San Francisco Artist Turns Disposable Coffee Cups into Stunning Works of Art

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

We love all kinds of unusual art here at OC, and Miguel Cardona’s unique paper cups fit the bill perfectly. The San Francisco-based illustrator and professor of design takes ordinary coffee cups and transforms them into stunning collectibles. His doodles cover a range of subjects – from aliens to sea creatures, and even the face of Walter White (of Breaking Bad fame).

Cardona’s love affair with cups began last year, when he happened to visit a café near his workplace. The barista tied a napkin around a takeaway cup, and Cardona thought it looked like a scarf. So he quickly sketched a hipster around it. On subsequent cups the scarf became a doo-rag and then a Ninja Turtles’ mask.

miguel-cardona-cup-art

..

Beautiful Cyberpunk Collages Made with Discarded Computer Parts

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

I’ve always been a big fan of steampunk and cyberpunk art, and the beautiful collages of Anna Dabrowska, a.k.a. Finnabair, are some of the most intriguing works I’ve ever seen. The mixed media artist hailing from Warsaw, Poland, uses all kinds of materials, from used computer components to old buttons and even dead moths.

“I love texture and believe in power of recycling and upcycling. I just adore flea market supplies,” Finnabair says on her official site, and it shows in her works. The Polish artist can take the boring household item and turn into the centerpiece of an engaging work of art. Whether it’s metal screws, artificial flowers, or even plain buttons, she manages to turn recycling and upcycling into exciting artistic processes that spark viewers’ imagination. Finnabair says her art is more than just a job or hobby: “It gives me moments when I forget about the world, working hard [in my] head, hands translate, paint, stick… I cannot stop.” Judging by the time and patience she needs to painstakingly place every single element in the right place and then paint the whole picture in vibrant colors, it’s obvious she pours her heart and soul into her art.

..

Artist Turns Confiscated Scissors into Creepy Spider Sculptures

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Every year, the Transportation Security Administration confiscates countless objects deemed dangerous from passengers boarding flights at airport terminals across the US. Apart from guns, knives or aerosol, a lot of scissors end up in their recycling bin. Enter Christopher Locke, an artist who figured out he could actually use scissors to create creepy sculptures of spiders.

It’s a known fact that spiders don’t have many human fans. Most people just think they look creepy and would simply squish them given the opportunity, even if they don’t pose a real threat. But, that’s not really a viable option when talking about the scissors spiders of Christopher Locke. You’d have a hard time stomping on one of them without having your foot pierced by sharp metal, so you just kind of have to accept them. Reminiscent of a classic Tim Burton movie, these metal sculptures are created from disassembled scissors, bent into shape and welded together in the creepy shape of spiders.

..

Artist Makes Stunning Sculptures from Shattered CDs

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Instead of throwing away old CDs, like most of us do, Sean Avery transforms them into incredible sculptures he classifies as sustainable art. Sure, you’ve seen CDs used as decorations before, but I assure you, they’re nothing like what this man makes.

Pieces of shattered CDs are pretty hard to work with when you’re trying to recreate an organic shape, but somehow Sean Avery manages to piece together animal and bird models that look amazingly realistic. Using special layering techniques, he is able to make something as pointy and sharp as CD shards look as smooth as feathers or animal fur. “I blend many different man made materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement” the artist reveals about his unique process.

..

The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

This group not only plays music, but builds the instruments from scrap. That’s right, they make their ‘recycled’ instruments out of things like kitchen spatulas and cookie cutters. Their music, nonetheless, is wonderful to listen to.

The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments is from Paraguay, a majority of them so poor that they had to resort to creating their own instruments. However, their love for music was never hindered by their economic condition. The members of the orchestra are students at the “Sonidos De La Tierra,” which is an organization dedicated to running music workshops and schools in the lesser privileged areas of Paraguay. This is where these talented musicians learned the skill of recycled-instrument-music making. Some of them were so passionate about the art that they even quit their jobs as recyclers at a major dump site, in order to pursue their music full time.

..

Shijiao – Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Ever wonder what happens to Christmas lights once you toss out into the trash at the end of every holiday season? Turns out a lot of things are made from them, including slipper soles.

Shijiao, in China, has been designated as the world’s capital for recycling old and unusable Christmas tree lights that are thrown away by Americans each year. There are at least nine factories in this small town that process large volumes of tree lights. Yong Chang Processing is one of them, the company recycles 2.2 million pounds of lights each year. Overall, the factories of the town go through over 20 million pounds. Shijiao is known for its cheap labor costs and low environmental standards. These factors make it an ideal place for a recycling zone. It has been so for around 20 years now. Needless to say, the burning of the wire from the lights causes huge amounts of black smoke to rise up in the air, which is clearly visible from the fields around town. The process adopted is the fastest way to extract copper from rubber and plastic, and hence there isn’t any alternative.

..

Russian Couple Build Their Own Fairy Tale Castle

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A retired couple from the suburbs of Artyom, Russia have worked for 16 years transforming an ordinary house into a fairy tale castle, using only junk materials found on the street and at a local landfill.

They might be pensioners, but Alexey and Valentina Krivov don’t consider themselves too old for fairy tales. They didn’t want to grow old in their grey house and since they couldn’t afford to buy a castle of their own, they decided to build their own castle fit for a prince and princess. Alexey worked in constructions for most of his life and this gave him the chance to be a foreman for his own personal project, and Valentina had experience as a decorator and plasterer, so they figured out most of the details themselves. They started work on their architectural wonder in 1995, salvaging whatever materials they needed from the streets and the nearby construction landfill. As the castle started taking shape, their neighbors started noticing it and became eager to help the Krivovs in whatever way they could.

..

Artist Creates Self-Portrait with Thousands of Plastic Bottle Caps

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Chicago-based artist Mary Ellen Croteau has created an astounding self-portrait using thousands of recycled plastic bottle caps.

Mary Ellen Croteau considers herself a political artist who uses her works to make statements and get people to look at things from a different perspective. This time she wanted viewers to acknowledge the presence of bottle caps in our everyday lives and realize how rarely they are recycled. Croteau was stacking plastic bottle caps and plastic pill bottles trying to create precarious towering columns inspired by the modernist works of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, when she noticed smaller caps fit inside the larger ones and created a whole new color combination. This got her thinking about Chuck Close’s art and the way he creates realistic portraits using just shapes of color.

..

The Landfillart Project – Turning Hubcaps into Works of Art

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Landfillart Project is an artistic endeavor that tries to get people thinking about the amount of trash they generate, by repurposing hubcaps as unique artworks.

The idea was thought up by Ken Marquis, from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who has spent the last three years convincing other artists from all the US states and 52 foreign countries to give old hubcaps the artistic treatment. Ken got the idea to use hubcaps while attending an auto show near Allentown, where a collection of 41 rusted wheel covers inspired and got him thinking they could be repurposed. He bought the entire cache for $82, and just a few weeks later acquired 1,000 more, from a collector in Quakertown.

..

Italian Artist Recycles Found Objects into Colorful Sculptures

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the work of Italian artist Dario Tironi is evident proof. While most people look at discarded objects and see only trash, he sees precious materials for his beautiful sculptures.

Old toys, discarded computer components, broken calculators, even plastic bottles, they’re all part of Tironi’s recycled universe. Similar to Robert Bradford, who uses old toys for his sculptures, and Leo Sewell,  the young Italian artist manages to glue together various junk items and create detailed sculptures of people and animals, and gives everyone who sees his art a whole new perspective on the concept of recycling.

..

Designer Creates Fashion Items from Used Tea Bags

9 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Grace Robinson, 52, from Cambridgeshire, England, takes used tea bags and sews them into fashionable dresses, shoes and accessories.

Grace has been drinking tea for most of her life and she’s been recycling used tea bags for over 10 years now. The process is quite simple: she drinks tea every day, saves the tea bags and lets them dry naturally with the tea leaves inside. Once they’ve dried, the designer empties them and sews them into whatever clothing item she likes. The color of this unusual fabric varies depending on how long she lets the tea brew.

For many years, Grace Robinson only used the tea bags from the tea she drank herself, but now some of her friends save their tea bags for her, which the designer says is wonderful because she can work a lot faster. A dress can take several months to finish, so she needs all the help she can get.

..

Conceptual Artist Makes Eau de Toilette from Her Urine

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

For the last five years, conceptual artist Cherry Tree has been experimenting with turning her urine into perfume. Her fragrances aren’t on the market yet, but if someone could sell perfume made from poop, why wouldn’t urine be a success, as well?

Cherry Tree, born Charity Blansit, says she’s very passionate about recycling, and since urine is something that gets eliminated, she thought it should be recycled. The idea for a urine-based perfume came to her the morning after a full moon, when she decided to collect her urine in a perfume bottle. At first, the full extent of her project was to collect urine after each full moon. She was fascinated about how the smell of it changed depending on what she ate. For example, she says urine smells very good when you eat honey, and terrible if you’ve had chicken.

The artist took her project to the next level when she decided to ad a little sugar to her urine and turn it into “a real eau de toilette”. Her brother, Jim Blansit, runs a distillery, so after learning how he made vodka and whiskey, he applied the techniques to her urine concoction. Although it had a nice chocolaty smell, probably because she was drinking a lot of coffee at the time, Cherry Tree had to throw away her first batch  because she didn’t add enough sugar for it to ferment.

..

Sandy Sanderson’s Beer Can Automobiles

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Sandy Sanderson is a resourceful New Zealand artist who uses empty soda and beer cans to create detailed models of famous automobiles.

England-born Sandy was trained as a draughtsman, but later became a Technology teacher and emigrated to far away New Zealand. Here he pursued his interest in building airplane, car and bike models, until the age of 40, when he joined a local band and started playing bass guitar. This made him change from building models to making electric string instruments.

Unfortunately, a bike accident shattered one of his wrists and his dream of retiring as a luthier. After surgery, he was still able to use his hand, ride a bike, but the sensitivity and fine control needed to play bass and follow his dream were gone. But it was during his recovery period that he discovered a new hobby – looking at some Coruba and Coke cans he remembered seeing some beautiful aircraft models made from aluminum cans, only they had the plain silvery side on the outside. This didn’t make any sense to him, as the whole point of using such a resource would be to show it to the world and celebrate it instead of hiding it.

..

Designer Turns Garbage into Green Couture Garments

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Designer Nancy Judd uses recycled trash to create various clothing items for her Recycle Runway collection, which she showcases in airports, class rooms and other media outlets around America.

“I love taking garbage—something that people want to push away from and not think about—and transform it into something elegant,” Nancy Judd recently told CNN. She started the environmental education entity known as Recycle Runway in 2007, and began creating beautiful fashion garments from recycled stuff, thus capturing the attention of millions of people. Each of her works is a unique piece of wearable art that takes between 100 to 450 hours to complete, but lasts at least 100 years and inspires the public to reduce their impact on the environment.

Ms. Judd grew up in Portland, Oregon, and although she’s been sewing and designing clothes and jewelry ever since she was a child, she doesn’t feel attracted to the fashion industry, as “it creates a tremendous amount of waste, and there are a lot of social justice issues.” In fact, she turned down a spot on Project Runway because she is perfectly happy with her own project, Recycle Runway. Nancy has worked in the recycling field for a long time, but it was fashion that helped her attract attention and deliver important environmental messages to the world.

..

Polish Woodcarver Makes Functional Bicycles Exclusively from Wood

6 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Slawomir Weremkowicz, a 59-year-old former plumber from Poland, creates functional bicycles using only wooden components.

The talented woodcarver from Biala Podlaska says he had always wanted to be an artist, and since God gave him the talent of carving wood, he he thought he should do something amazing with it. So he decided to go greener than green and create a series of wooden bikes for which he didn’t use a single gram of metal or plastic. Simply looking at a piece of wood, Slawomir can already envision how he’s going to turn it into one of his bicycle parts, and using simple woodcarving tools like chisels and saws he does just that.

The seat, steering, even the pedals and chain are made only from a variety of wood (oak, ash, beech and plywood) and if you’re looking for screws holding them together, don’t bother, as Slawomir Weremkowicz only uses wooden pegs. Carving an entire wood bicycle is a lengthy process which takes about a year, but when he looks at his completed “wooden dinosaurs”, as he likes to call them”, Slawomir doesn’t regret the time he puts into his work.

..

Page 1 of 41234