Thursday, January 15, 2015

Let's Talk About ATBs

It wasn't that long ago when I was introduced to artist trading blocks, or ATBs. I know, I know... everyone knows what an ATB is, so I'll just skip to the pictures.

The first ATB I made was to get comfortable with creating art from a chunk of wood. The possibilities seemed pretty limited to me at the time, and I ended up with a simple upright piece inspired by the artwork of Arthur Rackham.

The next ATB was turned on its back to accommodate a little checked pillow for this silly vintage kitty. At this point I knew just how fun ATBs could be.

So I had one upright basic block and one horizontal basic block, which was okay, but I really wanted to see just how far I could take this 2.5" x 3.5" piece of wood. The next block had to do something, so there is a movable part on each side of the block. Working with the narrow depth was challenging.

There's an articulated mermaid on the front...

with a ship in the clouds.  

On one side is a removable bottle with a secret message tucked inside.

The back has an urchin shaped flap that when opened, 

Reveals a pretty underwater scene...

And the shell hides a cherubic water baby.


The final side includes a tentacled something,

Mother of Pearl! Watch out!

I'm pretty much in love with ATBs, can't you tell?