10 July 2009


One of the online collage groups that I belong to had been discussing the various terms that describe what we do and the word bricolage came up. I love this word!

Bricolage: [bree-kuh‑lahzh] a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.

I just happened to have three small IKEA shadowbox frames lying around the studio. I buy frames "on spec" when they're pretty and interesing (and inexpensive!) The frame opening is only 5 1/2" square and is about 1 1/4" deep. I've been wanting to work on three-dimensional assemblages (Joseph Cornell's work has inspired me) and layering colors and textures. So, cool new word in hand, I jumped in.

I had scraps of illustration board leftover from making collagraph plates, so I cut those down to fit the frames. I painted layers of washes of paint on the illustration board (and forgot to take a picture) and then tore and glued down pieces from an Italian newspaper.

After the glue was dry, I painted a wash of cream acrylic paint over each board and then stamped designs over everything with more of the same diluted paint.

The cream wash toned everything down and the stamps added visual texture and interest. Next I glued on a few paper mesh squares and strips, and found object papers and letters.

Right now I'm waiting for the paint to dry on the little shelf supports that I cut to fit in each frame. I'll take more pictures when the shelves are attached to the boards and I start auditioning found objects to place on them.

Oh, and a person who makes bricolages is a bricoleur - wouldn't that look great on a business card?


Terry said...

Love how the diluted paint wash softens and unifies the paper. Your work is so distinctive. Maybe because you are the only bricoleur I know!

Jane Moxey said...

Are you sure you aren't a "bricolette," being of the female gender? Brico (Breeko) for short. Great name for a pet hamster or something!! I love the pieces -- what fun. Find the "objets" first and then put them together. I think it could be a new small book!

Mai-Britt Axelsen said...

Love these, thanks for sharing :O)

Marlis said...

jane, i love these! btw: have been at ikea today and bought some frames "on spec" ;-)

Deidre said...

Great word for the title. It sounds intriguing and has multiple levels of meaning.

I took a class called "Understanding Visual Language" a few semesters back, and "bricolage" was a term we discussed. In that context, it was described as a kind of appropriation and subversion of a thing from one culture to another, such as punk culture taking on work boots and flannel shirts, or low riders putting chandeliers in their cars.

Lovely work!

judy coates perez said...

Cool terms, although bricoleur made me think of brick layer the first time I read it. Maybe said with a french accent it would sound far more exotic, lol, but maybe brick layer still makes sense when you think about it.

Love the collages! or should I say Bricolages ;)