Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DeLighted, DeLirious, and Totally DeMengled

 




Just in case you don't know, Michael DeMeng is an extraordinary assemblage artist.  As I found out at Art Is You, he is also a wonderful teacher.  Michael's specialty is taking found objects and transforming them into true works of art.  His style is quirky (some say a bit creepy), not for everyone, but I am a big fan. The people in the class I took (great title: Patron Saint of Discarded Things), came in with buckets full of metal, wood, plastic, dolls, toys, gears, wheels.  Get the picture?

Michael helped each of us figure out how to put our modge podge of materials together, and his paint recipes turned our piles of junk into cohesive pieces. 

Here are some of Michael's pieces, on display in the front of our room:








I worked smaller than most people because a) there is always the possibility that I'll be traveling by train and b) I have limited space to display stuff in my apartment.  My base materials were a rusty old sconce, a plastic skull, and a small piece of wood.  Here is my piece in the process of being assembled:


 
The coils wrapped around the body of the sconce are made of epoxy clay, and it not only provides some texture, it is a great adhesive.  There is some on the top of the skull to hold the crown of pen nibs in place.
 
And here is the piece after about a gazillion layers of paint:
 



 
 
And yes, that is a tiny skull lurking behind the larger one.  And yes, again, he is wearing a beanie.  Doesn't everything, even the plastic, look like rusty crusty metal?
 
Although everyone was really absorbed in their work, I found this to be a particularly friendly and generous group of people.  We all brought so much, and only used a fraction of that, so sharing of supplies went on all day long.
 

 
Before we left, we put all our pieces on a table in the hallway and spent a good amount of time discussing each one, and that was a very valuable part of the class.  We learned how everyone else put their pieces together and how we used our paints and other materials to transform them.  Not all of the pieces are finished (you'll see one with parts temporarily held together with masking tape), but I think you can appreciate the amount of work that went into each one.
 






 
 
I would take another class with Michael in a heartbeat.




17 comments:

Dorothy said...

Absolutely amazing!!!!!

Sherly said...

very interesting and very creative .

Scrappin' Stacy said...

Oh, I am very jealous. I have been wanting o take one of his classes. Your piece looks spectacular!

nlrafi said...

i just loved this class (my very first + my very first art retreat). i've already used the painting metal techniques on some of my jewelry pieces! so glad i got to learn from michael! (i made the garden goddess w/ the masking tape).

Socrates said...

Fantastic piece! It is exactly the spirit of De Meung, but you've made it your own. Beautiful too.

Monica said...

What fun!

Patzee said...

What an empowering class! Your sconce was magnificently demeng-ified!

craftyM said...

Oh, I think it looks like great fun and would love to learn his painting technique! It does look like old metal...
PS: I loved the beanie on the small skull... just made me SMILE!!!!
Marita

Debby said...

Your piece turned out so cool! I see what you mean by the paint making everything come together. Maybe someday I can take one of Michael's classes. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Redanne said...

I love your piece, it looks rusted to me, which I love. Wonderful! A x

Deb said...

what a wonderful opportunity! I love Micheals stuff, it is creepy, but so interesting and to have been able to make such a great piece , wow! simply great
thanks for sharing your class with us

Marjie Kemper said...

What a wonderful piece you've created... love the crown and the beanie! Great to meet you at AIY. I agree. there's nothing like it!

Sue Young said...

Very very cool Eileen. I've met him a couple times, had lunch with him, but haven't had a class... Such fascinating pieces!!! Love yours!

Barbara Mason said...

I too am a Demengian...love Micheal's work...Your piece came out really wonderfully ghoulish and DeLish...

Stephanie Rodgers said...

Looks like a very cool & interesting class!

Laura said...

Love this post. I love taking Michael classes. I love the flow of your piece- its so cohesive from afar, and then its fun to see all the little details, like the second skully peeking from behind the larger one. Paint job is great as well.

Lori said...

OMG, I SO want to take a class with him. Your piece is just awesome, as are the others. What a trip he must be! I wanna use those gear looking things the one person used. lol. Fantastic!