Mad Alchemist Freak Fest


Grab some stuff…some new…some rough. Bring your gears, Mickey Mouse souvenirs, old cans for beers, perhaps some shiny chandeliers. You might prefer something off the wall, a bocce ball, a broken doll, or a bust of Charles de Gualle. Next we need some glues, screws, power tools, adhesive goos and paints in a variety of hues. Power up those Dremel and give’m a test…. everybody do the Mad Alchemist Freak Fest!

Artists are renowned for using whatever is readily available in their surroundings to create art. In many ways, this is why the process of assemblage has become so popular; after all, junk and discarded things abound. Perfect pickings for artists with a knack for junking and dumpster diving.

In this class we’re going to take anything and everything and transform it into something of value. We are taking trash and turning it into something seemingly sacred. Sounds ironic doesn’t it? Well look at it this way…like the Alchemists of long ago, we too will be transforming base metals into gold…metaphorically speaking. All this will be done with a bit of sculpture, collage, and paint. Time to take the “blahs” out of “assemblage”.

About the Instructor

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.

In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.

These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.

Instructor Supplies

Michael will be supplying ALL the paint and the Two Part Clay. A material fee of $25.00 will provide each student with golden paints and clay. The material fee will be collected on the first day of the workshop.

  1. Aves (Two Part Clay)
  2. Acrylic Paint
  3. Dremels, Drills and Tools
  4. Acrylic Latex Caulking

Student Supplies

  1. Stuff and lots of it. Old figurines, dolls, or doll parts. Doodads and variety of other found objects that might be interesting symbolic additions. Items like watch parts, gears, typewriter parts – just about anything, really. Look for things that are interesting shapes or designs, but also things that might have symbolic significance.
  2. Paint Brushes (a couple small detail brushes, and some cheap brushes (1/2 inch to 1 inch in size)
  3. Wire a couple of different gauges
  4. E6000 adhesive
  5. Optional Things to bring if you want your own tools
  • Heat gun
  • Dremel with cut off wheel