Altered Art Assemblage: Recycled Robot with Leslie Brier

Learn a variety of cold-connection techniques, collage methods, and experiment with Aves Apoxie Sculpt (a two-part epoxy clay for sculpting), while constructing a your own altered art robot from found items. You will recycle/upcycle familiar objects, such as alarm clocks and spice tins, and give them a brand new identity as they are assembled and combined with pieces of hardware and bits and bobs that less creative souls would see as junk. Visit robot student Linda Morgan’s blog to view photos and read a rave review of a past session of this class!

Depending on the size you choose and your pace/method of working, you may be able to complete more than one robot in this workshop! Aves Apoxie Sculpt, matte medium/clear gesso, paper ephemera, acrylic paint, watercolor pencils, small bits of hardware, beads, buttons and plastic tubing will be provided for use by all. (Extra assemblage items will be available for purchase, but are not required.) Tools will also be available to share.

Supply List

Students should bring the following materials to class. Download PDF version of supply list to print »

  • Items for bodies — For example, spice tins or wind-up alarm clocks, new or old, work nicely. (If you will be using a clock, the housing on the clock should be metal, not plastic.) See photos for inspiration and use your imagination!
  • Items for heads, arms, legs and accessories. Don’t worry in advance about how you’ll attach items — just bring what strikes your fancy and we’ll work with the most ideal best cold connection technique. Examples of the kind of items and materials that work well:
    • tins smaller than your body tin, e.g., flat candy, shoe polish or snuff tins, etc.
    • keys
    • game pieces
    • costume jewelry
    • broken watches
    • watch bands
    • typewriter keys
    • buttons
    • tiny spoons
    • bottle caps
  • Wire 18, 20, and 22 gauge (a few yards of each)
  • Metal paint, alcohol inks, Gilder’s paste, etc. to add color and highlights. A variety of suitable products are available at Artistic Artifacts; leafing pens and other metallic paint markers work well too. Consider bringing favorite or coordinating colors of acrylic paint too.
  • If desired, bits of paper ephemera or images to add to robots. Text and images must be printed or laser printed (inkjet images will bleed)

Basic tools to bring

  • Flat paint brush (a 3/8" size works well)
  • Safety glasses (you will be cutting and punching wire and metal and need eye protection)

Tools will be available to share, so there is no need to purchase new, but if you already own, please bring any or all of the following:

    • clay tools (or any item you can use to push the Apoxie Sculpt around with)
    • Dremel tool or any one of the following: screw punch, hand drill, Crop-a-Dile
    • center punch
    • jewelry tools — Leslie usually uses round nose pliers, two pair of bent chain nose pliers, and a pair of pliers with a flat blade

Email Leslie if you have any questions.

About the Instructor: Leslie Brier is a mixed media artist and freelance graphic designer. She loves to hunt through thrift stores and salvage yards to find items that have been cast off because they are no longer considered beautiful or useful, and give them a new identity. She lives in Fredericksburg, VA with her husband and two children. Visit her blog: www.brierdesignstudio.blogspot.com.

(Artwork and photographs © Leslie Brier; all rights reserved. Used with permission.)

The photographs included here are examples of Leslie’s altered robots; visit Leslie’s blog for a posting about this same class as part of the Art & SoulVirginia Beach curriculum, which includes photos of student work.