Friday, June 24, 2011

Rethinking Scraps

Have you ever been able to meet someone who you admire in your chosen field?  Perhaps if you're in the healthcare profession you've met a surgeon whose work you've tried to emulate.  Or if you're a writer, a noted author whose books you've collected for years.

I got the same privilege last Saturday!

For the last two years or so, I've been a big fan of Randel Plowman.  Perhaps you've heard this name before; if you're in the collage world I have no doubt that you know his name.  He is the author/curator of "Masters: Collage: Major Works by Leading Artists", which came out last June (here's the link).Or maybe you've seen his blog "A Collage a Day", which has been featured in many magazines.  That's how I found him - in "How".  He was a featured Website in that magazine back in 2009.

So, imagine my delight when Randel set up a collage workshop right here in Fond du Lac.  Yeah, little ol' Fondy was privy to a world-class artist!

We had about 15 people sign up, which was perfect.  There was a great mix of artists of all ages (all women, surprisingly) who unleashed their inner (or outer!) collage artist.  I'm not going to give away much of what we did in class - you'll have to take Randel's class to find out!  :D  But I will tell you that a few of the exercises had me a little stressed out.

Take, for example, that pile of scraps that you see above.  What was I supposed to do with THOSE?!?  I mean, there's nothing workable th.....

Oh yeah, there is!  Oh, and that would look good there!  And, well, this piece fits here!

And before you know it, I had six mini-collages.  All from scraps that I thought couldn't be salvaged.  :D  Here are a few of those collages:

We also learned some new adhesive techniques, and here is my collage from that experiment:

And finally, we learned some image transfer tips.  Here is the collage that I made using my new-found abilities:

What a fantastic way to spend the afternoon!  I know everyone had a marvelous time and I think Randel enjoyed himself too.  It was such a pleasure to finally meet the artist behind the work I've admired and which has been an inspiration to me for half my collage career.

Thank you, Randel, for showing me that I need to save my "unusable" scraps!  :D


  1. Great blog Mel--that was a great day I feel inspired as well!

  2. How Cool!!! to meet someone you've admired! I have a big stack of "stuff" on my crafting table just waiting for me to dive in. I'v been working on it this week. Just trying to find what works best for me. I wish I could find a class in my area. but not having any luck. Any suggestions as to how to get something started?

  3. I had a fabulous time! Can we do this every Saturday?! Seems I am the most creative when I'm working around inspiring artists! Thank you, Mel for bringing Randel to Fondy.

  4. so how did you do the transfer - it's wonderful - I love the "almost see through bird" and the collage with the woman in the shirtwaist dress is my very favorite! thanks for sharing, Mel!

  5. How perfectly lovely! Transfers have always been one of the things that I just can never make work properly! I'd love to hear the technique as well!

  6. Ladies, I'd love to tell you how I did the transfer, but I feel I'd be giving away trade secrets that may not be mine to give away. I'd hate to spill the beans on what may be someone's patented idea. :D

  7. A collage class?! By a well-known collage artist?! That's just what I need! It's too bad I missed it! I'm a self-taught collage artist, but, it sure would be nice to learn from a pro. Now that I subscribe to your blog, maybe I'l know about the next class!

  8. P.S., Since I'm new here, I was wondering...Mel, do you ever teach collage classes yourself?

  9. Sorry you missed it, bluesky! And yes, as a matter of fact, I do teach classes! My next class is in Manitowoc as part of the Inspire my Life retreat, July 28-31. Here's the link:
    I only have two more spots left if you'd like to join us! :D Welcome to blogland, by the way! :D