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.