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Mixed-Media Folk Art Face

Michael Meehan of San Francisco uses recycled items to create mixed-media folk art faces.

Knowing Michael Meehan is a flying trapeze artist makes it safe to assume he is quite the character. But his real character comes through even stronger when he shows how he uses recycled items to create one-of-a-kind, mixed-media folk art faces from wood scraps, plumbing pieces, and oven knobs.

Materials and Tools:

recycled wood
oven knobs
copper piping
top coat sealant
red, yellow, orange, white spray and acrylic paints


1. Select wood from bin (filled with recycled lumber). Measure and cut to make a 11" x 18" x 3" rectangle box.

2. Cut square hole for mouth with a jigsaw. Sand and paint yellow undercoat.

3. Take red wood square (back of mouth), pour and scribble paint. Spray paint mailbox upper lip.

4. Drill holes to attach oven knobs as eyes and on side.

5. Prep and then solder copper pipe for other side with torch.

6. Cut wavy design in several pieces for hair using a scroll saw. Paint red and orange and let dry.

7. Cut nose and also notch white wood for teeth with chop saw.

8. Paint nose red; touch up teeth with white paint.

9. With screw gun attach mailbox lip, teeth and nose.

10. Screw on copper piping. Attach oven knob eyes and on side. Nail on wavy colored hair pieces.

11. Attach squiggled mouth square. Nail and glue molding around mouth.

12. Put on Craquelure; wait and then apply top coat and crackling will occur.


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