finished piece to "ho hum" status rather than truly magnificent piece. There is a big difference between "layering" and "shaping or sculpturing", the latter 2 categories being the same technique to really add realism to your picture.
Once the picture has been composed, certain areas that the artist identifies can be selectively coated with "Glass Kote" lacquer to highlight those areas and provide a light source, which tricks the human eye to accentuate the 3-D effect. Think of the iris of you eye as being equivalent to the lens of a movie camera. If you point the camera to an object that is reflecting light, the lens is constantly changing its aperture responding to light changes from the object. Your eye operates the same way. We can therefore trick the human eye, by carefully and selectively coating areas of the finished picture creating to an observer, a more accentuated 3-D effect.
The use of glaze or lacquer is selective, and depending on the image itself, the crafter my not want to use any sort of finish to retain an antique look. For example, some of the nicest Pieck work we have, has absolutely no glaze whatsoever on it, and it stands by itself, because of the superb cutting and shaping techniques used.