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Collage in Wood

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Project by ferstler posted 11-15-2012 04:11 PM 979 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently, my wife saw a photo (in a magazine) of a collage made out of what appeared to be scrap pieces of wood, stained and cut to various sizes and attached to a large board. She asked if I could do something like that to hang in our den.

Well, luckily I have lots of scrap wood, and was eager to get rid of it, and so I built a collage out of select pine, Brazilian pine, douglas fir, cedar, redwood, maple, and even dogwood. The last two were made from pieces of troubled trees I cut down last year and kept in storage to dry out.

I used a variety of wood stains, and in some cases no stain (cedar does well with no stain, at least when varnished), and also used food coloring on some of the lighter pieces. Yep, food coloring. Unlike paint, food coloring allows the wood grain to show through, and it can be safely clear coated with polyurethane. The pieces are mounted (using PL constructive adhesive) on a ½-inch-thick mdf board, were given five coats of polyurethane (three brushed on individual pieces before assembly and two sprayed on after assembly) and the result is a 19 pound wall-hanging collage that requires some sturdy wire clips in the back and sturdy hooks on the room wall. The size is roughly 24×30.

One nifty thing about it is that unlike with canvasses, pastels and the like, you can run your hands over it without worrying about doing any damage. The pieces vary in thickness, allowing for a tactile, as well as visual, thrill.

The thing is done, and photos (finished product as well as some construction shots) are attached. The frame around the collage is redwood. I wanted to stain it dark, using something like red-oak stain, which can look almost mahogany like with redwood, but the wife said she likes the looks of that stuff in this case with no stain or even clear coating at all. If she changes her mind (and I hope she eventually does) the frame pieces (held in place by screws and not glue) are easy to remove and give a finish.

Howard Ferstler





9 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile (online now)

Hawaiilad

1994 posts in 1675 days


#1 posted 11-15-2012 07:03 PM

I really like this piece….perhaps making the boards thinner and thinner backer board would make it lighter.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11236 posts in 830 days


#2 posted 11-15-2012 07:17 PM

I like it a lot! Ever refreshing!

View ferstler's profile

ferstler

333 posts in 2175 days


#3 posted 11-15-2012 08:09 PM

Larry, I toyed with using 1/4-inch mdf instead of 1/2 inch, but felt that I needed a stiff surface on which to mount the pieces. Most of the pieces themselves did not seem all that heavy as I handled each during the project, but of course quantity adds up and so I have a 19-pound wall hanging.

Howard

View Hawaiilad's profile (online now)

Hawaiilad

1994 posts in 1675 days


#4 posted 11-15-2012 08:31 PM

Howard I can understand needing to have a solid surface backing for the pieces to be attached. I use backer boards allot, but try to keep them about 1/4” thick and use plywood, which seems a bit lighter. Either way, your wife should be happy with your design. Looking at the picture of your shop tools looks allot like my shop tools…same brands.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4369 posts in 1691 days


#5 posted 11-16-2012 01:21 PM

An interesting and eye-catching piece of work, well done, Howard.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1058 days


#6 posted 11-16-2012 02:58 PM

I think you’re right about the frame, especially if it could be made to match the bookshelves. I’ve been experimenting with a variety of atypical stains as well, including fruit tea, fruit preserves, and blood. Food coloring sounds like an excellent idea, thanks for sharing!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View ferstler's profile

ferstler

333 posts in 2175 days


#7 posted 11-16-2012 04:11 PM

Gee, vakman,

Who’s blood?

Howard Ferstler

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1058 days


#8 posted 11-16-2012 04:24 PM

Mine, unfortunately, see my last project. The color comes out quite well on light wood.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Straightbowed's profile

Straightbowed

717 posts in 952 days


#9 posted 11-16-2012 11:15 PM

thats nice I is gonna build a couple these

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

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