Art from old picnic table

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Project by ferstler posted 06-21-2013 08:59 PM 1673 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have previously posted pictures and commentary about several of the wall-hanging collages I have made using a variety of woods: cedar, redwood, pine, oak, maple, fir, and even dogwood. All were surface treated with a variety of wood stains, as well as even food coloring, and then clear coated with either satin varnish or satin lacquer. Really vivid pieces of work, those, and I plan on submitting a digital portfolio of pictures of the bunch to several local art galleries, starting at the top tier and working downward as I am rejected! Hopefully, somebody in one of those galleries will think they are great and I will have me an art show.

Anyway, I have now created two more, but they are different from the previous batch. These new ones were both made from well-weathered pine boards that I put into storage for a while after dismantling the picnic table out back that the wife and I never used. We prefer eating indoors.

Mother nature did a good 20-year number on the wood, and all I had to do to get it into shape was wet the various pieces down good with some strong bleach and then hose them off. After a few days drying out inside the shop, I cut the bleached boards into multiple, rectangular sizes (I also cut them thinner, to save weight, using both a table saw and band saw), gave each one some food-coloring dye work (various colors, as you can see), glued them onto good-sized, half-inch thick plywood boards, and that was that. (As with the earlier collages, I used PL Construction Adhesive, because it holds fast enough without having to clamp.) I clear coated the smaller one with Rustoleum matte clear coating spray (as an experiment, because I wanted no sheen), but the surface did not smooth out (it actually got a bit rougher), so I left the bigger one alone. Raw wood, dyed colors, and with a more pastel theme than the earlier collages.

The big one (31×35 inches in size, and weighing all of 20 pounds) is now on the den wall of our house, being “confiscated” by my wife, and replacing the smaller and previous 25×31 inch version that had multiple wood types and vivid colors. (A photo of that previous one, with its black frame, which also weighs 20 pounds, is shown, too, and you can see that vividness.) That older one will go into the portfolio.

The smaller weathered wood collage (11×31 in size) is also in the sale portfolio. Both versions have no frames and are mounted in such a way that they stand out from the wall. I still have plenty of old pine wood on hand, and hope to make additional collages of this type, and the other type as well, for the portfolio. Hopefully, my wife will not confiscate any of them.

Also shown is the work area in the shop, with both collages before they were stained. The pieces had not been glued down at that time, because I needed to individually color them without getting color onto adjacent pieces. The materials for still another collage project can be seen next to the weathered-wood items.

Howard Ferstler

8 comments so far

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3936 days

#1 posted 06-21-2013 09:52 PM

Nice use of scrap wood. Very colorful and would good on anyone’s wall.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3527 days

#2 posted 06-22-2013 02:54 AM

I really like your wall art. Pardon the pun but I like this kind of ‘off the wall’ creation. I think you and I have a similar eye. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it’s definately for me. Well done!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4364 days

#3 posted 06-22-2013 07:36 AM

Mondrian would be proud of you

-- Dreaming patterns

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3515 days

#4 posted 06-25-2013 03:33 PM

It’s unique and attractive, like the colors. It will make a great accent in any room. Like it.

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4027 days

#5 posted 06-25-2013 11:25 PM

Beautiful… I love it

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View Karson's profile


35295 posts in 5739 days

#6 posted 10-28-2013 05:05 PM

Beautiful job on your wall hanging.

Very talented.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 4859 days

#7 posted 10-28-2013 06:17 PM

The good news about all of this is that I now have over 40 collages in four local art galleries, as well as in a really big gallery in a nearby town, where two big ones and three tiny ones are part of a big show. Even a local, non-chain bookstore is exhibiting some. Better yet, quite a few of the pieces have sold, as has a chess board I also had in one gallery. Other chessboards (all of which I have also submitted as projects on this site) are also out there for sale.

My wife pushed me to get a part-time job a while back (I am retired and 70 years old), and it looks like my becoming an “artist” is now my part-time job. The thing is that I have sold enough items so far to require quite a bit of work time out in the shop. Nice to get paid for playing with my toys.

Howard Ferstler

View Skylark53's profile


2867 posts in 4399 days

#8 posted 02-16-2014 07:12 PM

Nice save. Great use of colors too.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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