My husband doesn’t understand why I keep old “junk”. He tosses, I rescue. “What?!!! You threw that toilet paper core away???!!! I can use that!” Twenty-two years since our home was built and I still have two-by-four scraps in the basement. You get the picture [all puns intended].

 My recent introduction to the alternative photographic processes of cyanotype and encaustics sent me on new creative adventures and set my mind to wondering … can I use old scrap wood already cured … what can I do with disappointing cyanotypes … sure do have a stack of unused photos in boxes… The thoughts began to evolve. After my first successful attempt, the idea expanded.

Here is my second work.

Let’s follow what happened to the fall scene. I drilled a 3/8″ hole in the top center then rifled through twigs I kept for still life’s. That didn’t quite express what I wanted so I tore apart a sprig of silk fall leaves and added just a few to keep the work balanced visually and physically. It can’t be top heavy. A fall [pun again?] would be disastrous for the brittle little twigs.

I drilled a hole on top and inserted twigs then added silk leaves.

  A different view.

Displayed here with other art pieces that complement one another.

The little cyanotype encaustic below (4″ x 4″ x 2″) was screaming for details. I used a white Stabilo Woody® pencil to add a some fine lines then used a brush and white encaustic medium to bring out even more detail. By dripping white encaustic medium on a piece of parchment paper I made dots of various sizes. An awl was the perfect tool for picking up and placing each dot. It doubled as the tool for making two fine, shallow holes for baby’s breath stems. A light fusing finished the job.

 Cyanotype encaustic with baby’s breath coated in white encaustic medium.

With complementary blue chinaware.

           I feel vindicated for keeping that wood all those years. After all, look what happened to a few pieces of discarded two-by-fours, some small twigs from a neighbor’s yard, dried baby’s breath from my valentine bouquet, and creative thoughts.