Thursday, March 25, 2010

Revisiting Bricolage

I found the following on Thought I would pass it on.

The word comes from the French bricole, used to describe a trifle or an odd job. By definition, bricolage includes objects and skills which are readily available. One famous bricoleur, MacGyver, was capable of utilizing the commonplace items around him to come up with ingenious solutions, ranging from rappelling tools to incendiary devices. Many people consider MacGyver to be a paragon in the field, and they may look up to him as a role model who illustrates the idea that anything is possible with a keen mind and a Swiss army knife.

In art, bricolage typically involves found objects which may be integrated into musical performances, sculptures, or other artistic expressions. It can also refer to a blending of styles; when a punk band reinterprets classical music, for instance, this is bricolage. Bricolage can also play a role in the field of design; many interior designers, for example, use bricolage to come up with innovative, distinctive, and unique designs for their clients.

You can also find bricolage in the computer world. Many people who work as programmers, for example, talk about playing around and using a trial and error approach in their work, while numerous websites take the form of bricolage, collecting material from a wide range of sources and presenting it for their users. The body of work on these sites is often quite extensive and incredibly varied; with content ranging from interviews with Presidential candidates to pictures of animals with silly captions.

Some people describe bricolage as the ability to make art with whatever is at hand, and the ability to think outside the box when it comes to using items. To an ordinary person, a paperclip is just a paperclip. To a bricoleur, a paperclip holds a world of possibilities as sculptural support, firing pin, etching tool, and much, much more.

Here is my second bricolage installment. Guess that makes me a bricoleur. I call it Push for an A. Once again, I tried to turn leftovers into a story, using only scraps of paper I pulled from an envelope without looking. I had to get creative, because some of the pieces didn't go well together color wise. But, by overlapping and layering, I tried to make it all work and stuck with the idea that I would use whatever I pulled from the scrap envelope.

I used no glue on the papers. I stuck everything down with gesso. The only glue I used was E6000 to attach the bottle cap.

I found today's blog through a random search. I really liked Kathy Dorfer's blog as soon as I saw her blog banner. Her painted birds (ravens) are both colorful and filled with whimsy. She also works with beads. I think you will like her colorful birds, beads, and photographs as much as I did.

10 thoughtful remarks:

Healing Woman said...

I can definitely see you taking a paper clip and turning it into a work of art. You are truly a bricoleur. I think that term works for a lot of us. Thanks for the new terminology. I like coming to your learning posts.



Marilyn Rock said...

Enjoyed your bricolage post and work! It's honestly a new term for me. Thank you! Have a great day Elizabeth - and Bluebeard, too. :) xxoo

Diane said...

You know, I'm going to have to try this. I have so much stuff,that it gets overwhelming--then I give up before I even start. I should just limit myself to whatever I grab. It's a good exercise.

ooglebloops said...

I first saw this term yesterday- and now am attempting the process in making some inchies!! I guess I am a fledgling bricoleur!!!
Also am following Gwen's blog now, from your previous post link. Thanks!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I'm really enjoying your explorations with bricolage- LOVE the hershey kisses wrapper you stuck in there! Keep 'em coming!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

I think you pulled it off really well, I am fascinated that you "glued" everything with gesso ... clear gesso? I really like using Gel Medium to attach metal bits, no smell at all and it works like a charm.
I always have bits of this and that on my work table, great source of materials for collage :)
Off to check out today's link, thank you E!

Debby said...

Great post! Brocolage is new to me, will have to investigate.

Terri Kahrs said...

Can't believe that you managed to get all the bits and bobs to relate. And you did it really, really well! I enjoyed today's post immensely. Thanks for the inspiration, Elizabeth! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Margaret said...

I think it all looks fab together, great result! lovely link, thank you! Margaret

Meadowlark Days said...

I love this piece - very fun!