Maria's story on how she invented her popular artblocks
Back in 2012, I was out walking my dog, when I noticed some blocks of wood on the kerb. They looked like off-cuts from a building job and were obviously put out as rubbish to go in to landfill. I thought that it was such a shame for them to be thrown away, and how they looked like mini canvases for me to paint on. So I picked them up and took them back to my studio.
I did some paintings on them, photographed them and posted to facebook. Soon enough people were asking to buy them – being so small I sold them for a very affordable price and they got snapped up!
After that, I kept on noticing other timber off-cuts out and about, and so began my obsession with restoring blocks of wood and making artworks out of them.
I then worked out a way to mount prints on to the blocks, thus being able to make multiple versions of the same design, and over the years I evolved and fine tuned the process to add irredscent glitter and finish them with clear resin. From start to finish, each block takes about a week, with most of the stages needing time to dry (stages being sanding, varnishing the wood, trimming and mounting the prints, varnishing the prints, adding glitter, applying the resin and then finally sticking the labels onto the back.)
These days I collaborate with a local builder here in the Blue Mountains, who supplies the timber blocks for me. We use recycled Blackbutt – a beautiful hardwood that is a native Australian large eucalyptus species.
As far as I know, I am the only artist that makes art blocks like these, so they are pretty special and unique.
Bowie the Kookaburra Artblock
Reclaimed hardwood blocks, lovingly restored and given a new lease of life as beautiful stand alone artworks for a shelf, mantle or side table.
Artblocks are 100% handmade by carefully mounting limited edition prints of Maria Harding’s original paintings onto the blocks and varnished with a thick coat of hard wearing glossy resin, giving them a lustrous glass-like shine, some designs also have a sprinkling of fine glitter to give them a touch of sparkle!
Made from recycled blackbutt – a beautiful hardwood that is a native Australian large eucalyptus species.
Regular: 165mm H x 130mm W x 45mm D
Mini: 106mm H x 84mm W 45mm D