Archive for the ‘recycled art’ Category

Fragments. An old chair. Inspiration for new work.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

As a small child I pulled things apart. Even, before I could talk, I ripped apart dolls and toys. I used to make little displays, installations of the fragments and other discarded things. Today I still pull things apart. I find fragments more pleasing and sometimes, even more interesting than the original object.



Recently, I pulled apart an old chair that had been hanging around for years. The wood was still good. The cloth and leather had grit and rust, just perfect for sculpture. The rustic bits and pieces also related to some textile fragments, I unpicked from an 1800’s, quilt topper. I’m still working on outcomes and painting has crept in too. Below are some pics of the process.






How to make Collages from Old Damaged Books.

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Re: Artwork & Article Published in US. Magazine.



Vintage Pulp

As, mentioned in an earlier post , (Vintage Pulp Fiction Collages) here are some photos of my published article last year, in “Sew Somerset Summer 2016” magazine. I have also included below, how you can to make your own mixed – media collage and drawings from damaged books. I get really addicted to making these little artworks and love reclaiming, tattered books, destined for the garbage, giving them a new life.





Damaged vintage “Pulp Fiction” books, or any other book
Acrylic gesso paint.
Coloured pencils, pens, inks, crayons etc. (I wouldn’t use felt pens as they might seep through)
Vintage fabric. (Damaged, stained, vintage tablecloths, tea towels, even old doilies)
Glue stick
Threads (any colour)

Cutting mat
Box knife or scalpel
Sewing machine (Optional)
Small cheap paint brush or, sponge brush
A few rags for wiping paint or glue

Carefully cut or tear out a page from the book. This will be used for your artwork base.

To stabilize the delicate book page, paint each side with acrylic Gesso paint, leaving sections of text, and images showing.

Now for the fun part. Once the Gesso paint is dry, draw, paint, scribble and smudge, onto one side of the paper only. You can use paint, coloured pencils, ink, pens etc. Start gluing on bits of found text and images, cut from other pages in the book. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s fun creating nonsense “gibber jabber”

Next, cut a piece of vintage cloth, about 1 inch – 2cm. larger, than the book page.

Leaving the edges of the cloth raw, hand or machine stitch the cloth to the page, on all 4 sides. Without being too precious, make random marks, by stitching and detouring across and through the piece, as you like.

Continue working on the collage with more stitching, marks and text, until satisfied.

Note: On the underside of the collage the stitching will have left some very interesting marks. Two artworks in one!

Displaying your artwork

The finished artwork could be displayed in a conventional frame, or in a double sided, glass or acrylic frame. As an installation, hang a piece of string from the ceiling and peg the artwork to the string. Both sides can be viewed when it swings around. Several collages could be used for journal pages, book making, or just as a piece of artwork to sit on a shelf in a special place.


Using damaged vintage books and vintage fabrics, adds to the character of the artwork and saves it from landfill.

Collect found papers, textile scraps and text to make collage.

Old books can be found cheaply, from second-hand shops, flea markets and library throw outs.

A sharp scalpel is very good for cutting close to the book spine.

Add a tiny amount of water to your Gesso paint to make it more translucent.

To give your page a more aged appearance, stain with a tea dye. Put any amount of tea bags in a sink, 1/4 filled with hot water. Plunge and leave until stained, then bake the page in a low oven for around 10 minutes.

Hope you enjoy creating your collage.



Time, Change, Erosion and Decay + Freebie Rust Dyeing Tutorial

Friday, March 17th, 2017

The process of transformation. Time, change, erosion and decay are qualities I like to celebrate. I examine and explore, the properties and possibilities, of my material and want to push the boundaries of something to get a deeper understanding.

In my latest project, I’m working with textiles over a 100 years old. I want to work with the worn and deteriorated textiles and collaborate alongside those, who in the past, so carefully stitched, mended and created, the pieces for comfort and warmth.

Each piece was once, carefully hand -stitched and now, breaking down and worn. I have very selectivity pulled apart and unpicked areas, and kept some intact.

Some areas of fabric, are so badly worn it breaks in my hands, so I have to reinforce it. Most pieces though are just left in their original state.

I then, like to push the process further with, natural & rust dying methods, mark making, hand stitching and painting with caste iron, botanical paints.

Numerous times, I expose the materials to the elements to experience the changes.

Getting to the essence of my material helps me to translate and describe its being. I rarely know the outcome of my projects and just go with the flow.

Wanting to know how to rust – dye?  Please see my  free rust – dyeing tutorial

Concretematter. New Sculpture in the Gallery.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

New Sculpture in the Gallery. Concretematter.

New sculpture available from my exhibition at The Memo,in Healesville Victoria Until Tues.16th August 2016

Jenny Davis_Wallmatter Exhibition_2016 16s

For more information please contact

Jade Bitar
Regional Exhibitions Officer
03 5965 3509 / 0419 384 526


To construct my 3D objects, I have used various methods: eco rust and Japanese Shibori dyeing, molding, casting, curing, sanding, chiselling, engraving, embedding, propagating, tearing, burning, sealing and finishing. To create the pieces, I combine hard and soft materials: industrial concrete, found packaging, lichen, moss, seaweed, vintage glass, cloth fragments and rusted found objects.


Concrete Sculpture 52a


Concrete Sculpture 2c


Concrete Sculpture 49a

Concrete Sculpture 47a

Jenny Davis_Concretematter_Wallmatter Ex 2016


Concrete Sculpture 44a


Concrete Sculpture 42a


Jenny Davis_Wallmatter Exhibition_2016 small


Concrete Sculpture 37a


Concrete Sculpture 36a


Jenny Davis_Wallmatter Exhibition_2016 17s


Concrete Sculpture 27a



Concrete Sculpture 32a


Jenny Davis_Wallmatter Exhibition_2016 s


Concrete Sculpture 23a


Concrete Sculpture 24a




Concrete Sculpture 10a


Concrete Sculpture 11a


Concrete Sculpture m2


Concrete Sculpture 13j3


Concrete Sculpture 3d


Concrete Sculpture 3I


Vintage Pulp Artwork & Article Published in US. Magazine.

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Artwork & Article Published in US. Magazine.



Vintage Pulp

Congratulations on having your artwork and article published in Sew Somerset!

Earlier this year I was approached by Stampington & Company in the USA. to write a feature article, about my mixed- media collages, for their magazine.

Today I am happy to announce my article and artwork has been published and is featured in the latest, “Sew Somerset Summer 2016” magazine.


Jenny Davis_Cloth Collages_8 x 6inches smallJenny Davis_Cloth Collage Backs_8 x 6inches


My paper mixed media collages, are created from old, damaged, vintage pulp fiction book pages, vintage pieces of linen and more. I will post photographs of the article and where you can buy the magazine soon!


Rust & Shibori. Vintage Cigar Tins. Work in Progress.

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Rust & Shibori. Vintage Cigar Tins. Work in Progress.

A heap of vintage cigar tins in the process of change.


Jenny Davis_Work in progress_Cigar tin lot


Vintage buckle, Japanese Shibori dyed scrap. Rusty fence wires and Victorian silk buttons were purchased from Penny’s antique and vintage mixed media supplies.  Faginsdaughter


Jenny Davis_Work in progress_Cigar tins s


Old rusted door lock and fence wire with weaving made from beach- combed finds and indigo cotton string.


Jenny Davis_Rust Lock Weave 2s_


The beginnings of a textile book.

Jenny Davis_Work in progress_book s


Rust and indigo dyed wall piece


Jenny Davis_Rust Textiles_


Finally, another tin. Metal detector find, central Victoria, 1800’s suspender buckle, rusty wire and rust indigo dyed doily scrap. Unfortunately the beautiful buckle broke in this installation. It could be made from gold, as it was very soft.


Jenny Davis_Work in progress_Cigar tin 2 s


I may use some of these artworks in my next solo exhibition, “Wallmatter” in July

Stripping Back Layers. Plaster. Old Wallpaper. Paint.

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Stripping Back Layers. Plaster. Old Wallpaper. Paint.

Taking away layers stripping back identity to get to the essence of something


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper 5s


is much more interesting to me than creating something recognizable


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper 2s


As a child I was more interested in pulling things apart to investigate the material it was made from


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper 4s


I then went further and tried to destroy the material scratching into it to get back the original source


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper 1s


I still do that today in all my work


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper s


experimenting with layers of paint plaster found papers antique french print vintage wallpapers and ink


Jenny Davis_plasterwallpaper 7s


pulling apart scratching tearing and ripping



Altered Vintage Postcards. Small Paper Collages.

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Altered Vintage Postcards. Small Paper Collages.

A couple of altered postcards. I call them “postacards”. When I’m in a creative slump, I pull out a box of vintage postcards, found papers and tear, cut & paste. Weird things happen when you throw in unrelated images together. A whole new narrative is created.

Vintage cards collected from all over the world


This is one of my first postacards I created using paper off-cuts from other projects. Its a bit of a time- machine embeded in an underground chamber.

D’arc time capsule


This one is untitled for now. 3 ominous figures, guardians or threatening invaders.


Update Landfillart Project

Saturday, July 16th, 2011


Detail of my entry into Landfillart Project

Excitement is mounting in the Landfillart Project

You may remember a couple of years ago I wrote a post ‘Letters from the Border” about my entry into Landfillart Project  where I had to create art on a car hubcap . Below is the latest update video I received about the project.

Hubcaps Become Canvas for Strange Art

On June 1, 2011 The Associated Press released a wonderful wire service news story about our international Landfillart Project.Our story was featured in hundreds of newspapers and many broadcast television news stories.