Create wonderful green artwork with discarded tin cans. There are several possibilities, one of which involves intricate 2-dimensional collages in the portrait style of David Wasserman. This 1960s New York artist had an impressive collection of work including large tin-can collages. Wasserman reproduced a Willie Mays baseball card, the Pope and a 72″ x 48″ circus poster using dozens of orange soda cans for the image of the tiger. Start collecting cans now!
Items you will need to make a tin-can portrait collage
Colored pencils (optional)
Sketch out your design on a piece of paper. Use colored pencils to map out the colors you will need to find. Consider reproducing a piece of art, an advertisement or a photo rather than an original drawing. Try your hand at making a playing card or a favorite cartoon character.
Transfer the final design onto the piece of plywood. Block out the different colors with colored pencils. It does not have to be colored in completely, as it will be covered with tin. Add a border to give the design a finished look. Use a ruler to add a 2-inch or more frame to the image. The background of the piece can use a variety of colors, or can be made from variations of silver and gold.
Gather cans in the desired colors. Recycled art materials should be treated with as much care as you would commercial supplies. Wash the cans before using and then snip into pieces that you need. Save the extra in containers of like colors. Starting a collection for future use is a good idea. These pieces will be collaged together in a mosaic fashion, so remember you will need to cut several small pieces rather than one large piece for an area. The variations in color add to the overall effect.
Lay the pieces on the plywood. Start from the center and work your way out. Use small nails to hold the tin in place. Pound directly into the plywood to secure the pieces. Several small nails can be pounded along the edges of a piece of tin, or it can be held in place with a single nail in the center, depending on the look you desire.
Continue to add pieces of tin until the entire board is filled. Keep the pieces close together. Extra pieces of tin can be used to fill in any area that has exposed plywood
Use your hammer and a small nail to add small indentations in a pattern if your design calls for more embellishment. For example, in David Wasserman’s Pope art work, the pontiff has gorgeous robes that are given special treatment by punching the tin in a spiral pattern.