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How to Remake Your Stash into Treasure: An Assemblage Art Idea Primer

Learn how to make assemblages and found object art with this guide to mixed media assemblage.
"Union; 26 Years" by Linda Kaye-Moses
from the Cloth Paper Scissors Sept/Oct 2012 Issue

From the Cloth Paper Scissors Team, by Tina Hussey

For the assemblage artist, there is a magnetic draw to all things tactile and time-honored. We are the keepers of fantabulous treasures, sometimes known as "stuff" by those who love us. Old game boards, antique tart tins, our grandmother's buttons, frozen charlottes, rusty relics, and vintage anything have an allure that makes the aesthetic mind feel like it is in a mixed media candy shop. Our mouths water and our hearts swoon with creative delight.

We appreciate them so much, sometimes it is hard to actually use these treasures in our artwork. An old letter with delicate script would make a spectacular pleated skirt atop an old brass doorplate with antique keys as wings and a frozen charlotte head perched above. But perhaps we want to use those keys as the symbols to unlock a secret in another piece of found object art or that letter in a collage assemblage. How to choose?

Assemblage artists are always creating a menagerie of art pieces with their magnificent finds in their percolating dreams. We need to use these treasures though, not just dream about them. Do we make an assemblage sculpture? How about a collage assemblage within a shadow box or an antique sewing drawer? Whether your stash consists of rusty square nails, your grandfather's fly fishing lures, a 1900's Ladies Home Journal, Great Aunt Matilda's old quilts, or just pictures of any of these, you can bring them to live through the art of assemblage.

The Art of Assemblage Issue: Cloth Paper Scissors Sept/Oct 2012

Our feature issue all about mixed-media assemblage; learn how to use light bulbs, found objects, hardware and your creativity to make all sorts of assemblage art. Order your copy of the assemblage issue of Cloth Paper Scissors or download instantly to get started right away.

Here are some assemblage art ideas to use as starting points:

Art Assemblage Ideas: Reach for what you have!

Mixed Media Assemblage Art: Mixed Media People Part 2
Stitch, paint, sculpt and collage to create mixed-media assemblages. Easy to use, this eBook is perfect for artists from beginner and up.

If you don't want to use your prize sterling silver salt and pepper shakers as the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. What's-her-bucket, reach for your used up paint tubes like Susan Andrews and Carolyn Fellman do in Mixed Media People Part 2. Who can resist a family that comes to life with a splash of color and an environmentally friendly attitude? You can create a whole village of personalities that you can adapt to make found object art with the ideas brimming over in this eBook.

Mixed media assemblage becomes second nature when you are inspired by the host of artists who collage, stitch, sculpt and imagine their mixed media people simply by tapping their creative juices to use what is at hand, and not just their salt and pepper shakers.

You might even choose to follow Ruth Rosner's lead in Mixed Media People Part 2 and use the nuggets that you acquire from the sidewalks and cracks of life to birth a whole tribe of found object creations. Whatever you reach for, reach for something! Tell yourself to do it. Put a mixed media assemblage art play date on the calendar and go for it.

Art Assemblage Ideas: Cast it!

Making Molds for Found Object Art: Breaking Out of the Mold
(DVD or instant video download)
Learn how to make molds of your treasures so you can use them over and over in assemblage art projects. Video includes casting techniques, tips for using castings, materials basics, and more.

When those salt and pepper shakers do call to us from our art shelves, do we HAVE to choose just one special project for them? Perhaps it isn't sterling silver that calls your name or summons your muse. Maybe it is a crushed bottle cap or a piece of driftwood.

I daresay that we all have at least one unique piece that makes our hearts pitter patter just by its very presence in our collection of stuff, I mean treasures. As generous as we all are, it can be hard to part with that special something.

Have no fear. In her DVD Workshop, Breaking out of the Mold: Resin and Clay Casting for Mixed-Media Art, Jen Cushman shows us how to mold and cast these prized possessions in order to use them again and again. Once a mold is made we can cast it as many times as we want to make assemblage art projects galore with that one treasure.

This really gets my gears turning as I think about all the assemblages and projects (or a whole family of What's-her-buckets) I would love to make out of those sterling shakers now that I don't actually have to give them up.

Art Assemblage Ideas: Print it!

Make an Assemblage Collage and More: Printmaking + Mixed Media
(eBook) Start from the base up with this paper and fabric art book. Tackle all sorts of projects, including an assemblage collage, and learn how to create embellished layers to use in your assemblages.

Found object art doesn't have to be just about using our treasured tins or watch parts to fashion into new creations. Take a picture of your treasures and print them to use in your backgrounds or as the focal point in your collage assemblages.

There are many simple printing methods you can use to transfer images. When that old letter with delicate script or stamps from a far away land continue to evoke a connection to family stories and places just imagined, allow it to touch many hearts by printing it and using it over and over, as well.

Stitch, cut, glue, layer, paint, and embellish printed layers to use in your assemblage art projects with the skills found in Printmaking + Mixed Media Simple Techniques and Projects for Paper and Fabric . Why settle for just one technique when you can combine and layer many different ones to create an assemblage sculpture or assemblage collage.

When we resist the temptation to think of our treasures only as unique things that have a one-time use, they transform into infinite possibilities that can be used to communicate countless stories and reach many people. So break into that art chest and start using those treasured goodies to spread the wealth, discover the art of assemblage today!

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