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I spent the past weekend in three one-day collage workshops with Claudine Hellmuth down at Binder’s in Buckhead. Since I discovered glass I haven’t done much collage work, but this seems to have reinspired me a bit.

Friday we were “Facing the Blank Canvas,” learning ten different techniques for creating interesting layered and textured backgrounds. These backgrounds use acrylic paints and other coloring media in conjunction with ordinary household items such as spray starch, Elmer’s Glue-All, and dishwasher rinsing aid to give funky intriguing effects. While many people couldn’t stay away from collaging right then on their backgrounds, I just spent the day trying the techniques over and over to get them the way I wanted.

Saturday we started with raw unstretched canvas to exploit “The Frayed Edge” as a design element in collage. This class started with a couple of additional background techniques, then introduced gesso and gel medium transfers as well as image and color layering to create small collages. I finished two collages, in two rather different styles, as well as starting on two more that I will work on later.

On Sunday we were “Waxing Poetic” as we created collages with beeswax as our primary adhesive and design element. I’ve already done a bit with beeswax on my own, so I knew what to expect from the wax. For me, Sunday was a matter of putting it all together, with papers, images, oil pastels, buttons and beads, and the beeswax to create compositions. In the end, I came out of Sunday with four small collages — one with DH’s Nana as the focal image, a pair of “French gypsy” collages, and a fourth that was completely different, not “vintage-ish” at all. That one was built around a Nietzche quote about gazing into the abyss. I think it was my favorite of all the pieces just because it was different.

I’ll post pictures of all of them as soon as I can get to the camera.

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