Friday, September 28, 2012

Art Abandonment, Part One

For several months I have been a member of a Facebook group called Art Abandonment.  It was started by a well-known artist named Michael deMeng; you can read how it all got started on his blog, Assemblog of Michael deMeng.  Basically, we are a group of people who make all different sorts of art, and occasionally leave our art in public places for any random stranger to find and keep.  You can join the group too, if you like; you just have to put in a request to join.  When you are approved, you can post comments and pictures there.

This week I finally had time to work on some art, and I spent a couple of blissful hours making six altered matchboxes to abandon. You might remember that I posted a picture of a matchbox with a winged heart on top, that I made as a trial run about a month ago.  I like that matchbox, but I like these new ones even better!  Here they are in all their eye-popping brightness:

Today I will show you how I made them.  In a couple of days I will show you where I left them (I still have two that I plan to abandon tomorrow.)

Start with empty matchboxes.  You can find a package of 10 in most grocery stores for about a dollar.  (What you do with all those matches is up to you!)  I covered my boxes with pages from a discarded book, but scrapbook paper would also be great.  I used an X-acto knife to cut the pages from the book, and to cut the paper to size.  Scotch brand Quick Dry Adhesive is the name of the glue I used to adhere the paper to the boxes.

To decorate them, it helps to have a pile of bright fabric scraps like the one below:

I made a little fabric collage for the top of each box, starting with a base fabric cut to the size of the box top. Then I cut bits of fabric and arranged them in pleasing combinations on the base, and topped each one with a fabric heart.  All the edges are left raw.  I carefully moved each collage to the sewing machine and stitched all around the edges with a contrasting thread--in this case, purple worked well for all of them.

I made hearts to go inside the boxes the same way:  starting with a base heart, I added scraps of other fabrics until I was pleased with the composition.  Then I topped each one with the question "got art?" stamped onto purple fabric.  After sewing around the edges of the collages, I added a back to each heart and hand-sewed it in place, stopping to stuff each one before closing the seam.

I wanted the inside of the matchboxes to be a little more interesting, so I cut out hearts and wings from scrapbook paper and glued them inside.  Then I brushed a thin, uneven coat of white acrylic paint over the entire matchbox, inside and out.  When the paint was dry, I glued the fabric collage to the top  of the matchbox and put the stuffed heart inside.

Below you can see an open matchbox with the tags that accompany each one.  They include an e-mail address that is monitored by someone at the Facebook group, so the person who finds the art can let us know it has been found.

Below you can see how I send each of my matchboxes out into the world, safely enclosed in a plastic bag.  I hope each one will brighten someone's day!


Kay said...

It would make someone's day to find a little gift like this.

Gill said...

These are fabulous!
As I'm not going to find one here in the UK(??) I'm going to make one!