An Interview with Rachel Aughenbaugh

Photo courtesy of Rachel Aughenbaugh

Rachel Aughenbaugh is the MacGyver of the art world.

Using layers of duct tape, she can create everything from the “Mona Lisa” to a promotional image for Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store where she is “manager/duct tape artist.”

Aughenbaugh talked to the Hyattsville Wire about her favorite medium.

When did you first experiment with duct tape as a medium? 

The first time I used duct tape in a crafty way was about 7 or 8 years ago. I needed to make a quick gift bag and the only thing I could find to make it out of was a roll of silver duct tape. It was nothing fancy, but it opened me up to a world of duct taping possibilities. I didn’t know at the time that there were so many different colors of duct tape, or that there were some seriously crafty people out there making incredible things out of tape.

Where do you buy your duct tape?  

I get most of my tape either from Target or online, from

What kind of reactions have you gotten from people when they see it?

A lot of people don’t really understand what it is they are looking at. When they find out it is made of duct tape, people often think it is paint with duct tape as the canvas.  Once they understand that it is actually many layers of colored tape, the most common reaction is “They make duct tape in that many colors??”

Do you have any advice for people trying to make art from duct tape?  

Patience.  I love working with duct tape, but it is extremely time consuming and tedious work.  I find it relaxing, but if you are not a patient person, you probably won’t like duct tape as a medium. You have to be willing to experiment. I like trying new things and coming up with new techniques to get the duct tape to do what I need it to do. When I make something that I have never made before, I might end up having to scrap the project three or four times and start from scratch until I get it right, but it is OK because now I know how to do it the next time, and I can build on that.

How did your duct tape art come to be used at Franklin’s?

Transitioning from duct tape purses and wallets to art was actually my boss, Mike Franklin’s idea. He saw a purse I had made out of tape, and he asked if I thought I could do something in duct tape to advertise the beers on tap. So actually, the duct tape art grew out of those original beer signs.

What was your favorite piece of duct tape art? 

I think my favorite piece is probably the duct tape “Scream,” or any piece with a lot of color. I like working with duct tape because the colors are so vibrant.

This entry was posted in Hyattsville and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.