Abstract Art From Shutterboard and Wood Cut-offs

3 Materials
6 Hours

A big statement art piece for next to nothing.

This is how it started, a gazillion little wooden blocks destined for the braai (barbeque). They come from a furniture maker and are sold by the bag. But they are so beautiful it would be a travesty to just burn them. So I started going through the bags and took out the best looking ones.

Next I bought a big sheet of thin plywood shutterboard and had the shop cut it a bit smaller. This saved me a lot of effort. It was still pretty big though, in the picture above you can see it hanging over the edges of the table. Thereby hangs a tale that almost cost me some broken bones.

I sanded the edges to get the worst splinters out. Then, without really planning beforehand, I masked some areas and sprayed them with spray paint. As luck would have it plain white piant had been out of stock and knowing as little as I do, I just grabbed the Plascon Aerolak can with a whitish lid and ignored the ‘broken white’ description. Who pays attention to all these ridiculous paint names after all?

Well, this turned out to be quite lucky because when Plascon says ‘broken white’, they mean ‘broken white’. At first spray it was so thin that I thought there was something wrong the can! Only then did it occur to me that ‘broken white’ implies a thinner coat that is intended to show off wood grain - perfect for my application. It is also a softer white and thus a bit more forgiving.

After the fall...

When I was satisfied with my painted background, I started arranging blocks. When working on something large, I believe it is good to get a bird’s eye view in order not to have warped perspective. So the obvious thing was to stand on the table. Which is what I did. The next thing is to watch out if the plywood sheet hangs over the table edge and is unsupported. Which I didn’t.

And then I went flying, in full view of about 9 people at an opposite ground floor apartment who saw this all coming. By a sure miracle I wasn’t hurt and got onto the table again. If you do this project please let me know of a better way to do this.

The damage
The fix: sanding, wood glue and clamp

The damage was minor and could be fixed with wood glue and some strategic alteration to the composition.

There was some debate about what glue to use so we ended up using both wood and hot glue. The most efficient way was to have one person handle the glue gun and the other to apply the wood glue.

Then there was the not insignificant issue of getting my artistic vision mounted onto the wall. Luckily the plywood was a lot lighter than we had anticipated.

I can’t really give you details, all I know was that there were two rawl- bolts involved, as well as a lot of measuring and muttering by the husband. And two extra blocks added in strategic places. It does still buckle a bit but this could be remedied with some double sided tape.

Now all I should do is ad an illegible signature and everyone will think it cost thousands.

Resources for this project:

Placon Spray paint
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3 of 9 comments
  • Carla
    on Jan 11, 2020

    Yes I would love to you in the summer

  • Carla
    on Jan 11, 2020

    An easier way to do that if some buy some way you could stand that board up and look at it through a mirror

    • Thea
      on Jan 11, 2020

      I should have but I was too lazy to stick all the blocks temporarily.😒

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