Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Composition for Collage

Last month I took Claudine Hellmuth's Composition for Collage workshop at BPC. The workshop was four weeks long and focused on a different composition structure each week.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop, but I knew that it would be something totally new and outside my comfort zone. I don't consider myself an artist and have not delved much into collage, so I just decided to go in with an open mind and have fun.
The first thing I decided was that I didn't want to create large collages because I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them once they were completed, and I didn't want to use up all my "good" supplies either. I had an old box of 4" x 11" manila flash cards that I decided to use as the base for my collages. 

Week One of the workshop was about Asymmetrical structures. I started with an arctic print that was part of a place card I had saved. I added buttons in the opposite corner, then drew lines on the background. I wasn't thrilled with the look, so I colored in the background, added two dimensional stickers to the arctic scene and a twisted thread to tie the two sections together.

In Week Two, we learned about the Horizon structure - creating a horizon within your collage. I cut some items from an old National Geographic magazine for this collage, then once again added some lines to the background. I also included some wooden strips (from my parent's old window blinds) and a round wooden embellishment from my stash.

We moved on to creating Vignettes in Week Three of the workshop. By this time, I knew I probably wouldn't like a plain background, so I started with a stamped background. I added pieces cut from the old National Geographic magazine as well as another wooden strip and an old photo slide to create my vignette.

Week Four was all about the Grid structure. In all honesty, this is my least favorite of the collages I created. I had recently moved some papers from hanging file folders to drawers, so I had a pile of labels on my table and I threw them together in a grid format just for fun.
Then since I had those flash cards out and had completed the class, I decided to create one more collage on my own. This is my favorite of the bunch! I used old book pages to cover the background, then added an image of stacked books that I had cut from a current magazine. I knew I had to include a stamped image from my new books stamps and the yellow letters finished it off.
I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with these collages. I can see using the Read collage and maybe the Astronaut one as part of a layout. For now, they are stacked on a shelf in my craft room. Do you create collages? What do you do with your completed collages or how do you use them?


  1. You can gift them or use them as book marks or put them on display.

  2. I was just thinking that your last one, Melissa, could be photographed and printed onto card or photographic paper and would make a great bookmark! Really interesting read - I don't make collages (yet) in this sense, but Julie over at Notes on Paper journals/scrapbooks this way...

  3. I've never made any collages as I don't consider myself "arty". I love the way you've embraced it though and might have a go!

  4. I,too, love the idea of them as bookmarks....especially the last one.

  5. I've never made any collages either becasue I don't think of myself as arty, just like Jane. But your thoughtful review has helped me to see how a class like this might get me started. I especially like that last one you've done too

  6. beautiful! nope, no collages for me.

  7. Maybe, if not too large, you could use the collages for card fronts.


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