Assemblage in Progress!

Hello all! It feels like an eternity since I’ve been here on the blog! The past week has been extremely busy. Unfortunately, I’ve had to take work home from my job nearly every single evening, and it’s left me feeling physically and emotionally drained, without much time or energy for creativity.

Fortunately, a weekend relatively free of obligations has provided some much-needed studio time, and I’m so grateful for that!

Two weeks ago, I participated in a boxed assemblage workshop taught by the wonderful Crystal Neubauer at her new studio, which is located a few miles from my home in Racine, Wisconsin. It was my first experience with assemblage, and I was very excited to learn some skills related to this really cool art form! I was able to attend the first day of the workshop and began altering and adding to a vintage wooden spice rack I’d purchased at a local antique mall, but was forced to miss the second day due to illness, leaving my project in limbo. Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to continue working on it, which was a lot of fun!


The spice rack has 9 separate alcoves, which originally featured tiny ceramic containers, inside of which could be stored various spices. When I brought the rack home, I discarded the containers and developed a plan to create mini collaged assemblages inside five of the spaces, and mounted 2 x 2″ canvas collages in the remaining four spaces.

Vintage and patterned papers serve as a base for all of the artwork in the alcoves and on the canvases. A variety of other items have been added, such as gold Dresden foil, lace trim, measuring tape, beads, charms, a frozen Charlotte, a drawer pull, a piece trimmed from a vintage wooden yardstick, and metal embellishments. Two pieces cut from a vintage folding ruler are attached to the outside of the rack, along with a metal label, a laser-cut wood embellishment, and more drawer pulls. Found text has also found its way into several of the vignettes, and on the outer surfaces of the rack.

While I’ve finished creating artwork on all four of the 2 x 2″ canvases, I’ve only been able to mount one of them in the rack at this point. I discovered that a 2″ wooden spool would be the ideal height upon which to mount the canvases, but unfortunately I only had access to one. I was lucky to find an online craft retailer who sells 2″ spools, and I’m currently waiting for my order to arrive so I can mount the canvases and finish the piece.


I’ve added vintage photographs to two of the canvases. The photo that was added to the canvas above features Grandma Alice in 1939, when she was 20 years old.

I’m looking forward to completing and hanging this piece in my home, and when I do, I’ll be sure to post more photos!

Have a great week, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!


About Jenny Petricek

I am a mixed-media artist who loves collage, bookmaking, journaling, and memory art.
This entry was posted in Assemblage, Mixed-Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Assemblage in Progress!

  1. Wonderful start! Totally love this and glad you’re feeling better. Looking forward to seeing this finished!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Laura! 🙂 Still waiting for the missing pieces to arrive in the mail…and I’ll be heading to Florida on vacation at the end of the week. Guess I’ll just have to hope they’ll arrive while I’m gone so I can have something to look forward to when I get back home! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl says:

    I am liking this project of yours. Please tell me what a frozen charlotte is. It took me awhile to figure out the 2″ spool part but I’ve figured it out. Very smart idea for mounting the photos. I love the photo of your grandmother and I love the wooden yardstick pieces. I have seen them many times but not purchased one. This coming weekend I’m going to the vintage antique craft fair to look for assemblage pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A frozen Charlotte is a tiny porcelain or china doll that was popular with little girls around the turn of the 20th century. They were usually sold for a penny, and came without clothing. You can find some of them at antique stores, though they often are quite weathered and are missing limbs. 😉 I have yet to find an authentic one in an antique store, so the one I used here is a reproduction that Tim Holtz sells in his Idea-ology line of products. You can find them at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I’m heading to Florida at the end of the week, and am hoping to hit up some of the antique stores down there. Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll finally find a real one! 🙂 Happy hunting to you!


  3. What a lovely way to remember your Grandma, and isn’t it a beautiful piece of art. I wish you more healthful times soon. X

    Liked by 1 person

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