My creative process isn’t always planned-out in advance. Sometimes I have a photo in mind that I was to highlight in a project, which in many cases, I don’t know what that project will be. Could be a decorated canvas, a tin box, a wood object or…well, let’s just say I have a LOT of options for embellishing things.
This project was purely to start to use my stash of junk. And I use the word “junk” in a loving way, as much of what I love about alter-art is all the doodads you slap together and make something unexpected. My favorite inspirations are the creating dolls or human forms out of random found objects (like tin boxes, eating utensils, screws and whatever else they found) or the steampunk projects. Just love those.
I’m super new to alternative art and found art. I’ve been doing scrapbooking for over 15 years however that was really just sticking to paper and the fairly standard Michaels supplies. Don’t get me wrong, as I did make shaker boxes and mosaics out of photos, created new die cuts and really did some creative things (that I am super proud of) but I only recently started playing with water color mediums for created new custom background pages. Once I started using my old art supplies, this is when things really started to bloom.
This project was put together to see how everything glued together and how to really work with the various glues and the newer “toys” that I had been slowly collecting in order to do more of the altered boxes. Years ago, a friend gave me a ton of matt board (I bought a bunch on sale for like ten cents each small piece and had piles of that stuff for years) so I’ve been trying to use that up before really going to town on the canvas. It’s cheaper to play with this board and if I screw up, it’s not hard for me to chuck it without thinking I just wasted $3 or more on it.
What I’ve been doing lately is grabbing random elements and objects, then a “base” (whether it’s a canvas, cardstock, board, or whatever), and then I just start moving the objects around on the base to see what fits and looks interesting to me. The objects I find I try to look for possibly similar colors (or the ability to color them the same way) and shapes that can be layered or placed next to each other easily. I also look at my paint stash to see what haven’t I used in a while, what is super old and needs to be used ASAP. One of the big things I’ve been noticing is some of my paints and inks are drying up and many, I have NEVER used. I hate that. So, I am really going out of my way to use up this stuff.
This project, I had some laser cut wooden dies (words and gears), a game spinner, some floral pics (I bought a crapton of them on sale at Michaels), some cogs, arrow and gears (small ones are Tim Holtz, the large one was a find at a flea market in Chicago), a weird plastic clock face (Dollar Tree), a jewelry element of a clock face with wings (7gypsies) and some keys (Tim Holtz). Dylusion inks (Ranger) were something I can bought on sale and they had been sitting in my art tote forever. I was determined to use the orange and red as much as possible and to experiment with all the gesso that I have. I wasn’t sure at the time, if spraying Dylusions would look ok on the wood die cuts or if I needed to put gesso down beforehand. This was my big experimental project.
First thing I did was put down gesso on the board and most of the elements I was planning on using. I dried the board with a heat gun lightly to help speed up the process.
I laid down my “Gears” stencil (Tim Holtz) and began spreading more gesso across the stencil (drying in between as well) until I got what I liked.
When everything was dry, I started spraying the Dylusions inks across the board and the gessoed elements, blending the colors (Orange and Red). After everything dried, I ended up layering more gesso through the Gear stencil, and then, sprayed across it again for color blending (and that was wet ink and wet gesso). I used the excess gesso and ink on a blank piece of matboard as I didn’t want to waste the materials. I put that aside to use for a future project.
I had some Inka Gold, Hematite, that I started using on the edges of some of the wooden elements to make them pop and wiped some of it across the faces of them as well.
As I was shuffling objects around, I realized that I would need to add some posts to the gear in order to lift is from the matboard and allow me to slide other objects under it as well. I had these little wooden squares that I glued together and used as posts.
Then I just started assembling everything together. I punched several holes for the keyhole I had (Tim Holtz). I found some decorative brads to attach it to the board. For the 7gypsies winged clock, I used some of my flowers to tie it down through the holes.
I used a glue gun to attach the majority of the objects, but later (after this shot) a few of the elements fell off, so Gorilla Glue was used (any sort of metal element needed some hefty glue to keep it down.
After a number of shuffling items around, here is my completed object.