Wood Collage Artist
Learn how an artist recycles old wood scraps into collages.
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Studying classic arts such as piano, flute, and figure drawing is where Susan Woods began her exposure to the arts. Since that classical beginning, she has moved into a more alternative version of art that recycles old wood scraps into fine art pieces. She deconstructs and then reconstructs elements of flawed wood into highly sophisticated collages.
Susan begins one of her collages by going through her collection--pieces of wood that most people would throw away due to flaws or damage. Most pieces are in a sheet form and some are in lengths (like 2" x 4" or 6" x 6"), but all have potential in her eyes. Once pieces have been selected, Susan starts giving them new life. She alters each piece in some way — cutting, sanding, or taking the sheets and ripping them by layers until they are thin strips. This turns one sheet into several thin layers she can use individually. Some pieces will be painted or stained to create more color in the final collage.
Once all the pieces have been altered to her liking, Susan begins to work on her design. She does this in a more traditional collage technique of trial and error. She places pieces loosely until she feel good about the outcome. Then gluing begins, some sections in layers, utilizing several pieces to create height in one area. Once the main body of the work is complete, Susan creates a frame in the same way--using many pieces together, in a collage form — to create a border and finishing touch to the art.
Everything is sealed with a layer of Verathane sealant, adding a slight sheen and protective layer. The final outcome is a highly textured and intriguing mix of different wood grains and finishes. Sometimes the collage creates a pattern that shapes something recognizable, but usually what you see in the piece is up to the individual viewer — which is just how Susan likes it.