Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Emblage" or Trying to Take the Ass out of Assemblage

Trying out my new patina technique- learned at ACE Hardware

Titled "Skin Circuitry" an Emblage

Detail of an ACEO that I decided to attach.

The woman playing the "organ" ( skin is an organ you know) is a collage that I had made in the 90's and resurrected. Made from an image from an old sterograph, Japanese paper and biology diagram.

So, I'm kind of new at some of these assemblage techniques. I am oh so great at collecting wonderful bits and pieces and even buying the necessary supplies to create any number of wonderful projects. The problem is that I am trying to learn a lot of connection techniques on my own because I seem to want to try things without going to workshops and start on projects before certain skill levels and knowledge are embedded in my brain.

I have always been a hasty worker whether it's cooking or printmaking or gardening. Call it impatience ( but not to my face, I get so defensive) or a glorious lack of perfectionism (I'm saving that for another lifetime) but I have trouble waiting for glue to dry and want to hurry up and get to the next step.

Well I'm finding with this altered art/assemblage and collage that it's necessary to plan out your layers and connections in a logical order or things start to get botched in a hurry.
Then when there's a mistake that messes up my one of a kind beginning of a background it can be so frustrating.

Take rivets for example: I took a silversmithing workshop one day two years ago and learned how to make some nice cold connection rivets. So I had an idea to connect the collaged old book cover to the antique tin ceiling tile with some copper rivets. In order to make the copper tubes for the rivets I had to remember how to load the jewelry saw which I had also learned in the same class two years ago. The saw was picked up at a garage sale so I was hoping it was reasonably functional. It was guesswork really and I sawed three of them before I broke the blade which was looking kind of cattywompus and I was amazed that I was able to cut anything at all.

Did I stop and look in one of my glossy metalsmithing books to see the right way to do it? No, I wanted to GET ON WITH IT! So with some pounding I ended up with three slightly split and bent rivets. So rustic, so primitive. Oh well.

After that was attached I decide to attach a bead which would have been way easier BEFORE I attached the collage.

This is what you call a "learning process" and I know I could benefit by slowing down and PLANNING out my projects. My short attention span has been more suited to lampwork and stringing and making ATC's so far. (and I am a good but messy cook if I do say so myself)

I'm not totally disappointed in the final product but I think I need some more techniques under my belt for that finer final product that I'm seeing so many good artists putting out with their altered art/mixed media /assemblage pieces.

Let me know what you think!


  1. great work! LOL at this post! you are such a hoot! and your title and photo snagged me on the side bar!
    way to go, it looks great! xo

  2. I personally like this piece very much.
    And now I feel like I know you so much better - I may have to quote you about glorious lack of perfectionism. I truly believe perfectionism has ruined many an otherwise gifted artist.
    That being said, DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. The beauty of "emblage" and collage is that anything can work.
    a couple of hints:
    *deal with the impatience by working on multiple pieces at once and keep the heat gun close by
    *scan in your backgrounds at various states then if you mess one up, it isn't lost forever

  3. Thanks you all and thanks for the good tips, Sherry

  4. I noticed that my "Jewelry Artist " magazine that showed up yesterday had a whole article on making rivets!

  5. A very lovely piece. I really like the whole color feel.

    Gerushia's New World

  6. O that colors and design !!! I'm in awe!

  7. Thanks for dropping by, your work is so unique!


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