Object Lessons: Adventures in Assemblage

There's a giddy, world-at-your-fingertips satisfaction in making art with found materials. With some deliberate and thoughtful choices alongside some easy to learn techniques, an assembly of objects can grow and coalesce into a meaningful and profound work of art.

It all happens in Object Lessons.

Join international found object artist and 'stuffsmith' Keith Lo Bue online in a comprehensive assemblage how-to, from conception and design to building thought-provoking and unusual artwork. Object Lessons will focus closely on the process by which assortments of unlike materials can join up in the same space to work physically, visually and conceptually. Using your own collection of bits and pieces and aided by innovative use of wire, rivets and adhesives, you'll create personal assemblages of intense beauty, humor, poetry and mystery.



REQUIRED TOOLS:

The tools below are things you will be using in the workshop - don't panic if you don't have a few, there will usually be a workaround..

DAP brand KWIK-SEAL Kitchen & Bath caulk- CLEAR <here> Those outside the US who have trouble finding it can order it from me directly at keithlobue.com

Cordless Hand Drill. A cordless, variable-speed hand drill is perfect and will be one of the most useful tools in your home, trust me! This one's decent and a bargain: <here> This one comes with 2 batteries which is great for when you're working and don't want to get caught with no power.

Dremel tool - if you already have one, all good. If you WANT to buy one, go for the cordless <here>. If you don't have one and can't afford the expenditure, come without and you'll learn more about them to see if it will suit you. They are a very worthwhile tool.

A Crescent compound-jaw plier <here>. This is a fantastic value and a terrific tool.

• An assortment of standard working tools - hammer,
ruler, pencil, Sharpies, Blu-Tack (office supply poster putty), files, tweezers, sandpaper, paint brushes (small/medium)

drill bits (any standard hardware-store set of 'high-speed steel' drill bits - with the exception of "starter-point" bits, those aren't good for our use)

• extra 1/16" drill bit or two

• roll of 're-bar tie wire' (found for around $5 to $8 in hardware stores in the construction materials section, near the cinder block and chain-link fencing. IMPORTANT: make sure it is grey/dark grey/black steel wire, NOT galvanized!) Those outside the US who have trouble finding it can order it from me directly at keithlobue.com

1 bottle each of MATTE <here> and GLOSSY <here> water-based Polyurethane VARNISHES.


jeweller's saw (get one ideally with a 6" 'throat'...<here>.

saw blades (an assortment is good): <here>.

old books - Pre-1900 is great if you find any. Any paper can be used, vintage or modern, but certain techniques I will show that work brilliantly with old paper.

Vintage boxes or containers - some of your creations may involve a housing, so any boxes or containers you find might be usable.

...And any tools particular to a media you are conversant in...

OPTIONAL TOOLS:

• OBJECT LESSONS KIT - for those who don't have tools for mixed media, you can order this kit from me that takes care of essential tools for working across lots of materials. Be sure to order in time for shipping to arrive as it is being sent from Sydney and can take up to 4 weeks to get to the US. <here>.
Included in the kit:
• Steel Hand-Vise
• Mini Linesman plier
• Large Round Nose plier
• Extra-wide handmade bench pin
• Memory-Wire Shear Cutter
• Slim-line Centre-punch
• Special Capped Glue Syringe (to fill with specific glue on list)
• Roll of 18 gauge (1mm) steel wire
• Roll of 20 gauge (.8mm) steel wire
• Vintage Paper Pack (19th-century - and earlier - misc paper)
• Perfect Wire Brush
• Miniature Archimedes ‘Pin’ Drill
• Miniature Drill Bits with Case
• Reinforced Cutoff Wheel (3)
• Set of mini Diamond Bits/Burrs

 

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IDEAS FOR FOUND OBJECTS / RAW MATERIAL TO HAVE AVAILABLE:
(NOTE: This part is just a list of possibilities, NOT a requirements list. You don't need to have tons of stuff, but the more variety in your found bits and pieces, the better it will be for your process!

Ideas for housings:

broken box cameras or appliances
small scraps of wood or small readymade found boxes
cigar boxes
tin cans
medicine or candy tins
small wooden or metal drawers
clock cases
jewelry boxes
hand mirrors
old picture frames
ETC.

ETC.
ETC.

Ideas for the guts:

glass scraps
acrylic paint
eating utensils
electronics / machine parts
personal effects or memorabilia
letters
documents
postcards
maps
photos
stamps
fabrics
buttons
keys
record albums
audio cassettes
eyeglasses or magnifying glasses
medical tools
dental tools
interesting old pencils or pens
toys
dominoes
dice
game pieces
artifacts: religious or secular
bones
feathers
leaves
acorns
insects
straw
stones
eggshell
bark
teeth
fossils
pressed flowers
screws
washers
hinges
hooks
nails
x-rays
keys

ETC.
ETC.
ETC.
ETC.
ETC.
Get the picture?
The list could go on forever, because nothing you bring CAN'T be used!

It's really a list to perhaps spark some inspiration on your end for what to collect. Any small objects that you find interesting for any ole reason smight be employed.

 

RESOURCES FOR OBJECTS:

thrift / junk / antique shops
scrap metal yards
flea markets
garage sales
auctions
antique / ephemera fairs
hardware stores
art / craft supply stores

FREESOURCES FOR OBJECTS:


roadsides
parking lots
beaches
woods
abandoned buildings
dumps
dumpsters (only for the strong-stomached)
caves
eaves
attics
neighbors' attics
friends' eaves...


I look forward to a wild ride of exchange and creation with you all!

Please email me with any questions you might have that this page didn't address.

See you there! Keith