Middle Earth Map: Part I

21 11 2009

Today I began my first attempt at aging some paper.  In particular I am aging the first draft of a Middle Earth map I downloaded, make by Adam Savage of Mythbusters’ fame.  A few years ago he popped a high-resolution copy on the net, which I recently acquired and last Wednesday I had a bunch of copies done at Officeworks.

Because I’ve not done the aging process before, I had several copies done at various sizes, bugging the lovely Officeworks girl to death with various resolutions and paper sizes.   It cost me around $30 but I walked away with around a dozen large copies of the map to play with.  One is on thicker paper, one is much smaller, and one was stretched to the wrong proportions.  This is the one I started on today.

Hunting around the net for decent tutorials, I finally decided on the method provided by Natalie Bramasole’s Youtube channel.  While fairly complicated, it gave the best over-all effect and didn’t involve soaking the paper in a pan where it would no doubt fall apart in my clumsy mittens.

Paintbrush and cup of strong coffee in hand, I set to work.  My first discovery took about 10 seconds, when I decided it was a VERY bad idea to work over a layer of newspaper.  The paper just sticks.  It’s obvious when you think about it.   So, I layed out the map on the washing machine, which gave me a decent work space and a non-stick surface that wouldn’t stain with coffee marks.  The first coat went pretty well, and when finished I plugged in a hair dryer and started to dry it section by section.

Soon after I realised it was one of the hottest days of the year, so I just took my map into the sun for a few minutes and saved some power.  Go, Environment.

After the second coat I started to get more of an effect. I loaded a few more teaspoons into my coffee cup and that had a marked effect.  Next time I shall use at least five spoons.   The paper became very fragile at this point and I had to be very careful not to pick it up too early or it would shred.  I lost the bottom left corner due to impatience, so I need to be careful with that.

Dry, it was time to add some folds.  I found it to be quite hard to get the now firm paper to fold where I wanted it to, and perhaps next time I’ll introduce the folding a little sooner.  With care it turned out ok though, and I rasped the edges with some course sandpaper.   At this point, a little of the  detail was going from the map, so I decided to just touch up a few sections of the edges with the stain and set to tearing the edges.

The edges were the hardest part for me.  The top and bottom worked well enough, but along the left and right edges I was tearing against the grain.  I could cut it, but that may give me less-than-authentic looking tears.  I ended up with quite a few chunks coming away, so that stage will need much more care.  All in all, it turned out pretty will for a first effort.    Once I have an immaculate copy, I will add a slightly larger frame and put it under glass.  It should look pretty hot, I think.

Tomorrow, I’ll try another with the changes I’ve mentioned above.  I’ll be sure to update you on how it went.

Pics from today…  Blurry, not the best light.


Fold & Spatter Detail

Complete Map




One response

21 11 2009
Boo Sesame

ahh it looks so good. I like that you’re blogging this~ I don’t have the patience to do processes! good luck wiv it, savvy 😀

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