THROWBACK ’13 – Decouplate — Reflections


From a workshop I hosted in the summer of 2013.

50+ ceramic dinner plates were salvaged from a hospital after discovering they were going to be thrown away.

The project organizer challenged me to make something that wasn’t costly and was easy to teach to a group that consisted of many art levels.  

What better, cheaper & more fun a thing to do than collage!

You don’t need to be a crazy artist to do it. You can be as complex or simplistic as you’d like. The results are infinite and the ease of experimentation can leave you hungry for more.

A note was sent to all attendees to bring some old magazines/books/papers. Being able to do this really involved the makers and got them to start thinking about what they wanted to do with their plate(s), it also gave their old recyclables a new purpose and a second chance at life before going to the big blue bin on the grass.


I shared my materials and brought a big ol’ mystery box of my own –mainly consisting of fabric scraps, tissue paper, lonely puzzle pieces and some other random decoupagable, collagable things.

So pretty much, the only things I purchased for this project was brushes, a few scissors, a large tub of mod podge and a smaller, non-toxic container of kid friendly mod podge.

I made the “Everything is Perfect” plate in front of everybody as a demonstration, showing the effects of using tissue paper on plates and how to fix larger objects to the surface properly.

Then we were off!Everything's perfect-art-samm

I spent the whole day walking around, helping people with issues and pushing them to make another plate, try different mediums or to “Add a few more layers of podge on!”

The results were so cool!
I got to see all these unique ways of placing images together. Ways I would have never imagined. I think that’s my favourite part about working with other people.

People are so different from one another. The way we link things together, how we solve problems, what is significant to us. We’re all so beautiful. Perfect in this imperfect kinda way.

DIY takes being human to a whole other level. It challenges us to do what our ancestors did so well –but with paper instead of plants, scissors instead of sharpened stone.

Make something from the things that surround you. See the universe in everything.

Make impossible, poss.

Don’t let the industrialized, commercialized world we live in alienate you from the beauty of creation. The freedom to do, make, choose what you love/want/( insertwordhere) is so special and so incredibly human.

Get inspired. <3



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