Secrets of Rusty Things

By | 15 September 10

Secrets of Rusty ThingsSecrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art, by Michael de Meng, is a visual delight for mixed-media and found object artists.

It’s also an insightful book for fans of Mr. de Meng’s work, or those who want to understand how artists think and work.

What it is not: A step-by-step guide to working with specific tools and materials to create art from found objects.  (If you want step-by-step directions, I recommend ‘Altered Curiosities‘ by Jane Ann Wynn.)

Instead, Mr. de Meng takes us on a flying carpet journey into his studio and his creative visions.  It’s breathtaking.

For example, the artist explains, “Morpheus is cool.  Of all the Greek gods, he is my favorite and, actually, one of the most obscure.  I love to envision him flying from dream to dream and transforming his physical appearance…”

Regarding his technique, at one point Mr. de Meng says, “As long as it is still in my studio, nothing is sacred.”  A lot of artists will agree with that… and perhaps even more should, to get past their own creative blocks.

Experienced artists will be able to glean a lot of technique tips from the lavish illustrations throughout this book.

However, this book is about Mr. de Meng’s art and his creative process.  It speaks to other artists about the passion behind his work, and guides art collectors to understand the depth of meaning in each of Mr. de Meng’s pieces.


  • Well-designed book, loaded with visual inspiration.
  • Reading the book immerses us in a richly creative world.
  • Opens new doors to found art explorations.


  • If you’re buying this book for step-by-step technique, you’ll be disappointed.
  • Photos focus on process, and provide many insights, but I’d like to see additional angles of the finished work.


If you’re a fan of  Keith LoBue or Jane Ann Wynn, this book is a fine addition to your library.  It’s like an individual artist’s journal about the creative visions and creative process behind his work.  Though it’s not a how-to book for beginners, this book is like sitting next to Mr. de Meng and being inspired by how he thinks and works, and why he chooses the materials and techniques that he does.

art books review - 3.5 stars

Available at and

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *