March 21, 2009

What a collage!

Dear Scott,

First I would like to tell you how inspiring your collages on those bottles are to me and I would love to hear your stories on them and also your own collage making process. Let's start with the questions, shall we?

1. I used to know collage when I start making zines, therefore my understanding of collage is like a paper art. But then as time goes by I notice that apart from paper there are many other material we can use. How about you and collage in general, how did it start?
I did my first bottle-collage in 1998. i was visiting a friend who was working on a collage, and to pass the time, she suggested that i join her. i had a wine bottle with me, so she also suggested that i just collage the bottle. it took about 30 minutes to do that first one. i probably made about 4 more bottle-collages from 1998 until 2005, but they were all just quick gifts to give to a few friends. i didn't take collage that seriously back then since i was more interested in poetry and graffiti. however in 2006 i started to work on a bottle-collage for a friend's birthday,and that bottle is the bottle that got me hooked. i lost track of time entirely. it took 4 months to complete, but during that time i realized that i wanted to go further and to get deeper into collage.

2. So when you start to combine paper and glasses (bottle) together in making a collage? Are there many trial and errors first
before you nail them?
i have a lot of trial and error - especially when my collages started to become 3-dimensional, but during each process i know that i'm learning a little bit more. overall though, my biggest struggle has been with glue. in some moments i imagine myself on one of those 'blooper' shows. i struggle with glue on many different levels. daily.

3. One most awesome part about your collages to me is the usage of those bottles as the medium. How do you deal with those many paper layers so that they stick really good to the round glasses of the bottle?
i use a lot of glue. my main antagonists are: a glue stick, contact cement and weldbond (a super adhesive) supposedly used by the NASA space program. i usually use a glue stick on paper-to-paper contact, and paper-to-glass, but for anything 3-dimensional i have to build tiny, thick support systems or make braces to attach other layers of collage to. i'm trying to get to a point where paper just appears to float, but i have a ways to go. as far as layering goes, i'm starting to get into d├ęcollage after seeing some works by mimmo rotella. i really like the appeal of ripping paper away to the next layers and creating something by chance. i like the mystery behind it.

4. Apart from paper, are there any other materials that you've tried on the bottle and how do they go?
i have a friend who incorporates taxidermy into his sculptures, so he's taught me how to preserve bits of nature. i've used preserved flower petals as coral reef on one of my bottles, and also tiny plants as trees. i've used shells as pattern. i've been working on a (comic book style) 'film noir' bottle that i'll eventually add ants to. if i'm working with anything other than paper, i try to keep things simple and minimal - but i enjoy branching-out and using different materials.

5. Is there any special tips that you would like to share if someone would like to make one too?
first find a bottle that you're interested in because there are so many choices: wine bottles to baby food jars. wash the labels off (or leave them on)and get ready for a good time.
i've found that it's easier to do the collage clock-wise (and not in two directions). if you're going to do intricate work, you'll need tweezers (long and short). when you're finished, if you want to protect the collage and give it a sparkle, you could spray shellac on it. if you use shellac or contact cement, you should do it in a well-ventilated place or wear a mask. contact cement is the easiest to clean-up since it gets gummy when it dries and you can pull it up without a mess. weldbond dries clear but i've been making a mess of it. welbond gets stronger everyday it's been used - so if you're having second thoughts on on a section of collage you used weldbond on, and now you just want to try and pry it up...it's too late. do whatever though (have fun) - pull out your magazine, and comics and just try different things. you can start several bottles at once too.

6. Anything else that you would like to share with us like your shop, online gallery, flickr, etc?
i have some work at flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/25038365@N05/
and i have some dimebag poetry at sloppyjames.com. they're short poems i wrote 5 years ago in san fransisco before collage entered the picture. i've been writing new poems periodically for a year and a half for a small book that i hope to finish soon.
that's about it for me, looking forward to the summer, still looking for some quintessential advice on glue.
and, if you're interested in seeing great collage art, you should check out the talented: anniedescoteaux.com

Thank you so much, Scott! For sharing all these and being so inspiring,

Vantiani

2 comments:

Kaitlin said...

Bottle collages. That rules. I'm a rubber cement, scissors, and magazines kind of a girl. I don't, however, hold back. :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foshow/sets/72157616173650503/

vantiani said...

Hello, Kaitlin!

I've tried to open your link but apparently it's wrong spelling something so that I can't be opened.

Glad you love Scott's works also:)

Vantiani.

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