Thursday, April 29, 2010

Local artisan takes scrapboarding to new dimension

by Katie Newton

Typical paint-by-number pictures and clichéd scrapbooks won’t be found in local artisan Carol Labashosky’s studio. Instead, one might see sticks of bamboo, brightly colored ribbons and steel wire. These are a few of the items Labashosky uses for her new form of three-dimensional scrapbooking she is trademarking as “scrapboarding.”

Scrapboarding is a unique form of collage on a wooden board that features photos adorned with paint, fabric, jewelry and other decorations which create eye-popping scenes.

“The photograph is just the beginning,” Labashosky said. “I start with a photo and I add items to it from the same place the photo was taken like maybe jewelry, wood or even fabric to raise it off the canvas. It becomes 3-D.” Labashosky said. “The paper is too confining. You can use your imagination with objects.”

The idea for this new creation came to her after a trip to Italy in 2006. She decided to create a series of scrapboards that showed photos from her trip, but also included fabrics and professionally painted backgrounds. “I started seriously working on it when I got back from Italy,” Labashosky said, “because I was inspired by all the beautiful colors and architecture there.” It led to her favorite piece entitled, Venice Canals.

Labashosky, who now works out of her studio and gallery at Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center in Lousiville, has been amazed by the outpouring of support and interest in her work.

“There is something about her artwork that really draws you in,” customer Jenn Domashevich said, “I found myself standing in awe in front of one of her scrapboards during Trolley Hop at Mellwood. I was really impressed.”

“When people were interested in buying I thought, ‘well, this could make a nice side business,’ but I’m starting to put myself out there,” Labashosky said. “It’s just incredible.”

Additionally, she has seen global interest from her online sales on “I’ve had clicks from Poland and Nepal. It’s just remarkable the types of people you can meet virtually.”

Labashosky claims that she leaves the old ways of scrapbooking on the shelf and likes to use her creativity to produce the boards. “Because I like to use so many different mediums, things get messy in the studio,” Labashosky said. “I jump from one thing to another.”

“When I’m making something I really get lost in it,” Labashosky said. “I don’t think about anything else. It’s really therapeautic.”

The Wisconsin native who calls Louisville’s Iroquis neighborhood home, taught herself how to be an artist. “Aside from drawing classes in college and being a photographer by trade, I taught myself to paint,” she said. “I feel like I’m just at the tip of the iceberg with that.”

Her newest endeavor takes a twist on scrapboarding. She has developed a line of greeting cards. The cards still have the three-dimensional feel with ribbons, sequins, button and beads, but they are much smaller.

“Not everybody can afford a large piece of artwork that costs hundreds of dollars, but everyone wants their own little piece of beauty, so a greeting card allows them to go out and see the world,” Labashosky said. “And it is less expensive.”

Her customers agree that the cards are a great new way to branch out her business. “The cards I purchased from Carol have all reminded me of places I've been, or want to go, or have heard of,” Carol Thompson said. “The photos are so vivid, and I have enjoyed giving them to my family and friends.”

She recently produced a spring series of scrapboard cards titled, “Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.” and hopes to release a Derby series in the next few weeks.