Found object art includes diverse works by amazing artists. It’s created from everyday objects, natural or man-made, new or discarded. Part of the artists work is seeing these objects as something different from their everyday use.
Found object art is divided into several types. Some assemblage artists like Leo Sewell use toys, containers, utensils, tools and machine parts to create animals and human sculptures we can all recognize. He often includes objects related to the final form, like a knife made of knives or a horse with toy horses and pieces of tack. Learn more about Sewell and his art.
Others like Jimmy Descant, the Rocket Man, have a broader vision for their work. His first Rocket was a vacuum cleaner disassembled and reassembled into what might be called vintage-futurist. It’s what a 1950s guy might think a late 21st century rocket would look like. Descant’s works have expanded including western themes and performance art. Check it out this video.
Multi-media artist, Patrick Dougher, grew up in a working class family where he said art wasn’t valued. As an African-American/Irish youth he was attracted to primitive African masks. Building his own from scrap metal and wood from the streets was his only option.
For years Dougher didn’t call himself an artist. It didn’t fit his idea of what people like him did. After many years of being “a guy who makes art” he not only sees himself as an artist but has also expanded as a musician and spiritual leader. His pieces are varied and can be seen at his website godbodyart.com
Safe-At-Home Inspired Art
Recently I’ve been thinking about found object art with so many of us using our extra time at home to clean out attics, dig in gardens and explore our environments. What a great opportunity to really look at the things we discover and say, “What can I make with this?” Found objects may trigger childhood memories, be simply beautiful or may puzzle us with “What on earth is this?” We can expand our idea of art and our creativity by being inspired by everyday things.
Make a Wind Chime
A fun, easy found object art project is a wind chime. You’ve seen these made of odd silverware and utensils, but think outside the kitchen and you can see many more possibilities. If you really want a “chime,” metal objects are best. Other objects that sound nice are shells, rocks, glass and even hard plastic. Be careful with glass objects and don’t put them with things that might break them.
People may look at you funny when you bang junk together and listen. Objects “chime” better when hung loosely. Take your time deciding what you like best. Cleverly combining the sound and look of objects can elevate this craft to fine art.
Many found objects already have holes or hooks to attach objects. If not, a strong glue like E-6000 will hold thread, string or weather-proof fishing line loops to most. The truly handy can drill holes. But be careful! Different materials need different drill bits to avoid shattering!
Choose a variety of sizes and types of objects to get different tones. The frame can be a found object too! Or you can construct one using wire to combine objects. Chimes may include a center horizontal disc. Hang objects close enough to swing into it. The disc’s line should hang lowest ending in a flat object to catch the wind. You can leave objects as you find them or paint or embellish them.
I hope you will enjoy found object art by exploring pieces by known artists or just letting your own found objects to inspire you.