15 August 2009

Found Objects and Good Karma

The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.
-Paul Strand, photographer

On my short drive to work a few days ago I received an unexpected phone call. I thought it was maybe my mother, because who would be calling me so early in the day.

To my surprise is was Patti of The Queen's Ink telling me that there was an opening in the Saturday morning class to be taught by Tim Holtz at her shop. I had been third on the wait list for the Saturday class, and fifteenth on the list for one of Tim's Sunday workshops, so at this late date I had thought there was no chance.

This unexpected opportunity led me to a whole day of creativity with collage elements and "found" objects.

Tim Holtz is a rock star of the craft world. He has made a brilliant career out of designing and teaching. I had not realized just how many crafters would be sharing this class when arrived -- about 70! And the morning went like a whirlwind. Tim showed us how to make five pieces of jewelry using provided findings, papers, artifact-charms, and tools. All this in four hours!
My first bonus was that Patti announced that there were a couple of people who had cancelled out of the afternoon workshop on book-making. I raised my hand immediately to indicate I wanted to sign up. So, I finally had the chance to learn how to create a book from scratch. Bind the pages in signatures, create a embossed foil cover, and put it all together to create a work of art that's more like a treasure chest than a plain ole book.

My second bonus was meeting some incredibly warm and friendly crafters. Some of whom are amazing artists. I met a few people who do art for a living and others who make art for the sheer joy of it.
Tim was totally approachable, helpful when you had a question, and very, very adept at teaching for a large crowd. The last is a rare talent to be sure. I have taken workshops from some pretty skilled artists, but Tim and his assistants organized and carefully presented step-by-step processes for putting together these intricate designs. They made it seem effortless, and yet the old event-planner training in me knows just how difficult that is to accomplish.

I am not a newcomer to assemblage and collage techniques like I was a novice at book-binding, but I had been scratching my head about how to jumpstart my stalled mixed media hobby. I spent a total of 8 1/2 hours in the classes. I feel like I've received a big dose of good karma. After a whole day of assemblage workshops, my creative batteries have been recharged.


  1. Definitely an awesome class. I wish I'd been able to take all of them! But I'm glad you got into the afternoon one too, such a blast!

  2. Wow! Looks like you had an amazing day. After studying so many medieval manuscripts, it would be really cool to know how they really are put together. Any plans for further projects? (Sarah M.)

  3. Hi Sarah!
    Yes, this class is part of my plan to gear up for major mixed media art production. I've had a scheme for quite a while now to go into collage / mixed media / assemblage in a more serious way. I have some projects that I want to work on over the course of the next couple of months. My goal is to have enough items produced by December to launch my Etsy.com online shop by my birthday next year. I will likely be working on mixed-media jewelry and also a line of collage-covered notebooks or journals.

  4. Wowser, what an opportunity for you. Would love, love, love to take a class with him as well.