Materials and Techniques of Collage by Heather Godlewski

November 4, 2017
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central


Materials and Techniques of Collage, by Heather Godlewski.

This workshop will ask that each student bring in three images or objects of interest to them that could be sacrificed in the name of art (nothing precious or valuable in nature). They will be asked to use these three things either as an inspiration for, or as material in the creation of a 8” x 10” collage.

The process of creating this artwork will introduce students to various materials and techniques of contemporary collage. We will discuss planning, composition, support and adhesive options, the materials and layering techniques that can be employed, stylistic choices, and the generally non-archival, therefore ephemeral, nature of collage, as well as possible ways to extend the life of the artwork.

The instructor will provide 8” x 10” supports to adhere the collages to, and some supplemental materials. Visual aids and handouts about collage and materials to be discussed will be provided during the workshop. A full list of materials to be brought by the student is provided below. No previous art experience is needed, only an interest in collage, and a creative spirit.

Students should bring three inspirational items, the starting point for your collage. These three things should inspire you in some way, but you should also feel comfortable tearing them apart to be used in the collage. They should be more flat than three dimensional (think textured paper, pictures, material scraps). Paper is traditional, but I often use plastic or wood items in collages, even metal. Think creatively when choosing, and consider how these items are related in your mind. This is the beginning of the planning phase of the project, and you should already be thinking about the story you want to tell through your collage. If you would like to use photographs or other documents of some importance, I recommend bringing photocopies or digital reprints of these items. Scanners and copiers are collage artists’ best friends.

Tools to be used (we’ll have tools to be borrowed, but bring your own if you have them): sharp scissors, sharp X-acto knife for detail cutting, straight-edge or ruler, pencil, eraser, sketch pad or grid paper (as preferred) for mapping out ideas, artist’s tape, bone folder, brushes for applying adhesives and paint, awl, acrylic gesso, acrylic matte medium, wax mediu, PVA adhesive, and other misc. materials to incorporate into your collage, such as decorative papers, newsprint, cardboard, yarns or embroidery threads, paints or drawing mediums, etc.

If there are any questions about the materials needed, students should feel free to contact the instructor via my email address: at

Heather Godlewski is a Philadelphia based mixed media artist with strong ties to the South. She works in multiple medias including assemblage, collage, oil, acrylic, graphite, pastel, and encaustic waxes.. often combining elements of all of these into a single work. Recurring themes of her work are longing for home, landscape, industry, desires both met and unmet, anxiety, and curiosity.

Heather Godlewski is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a recipient of a Ware travel scholarship, and a member of the National Collage Society. By day, she works in the conservation of archives and art on paper. She has recently begun a project of fixing up her family farm in rural Missouri, with the goal of creating a retreat for artists.

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