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Assemblage Art : Focus on Mixed Media Artists

Updated on July 10, 2021
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I am a vintage junkie , author of Melmac Central and run the Living a Vintage Life podcast.

Assemblage sculpture is made from a variety of items repurposed into something else. Often called "Junk Sculpture".
Assemblage sculpture is made from a variety of items repurposed into something else. Often called "Junk Sculpture". | Source

The Art of Assemblage

Assemblage artists make sculpture out of various components. Some people refer to assemblage as mixed media (maybe because you are using a mix of but assemblage technically is "assembling" all sorts of things together.

Assemblage art can be a fun and rewarding form of artwork to make and does require some forethought. This form of sculpture is generally 3-D and is known for consisting of found, broken, or discarded objects being repurposed into something else.

This makes it a "greener" form of artwork, since often one is recycling components such as broken bits of trash and treasure.

Perhaps the assemblage art of the 1950s became better known years later. This is because in 1961, "The Art of Assemblage" was featured at the MOMA in New York, although many artists dating back as early as 1930 were making this form of artwork. Perhaps it's spike in the fifties and sixties made it more acceptable and "adopted" as a form of art!

FUN FACT: Assemblage artists normally call themselves mixed media artists, but not all mixed media artists are assemblage artists.

How-to Create Assemblage

Happy Clown Ira Mency
Happy Clown Ira Mency | Source

Assemblage Isn't Just for Adults Anymore...

Making assemblage art can be a fun project for adults and kids alike. Supplies can be found just about anywhere you look. Collecting your child's broken toys, old things, found objects, old tools, rusty parts, or forgotten about objects make for fine crafting. It can be a fun , creative, thought-provoking and rewarding pastime to do with the kids and get them thinking on how to repurpose items.

Starting assemblage artists may wish to use a good glue and build their sculpture. Over time one may wish to learn actual nut and bolt assembling, or even graduate into welding or construction techniques to assemblage their sculptures based on the chosen medium.

Often one chooses to incorporate something personal into the assemblage art, to give the sculpture more meaning. When creating an assemblage sculpture, there are no rights, or wrongs, just fun and creativity!

This "Happy Clown" sculpture by me, incorporates Old Erector Set toys in it. I can't tell you how many people have commented on having a set like this when they were young.

Imagination is Key to Assemblage!

Imagine Sculpture by Ira Mency mixed plastic, rubber, fabric, metal glass and ceramic.
Imagine Sculpture by Ira Mency mixed plastic, rubber, fabric, metal glass and ceramic. | Source

Imagine...

Imagination is one of the key components in becoming a "good" assemblage artist. Think outside the box, and see things for their alternative use instead of what they really are. Size up the shape and detail of something and make it into something else, all the while expressing yourself.

Imagine. Live. Love. Create! Different mediums aren't a no no, in fact it's almost a go go.

Items You Can Use in Assemblage

Items like this can be used in making sculpture.
Items like this can be used in making sculpture. | Source

Items You Can Save for Use in Assemblage

Plastic items include: buttons, jewelry pieces, toy cars, plastic luggage tags, game pieces, parts, handles, broken action figures, broken doll parts, caps or lids, various toy pieces.

Metal items include: industrial gears, clock parts, knobs, handles, jewelry, toy cars, license plates, metal tags, industrial valves, bolts, old keys, found objects, belt hoops, medical or film tins, or old lamp parts.

Wood items include toy blocks, building blocks, wooden discs.

Leather or fabric items include: laces, pieces of leather, cord, rope or old collars, or parts from old purses such as straps.

Glass or Ceramic items include: broken insulators, old bottles, small parts and pieces, vials and cylinders , watch parts.



Tell me....

Ira Mency Assemblage
Ira Mency Assemblage

Have you ever done Assemblage Art?

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Now look at these 5 assemblage sculptures that I love and vote for your favorite at the end!

Fanny Frolicking Fawn by Beat Up Creations

Fanny Frolicking Fawn by Beat Up Creations *Click to Visit Artist Site*
Fanny Frolicking Fawn by Beat Up Creations *Click to Visit Artist Site* | Source

County Fair by Suzanna Scott

County Fair by Suzanna Scott
County Fair by Suzanna Scott | Source

Boxer Dog by Leo Sewell

Boxer Dog by Leo Sewell
Boxer Dog by Leo Sewell | Source

Kitchen Robot by Donna Leuck

Kitchen Robot by Donna Leuck
Kitchen Robot by Donna Leuck | Source

Revival Boy by Cat Bishop

Revival Boy by Cat Bishop
Revival Boy by Cat Bishop | Source

Which is your favorite?

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2011 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer

Guestbook Comments

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    • whitneywpanetta1 profile image

      whitneywpanetta1 

      9 years ago

      I love assemblages and was excited to stumble on your site! You have great resources and I will be checking back!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      9 years ago

      Interesting idea for a project!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      10 years ago from SE Michigan

      These are some really great pieces. I am always looking for inspiration on projects to do with my daughter and I've hit the jackpot here. Thanks for sharing these!

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