Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Erie artist creates unique work with historic photos, wood

Zach Wincik initially wasn't sure what he wanted to do after graduating from college.

A few classes had triggered his interest in photography. He also enjoyed woodworking, often building shelves and cabinets for himself.

Wincik, 25, decided to merge the two into his own art form.

He set up a studio in the attic of his Erie home and gathered old photos of landmarks in Girard, his hometown. By fusing copies of the photographs onto wood, he created a unique, vintage look.

"It's something pretty cool that you don't see every day," he said.

Wincik's work will be on display Saturday at an exhibit at Lake Erie Lodge 347, 8 Penn Ave., Girard.

Wincik studied film production at Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla. In December, he moved back to Erie after a brief stint in Oklahoma.

For his first major project, Wincik perused the archives of the Hazel Kibler Museum in Girard for photographs of old landmarks. The photo exhibit, "Girard Legends Series," features 12 sites claimed to be haunted.

Wincik's mother, Stephanie Wincik, helped him select the haunted locations. Stephanie Wincik volunteers for the museum and has written books exploring paranormal activity in Erie County.

The Gudgeonville Bridge, Girard Hotel, Universalist Church, Girard Cemetery and the Battles' Yellow House are a few of the sites they selected. The photos, taken in the late 1800s or early 1900s, had been mostly untouched for years.

Zach Wincik does most of his work in the attic of his Erie apartment. A string of lights hangs from the rafters in the dimly lit attic, with Zach Wincik's workbench near a wall.

He begins the process by scanning the photos and performing touch-up work on a computer. Printouts are then fused with plywood using a heat press.

To finish off a project, Zach Wincik carefully sands the wood and sprays on a layer of clear coat to add contrast. The wood's texture seeps through the image, giving each piece an antique feel.

"I'm kind of going for a worn-out, old look," Zach Wincik said.

The original photos are scanned and not altered.

Zach Wincik said he does not know of any other artists who have fused copies of photos onto wood. He developed the process when hunting for apartment decorations in Oklahoma. Nothing seemed to appeal to him, he said, so he decided to design his own artwork.

"I didn't have any expectations," he said. "I just wanted to see what I could come up with."

Zach Wincik, who primarily works as a freelance photographer, plans to take orders for wood photos and further his art with different wood textures.

"I'm still coming into the process," he said. "There's a lot to experiment with."



No comments:

Post a Comment