COLLAGE METHOD OF PRODUCTION
What is the collage method of producing tactile graphics?
- The word "collage" means a collection of unrelated things, grouped into a presentation.
- In tactile graphics, the term is used to describe the process of using textured items (such as papers, fabrics, threads, "found" objects) to represent the information in the print graphic. Items are adhered to a flat surface, producing layers of the textures.
- A collage graphic may be produced using a combination of several methods, including tooling, foil, and braille/graphic embossed.
Why is collage a good production method for tactile graphics?
- Research has shown that readers are able to more accurately perform tasks of tactual discrimination using tactile graphics produced for vacuum form copies (Thermoform™), as compared to other methods of production. Graphics produced using collage and/or tooling (on both paper and foil) and then copied by vacuum form can accommodate a wider variety of both heights and textures than is possible with microcapsule paper production or embosser-produced graphics.
- One of the characteristics of a readable graphic is variation in height among the elements in the graphic, in addition to a variation in texture.
- Using raised textures, the edge becomes its own line, eliminating one more texture that the student has to decode.
- The texture of thermoform paper-Braillon-allows for a smoother flow from one area to another. More detail can be shown.
- The cost to produce collage graphics is less than other methods. They can be done without an expensive embosser, expensive paper, or a computer drawing program.
- A collage graphic can be produced for immediate student use in which the original copy is read, or for multiple copies of the graphic using thermoform.
- Students can learn to produce their own graphics using the collage method.
- You can select textures the student is familiar with, or will tolerate.
TIPS FOR QUICK PRODUCTION
Building a supply of materials to use in collage will save a great deal of time. Take an afternoon every so often to replenish your supply so you can quickly produce a graphic.
Xyron Sticker Makers
This little machine is an enormous time saver. They are available in a number of sizes at craft supply stores and on line. The refills of adhesive are expensive, but then so is your time! Make the investment.
- Use permanent adhesive cartridges.
- Maximize use of the film- prepare several items side-by-side to use the full width of the film.
- Select a texture (textured paper, paper towel, fabric) and Xyron a full sheet at a time. Cut out the portion you need for the current graphic, and put the rest aside for the next one.
- Set up hanging files for textures by category-quiet textures, bold textures, medium textures, lines, etc.
- Xyron textures onto different surfaces for variation in height. Use braille paper or card stock, and several weights of cardboard.
Sticky Strips for Lines
Using the Xyron and a paper cutter, make various widths of lines to be used for collage- bar graphs, x-y axes, circles, clock hands, etc.
- Xyron sheets of cardboard from cereal boxes and other standard packaging. Sticky side should be the cardboard surface, not the outside of the box, which is shiny.
- If desired, use standard construction paper or colored copy paper Xyroned to the outside of the box (shiny side). This is important if the reader will use the original copy of the graphic. It is not necessary if you are thermoforming the master.
- Using a paper cutter, slice very narrow strips evenly. Gently shape the strips into curves as needed.
- Cut wider strips for bar graphs.
Using the Xyron and gros-grain or satin ribbon, feed through to make sticky bars for graphs.
Water-based glues, such as Elmer's or other school glues may soak into the braille paper surface and wrinkle the base or braille labels. They also take longer to dry .Use glues that have a silicone base and dry faster. Adhesives made for scrapbooking are usually not water based and are long lasting.
MonoAqua, by Tombo, is an excellent choice. It has two tips- one for fine lines and one for a broader area. Try other similar products to see what works for you.
If you are using metal point symbols, use a jewelry glue with a very fine point so you do not have excess glue around the symbol, distorting its shape.