How's It Done

A Look Inside - The Process

The first step was to select the original image, a photograph from Gibby’s graduate work in 1974. The photograph was uploaded or scanned into the computer. The image was then manipulated to increase its size and alter its tone. Decisions were made about where and how the image would be located in the window.

When planning the piece, the photograph is cut to fit in the panes of the window and selected botanicals are choosen and laid out in position. Photographs are taken to document location of photographs and botanicals within the final piece.

A background pulp is selected for each piece. For “Looking Forward” it was a Sarvisberry blend of abica, lavendar, thistle, iris, banana, and cotten. The pulp is then mixed with a lot of water and a suspension agent. Once throughly mixed the pulp is poured on to the screen. The water drains off leaving the pulp in the desired shape, when the frame is removed.

For each piece, Gibby divides the window into sections, so we know how many panels to pour. In “Looking Forward” three panels were poured and then subdivided into four panels. Once all panels are poured they are lined up and measured so that individual sections can be formed. The number of sections are determined by the number of panes in the window itself.

Once the sections have been created. Gibby knew from the initial layout she wanted more color behind the curtains on the side of the photograph. She pulp-painted on the sides of the piece with colors that were also present in the photograph. A sample of the curtain was laid over the pulp-painting to see the overall effect.

Once the photograph is embedded into the pulp and the curtains are placed on either side the selected botanicals are embedded into the paper. Additional pulp is added to build up around the sides of the plants. Stems are sometimes cut, to allow the botanical to lay flat, so that the pulp can surround and hold the the plant in place. The pieces are then pressed and dried over a period of two days.

The frames are sanded down, repaired if needed, and finally varnished to bring out their natural beauty. The windows are from an old house and are estimated to be over 100 years old.

Once the sections have dried each section is waxed with beeswax to seal and preserve the final work. The birds nest are then attached with encaustic wax. A hot glue gun was used to further melt the encaustic wax once on the birds nest.

The pieces are allowed to dry and then a final measuring is done as the individual sections are mounted on foam core board which will be mounted inside the window. The sections are attached to the foam core with a neutral pH adhesive to preserve the paper. As each section is glued down it is burnished, rubbed over with wax paper to ensure complete attachment.

The final work is then mounted in the window.


Email Gibby

Mobile: 202-528-0477
Floyd Studio: 540-745-6331

3345 Bridge Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278
174 Sarvisberry Lane Sw, Floyd,VA 24091