Turning the everyday ordinary into something extraordinary was my thought process with this project, The Artist Dozen. I was wondering down the aisles of the thrift store and saw a pile of muffin tins for only $1 a piece and picked them all up. I organize many of my embellishments and found objects in muffin tins in my studio for easy access and wondered what I could create with one of them for a project.

 

I began by creating texture in the background of each of the tins using the muslin from the Fabric Pack with Sculpture Medium mixed with Heavy Black Gesso which adds color while creating the shaped texture at the same time. If you want more of a matte black finish, you can quickly paint another thin layer of Heavy Black Gesso. This will also help firm up the fabric.

Next it’s time to start coloring the fabric and adding additional texture to the muffin tin. I used different colors of blues with metallic highlights in this piece, and highlighted all of the pieces with copper and purple Mica Powders. This color palette was also used for all of the Mechanicals embellishments after applying a base coat of a Heavy Black Gesso.

 

 

For adding texture and color onto the muffin tin, I created a mixture using Graphite Texture Paste as the base and then added Steampunk Copper Metallique Paint with Rust Mica Powder and mixed well. I randomly applied the paste mixture onto the muffin tin with a palette knife. While the Paste was still wet, I sprinkled Glass Glitter and Micro Beads randomly for additional color and texture before heat setting.

 

 

You can use the same texture paste mix for adding the embellishments to your piece. For embellishments that are a little more difficult to place with a texture paste, I like to use Liquid Fusion glue. If you haven’t used this glue before, it is absolutely amazing for mixed media! What makes this glue different is that after applying the glue, it can be temporarily heat set so you can continue working on your project and once fully cured over night, it is like cement and even bonds metal to metal. This glue is perfect for jewelry as well.

 

 

The possibilities of this project are truly endless and that’s why I love the versatility of altering muffin tins because they’re available in so many different shapes and sizes. This would be a great project to use as a calendar if you’re using a muffin tin with 12 spaces. Simply replace some of the embellishments with pictures and you have an instant dimensional keepsake shrine.

Here I’ve created a video tutorial showing how you can create your own Artist Dozen. The tutorial takes you through the step by step process of making your own altered masterpiece including how I created my own custom colors of texture pastes. The video tutorial is only 6 minutes long so you can spend more time creating!