Wood lathart dates back as far as the late 1800's to the North Atlantic Maritime regions of Canada. This is a folk art tradition made up of wood strips (or lath) originally taken from snow-fence or sand-fence, and discarded wall lathing found in homes in earlier days. A great deal of the earlier works in lath are maritime coastal scenes of fishing villages, light houses, and various beach scenes. in the 1970's a man name Theodore Degroot brought this folk art back to life, and much of his original work, and mass produced recreations of his work are still on the market today. The picture below is one of his, and is a great example of how simple a nice piece of artwork can be obtained with this wood lath.
Another lath artist (the one that inspired me) is a man named Tom Bramhil. He created the blog that I am a part of right now. http://www.lathart.blogspot.com
I want to say that it was back in the 1980's when he got his start, but anyways, he created lathart kits, and ended up selling his idea to a company called Woodscapes. http://www.woodscape.ca/
Many of the pieces that they sell are his creations. One of those pieces, called "Five Boats" , captivated me to this wooden artform. More of this information and examples can be found on the blog. The pictures below are of a simple beach house that I created last spring. This picture measures 15"x11 1/2" framed.
This is a picture of my drawing and a carboard cutout that I used to construct a holding frame for all of the pieces.
This is my completed holding frame. The strips that surround the cardboard are 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide. They are simply glued around the perimeter. I then paint the cardboard black to define the lines behind the cutout pieces of lath.
The wood lath, that I cut from standard spruce 2x4's (preferably low knot content). I usually don't rip the entire 2x4 down it's 8' length. Instead I cross-cut it first to more manageable lengths, depending on the picture size. I then rip it's 1 1/2" edge to 1/4" strips, that I glue side by side onto craft paper (this stuff is like brown paper bag, and can be purchased at craft stores in rolls). Notice that I leave about 1/16" to an 1/8" gaps between the lath. I then carbon transfer my pieces onto this sheet of wood lath using my drawing, some carbon paper and carbon scriber.
I then cut out the pieces, using my scroll saw, and arange them in my holding frame. As you can see from above, some of the pieces are small, and can be cut within a single piece of wood lath.
I then paint the pieces using either acrylic craft paint or oil. This one is done in acrylic. I like to mix and create my own colors, and some of the colors are fine un-mixed. There are tons of different colors available. The secret is to water down the color a little bit before applying it to the pieces, and then rub it off to maintain the grain. I dabbed this picture with a little green to bring out some of the sand grass. With oil paint you have to use orderless mineral spirits to dilute the colors. The cool part is that the cuts define the breaks between the colors, so really, your just painting pieces.
There are a couple of ways of producing the frame. I use 2x4 to construct my frames. There is also a description of another frame construction on the blog. I will try to give a detailed description of this process in the near future, and maybe I'll try to get this picture formatted to offer online to anyone that wants to attempt it.
My name is Chris and I am a 39 year old husband, and father, of four children. I have been scrolling since 1996, mostly in intarsia. Recently I have been doing something called lathart.