Sunday 9 June 2019

2019 #9 Topic Introduction: Arty Wood Blocks

  2019 Topic 9: Arty Wood Blocks

Hello everyone, Keren here! It's new topic time and we're carving out a little bit of time to consider all things arty and wooden. Well, not all things, but certainly of the block kind. When you think about it, a block is simply just a super tactile substrate and as you'll see, it's a base, it's a building block or something to add colour and dimension to. Drill it, connect it, cut out of it; the possibilities are endless.

Starting, (as we like to do) with a PaperArtsy example, I picked this beauty from Liesbeth Fidder that she shared on the PaperArtsy blog 4 years ago. She described it as a chunky ATC and made the most of the multiple faces to cram colour and character into the piece.

Being a simple girl at heart, I adore pared back treatments of items. The suspended flora and fauna on wires and the swipe of paint really gives the cube character.

Many of the block projects you can find are artsy and there are some that just sing with beauty. This utterly gorgeous sample combines book pages, brush strokes and you can glimpse the wooden texture through the black paint.

A simple block of wood can be transformed into something magnificent. Artist Kirsty Elson has created such characterful cottages and stunning scenes. Don't you love the raw wood roofs; rough and almost weather worn?

I've included the next example as a springboard for your ideas. These would look amazing with painted and stamped surfaces. 

Perhaps you fancy a little assemblage and the chance to constantly change your piece. This is a fab idea using lots of smaller blocks.

Blocks don't need to be square or oblong right?! This almost looks like a galaxy. Sharp angles and bold painting create an almost explosive looking piece.

This bevy of beauties would stand proudly on anyone's mantelpiece. The wire wrapped  and beaded poles emanating from the block bases are a gorgeous detail.

I thought this next example was an interesting idea of how to use arty blocks. They'd make great glass identifiers for your next party! Love the miniature size of them too.

Decorating wood can use up lots of little ephemera you might have lying around. Notice the way elements are stacked here, and it gives some great ideas of things you can add.

Transforming a bare block into a piece of art to display somewhere is a satisfying process. The handle is a gorgeous final flourish onto this multi layered seasonal delight.

Lisa Hoel

Adding handles and feet seems to be a popular theme. These projects show how decorating each face adds to the effect and brings a wholeness to each piece.

One of the other trends I noticed whilst hunting down block samples, was Encaustic Art. Encaustic Art for me conjured up memories of odd looking arty pieces using wax and an iron, so seeing these beautiful and subtle pieces was a real eye opener. Lots of natural colour schemes being used seems to be more at one with the wood blocks that they rest on, and I recommend you search for more examples of the technique. This particular image also has a Sara Naumann vibe. I could see some of these stamps being perfect.

Why have one block, when you could use three?!! Stacking a selection of differently decorated blocks gives real height (obviously!) but opens up new possibilities.

We couldn't finish without looking at ways to connect the blocks with things hanging from them. Again, you'll find some awesome examples:

Do remember that not all 'blocks' need to be angular. These wooden 'block' sewing reels make a quirky collection, and will have us all rifling through our sewing stash!

Before we wrap the topic up, I hope you'll indulge me with one last picture. It's actually a photo of one of my possessions, and I have always kept it as a reminder of where I started creatively. Some of you will no doubt remember these, and do let me know if you have any still, but this is (in my view) an example of an arty wooden block...that has the potential to create much much more art! 

Do search for Artist Trading Blocks too, as this search term will bring up even more examples. Check out the PaperArtsy Arty Wooden Blocks pinterest board for more inspiration.
You're going to love the projects we have coming up for this topic. We are not doing the linked challenge  for 2019, so if you want to create along with us and this topic, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world! 


Helen said...

fabulous samples to start this topic off.

Etsuko said...

Fabulous topic and amazing samples, I love the wood block art and have a go some. xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

What a brilliant and inspiring intro, Keren! So many ideas! Thank you! X

A Pink said...

A terrific topic and a fab post full of arty wood block inspiration .
Tfs sourcing and sharing Keren x