Tag Archives: found objects

A New Assemblage: Solitary

 solitary4
I recently created the newest piece in my series of assemblages.  This one, titled “Solitary”, makes use of the same house-shaped box as its predecessors, and includes items like vintage wallpaper, a vintage photo, a mini tart mold (the “head”), key holder and keys, an old camera lens cover (the clear “halo” behind the silver tart mold), and other elements.

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I really enjoyed putting it together with my trusty friend, epoxy.  This piece is available for sale in my Etsy shop, so if you’d like this piece of handmade, original art please pop on over.  It’s signed, and is ready to be shipped out.  :]

Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers.  I hope you’re having a great week!

Warm regards,
Melody

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The Art of Assemblage

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Assemblage is the perfect art medium if you’re a collector like me.  A collector of what, you ask?  Odds and ends.  Quirky bits and pieces.  Vintage photos and doodads.  Assemblage is a fantastic way to use some of these found objects I’ve squirreled away.

For those of you who may not be very familiar with assemblage, it’s defined by Wikipedia this way: Assemblage is an artistic process. In the visual arts, it consists of making three-dimensional or two-dimensional artistic compositions by putting together found objects.

Some assemblage artists of note include Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, and my late friend, Janice Lowry.  Janice was an incredibly talented assemblage artist, and it was a treat to see her work in person at her different art shows over the years. I was able to purchase one of her simpler pieces around ten years ago, and am so glad I did!  It’s a wonderful piece featuring a crow (below), and is a lovely reminder of Janice.

janice_lowry_assemblage

Two New Assemblages!
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I recently completed two new assemblage pieces, one centered around horses and the other based on an image of a baby girl (shown at top of post).  Here are some photos of these two new pieces…

Equestrian: 6″ x 16″ x 1″ – mixed media assemblage

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horse_nails

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Sugar & Spice: 13″ x 8″ x 2″ – mixed media assemblage

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Sources of My Materials
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I love that each of these pieces contains elements gathered from many different places on many different days.  Here is a brief run down of the places where a sampling of my creative elements came from:

Smaller wooden box (baby assemblage): junk store near Lake Isabella, CA
Rectangular wooden box (horses assemblage): an estate sale in Cambria, CA
Horse show ribbon (dated 1936): an antique store near Julian, CA
Horse shoe nails: metal junk store in Missouri
Photos: antique stores, flea markets and eBay
Baby food spoon: estate sale in Orange, CA
Baby shoes: CA antique store

As you can see, they came from many different places and were purchased over several years.  I didn’t know quite how the materials would be used, but they caught my eye for some reason, and I knew I wanted to add them to my stash of supplies.  I love how all the individual pieces came together to form these two wholes.

Balance in Assemblage Composition
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I strive for balance when I create my assemblages, and here’s what I mean by that:

  •  I include enough items to properly fill out the boxes, but not so many that my composition is chaotic and overly cluttered.
  •  I use a bit of color with the black and white/sepia that vintage items often have.  Some color, but not too much that the eye gets no rest.
  •  I use a variety of textures, so there’s visual interest, but make sure these textures fall into the color scheme and into a few major types/groups – so they’re not overpowering.  For example, in the horse assemblage I use metal, paper (including the photos), and fabric/ribbon – in addition to the wood of the box.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these two new pieces of art, and found the overview of my collection and composition habits interesting.  Have you ever created an assemblage?  Do you have a favorite assemblage artist?  Do tell!

Warm regards,
Melody

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“Mark of Wisdom” Collage

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I love using a variety of materials in my collages, and this new collage – featuring a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – is certainly made up of a variety of materials.  New, old, smooth and rough textures, a photo, text, and even foreign language text!  I used one of my own nature photos as the central image.  I’ve thrown a bit of everything into this collage, including bamboo “clips”, metal tape, netting, and masking tape.  And though the materials and textures are varied, I think the overall composition is harmonious.

In addition to using a wide range of materials, I enjoy using found objects in my work, and in this case I found three smashed, scratched, and rusted bottle caps that became three of the main decorative elements for the collage.  I found them in a parking lot, tucked them into the cup holder of the car, and eventually worked them into this collage.  I’m often drawn to damaged, imperfect things.  Things with history.  Things with character.  And though most people wouldn’t have even noticed the mangled bottle caps, or would consider them rubbish if they did see them, I saw their beauty and potential and snatched them up off of the gravely pavement.  Proof that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…

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Curious about how I made this collage?  Here’s an overview:

Print an original nature photo onto photo paper, trim to your desired size. Print quote onto cardstock, trim to desired size.  Tape along all four sides of both the photo and the quote with narrow silver metallic tape.  Use a tracing wheel to add texture to the silver frames, then distress these frames by peeling up some of the edges, and by adding black metallic rub-ons.  Slide bamboo “clips” onto one corner of the photo and quote.  Set the image and quote aside.

Glue pale green handmade, textured paper onto your substrate/base.  (I used an 8′ x 10″ canvas panel as my base.)  Tear a strip of text, and glue along the left side of the collage – top to bottom.  Attach a 5 inch-wide piece of yellow netting over the text, allowing enough length to wrap the excess around the top and bottom and secure to the back.

Punch four holes in each of three found, flattened bottle caps, and stitch an “x” pattern onto each one using black embroidery thread.  Attach the bottle caps to the collage using Pop-Up Glue Dots.  Attach the photo and quote to the collage using Pop-Up Glue dots as well.

“Frame” the collage by taping each side of the collage with two layers of masking tape.  Treat each corner with a diagonal layer of masking tape as well.  Accent the masking tape frame with black and gold metallic rub-ons – apply with your finger using a light touch.  Finish the collage by signing in the corner, and by applying a blank sheet of cardstock to the back to cover what you’ve wrapped around to the back.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the materials or my creative process, dear readers.  I always love hearing from you…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Posted in art, art supplies, inspiration, photography | Also tagged , 10 Comments