Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recycled decor a la naturale

Driftwood Garden Sign by Cher's Passion
Driftwood Garden Sign by Cher's Passion
Most of us equate recycling with plastic, paper, cardboard, metal and glass. It's important that these materials be reused whenever possible to help curb society's insatiable need for product packaging. But what about nature's "waste"?

For one thing, there is already inherant beauty in most of what nature disposes of. Driftwood, rock fragments, fossils, nutshells (natures idea of "product packaging") and the like.

Artists with an "earthy eye" can highlight that beauty with color and composition to create fabulous recycled art for your home and garden. From sparkling garden signs and yarn embellished driftwood plaques to colorful fish and more.

Sunrise at Sea
 by ReLove
Sunrise at Sea from ReLove
Cherri of Cher's Passion dabs bits of color and light into the surface of a piece of driftwood with colored glass, combining the brilliance of the sun and the dry, mottled surface of the wood to create Rain, a naturally "lighted" garden sign.

Some of the loveliest natural recycled art to be found makes use of color and composition to work with natural materials, bringing out intricate detail. These pieces make fascinating objects to ponder as the elements "refer" to each other and wake up the mind to patterns and relationships bewtween the worlds of nature and humankind.

In Sunrise at Sea by ReLove, tiny nails adhere straight lines of blue and yellow to a piece of wood, bending the distinction between lines and curves in something like an optical illusion.

Equally intriguing is the concept of working against a natural object to make use of form and shape. Pointing out relationships between the medium and the subject in a more subliminal fashion.
Catch Me If You Can by Into the Trees
Catch Me If You Can from Into the Trees

With Catch Me If You Can, Janet of Into the Trees masks the identity of her base material with a brightly colored, animated fish to focus on the form and movement of an elegantly shaped dried palm frond.

People have been collecting pretty rocks and driftwood for centuries to enhance their gardens, sitting areas and drives. Nature loving artists add a bit of "this and that" to enhance the beauty and keep us closer to Mother Nature.

These artists show that there is beauty in anything we might mindlessly throw away, if only we're willing to look just a little bit closer...

For more info: Earth911, HauteNature
Check out more Recycling Examiner articles!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let's Throw Away Our "Throw Away" Lifestyle

Many labels have surfaced to describe Americans' attitudes and practices pertaining to waste and our environment. The term "throw away society" is one of those labels that refers to trends in consumerism that have resulted in an over tenfold increase in "product waste" between 1900 and 2000 (from 92 to 1,242 pounds per person per year).

This steady and continuing increase in wasteful behavior is encouraged and fueled by business and manufacturing models that focus on limited or planned obsolescence, vertical integration and other profiteering practices. Sometimes masked by development restraint or mistaken for progress, these practices continue to succeed. Diverting attention from the damage they cause by appealing to the individual desire to be successful and "live well". Outrageous profits can be realized by tempting consumers to replace useful items with "newer", "better" versions while they are still viable and functioning.

“Product waste” also includes the ever-increasing disposal of viable packaging materials, most of which are not readily decomposable, and which now comprise 32% of all municipal solid waste. Product packaging is currently the easiest and most widely recycled type of waste; although cost benefit arguments over income loss and social costs vs. benefits and savings continue to be fought.

Another 30+% of total solid waste is shipping packaging - that makes 2/3 of all solid waste attributable to packaging!

It is possible for us all to grow out of the "throw away" mindset and head into a bright, new future of dynamic, creative recycling, reuse and repurposing of these goods that will be our legacy if we choose to participate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Having Fun with Wrist Cuffs

I've been playing around with neckties (again) and I'm having a blast creating wrist cuffs. They seem inherently "Steampunk" to me - being made from vintage neckties and lending themselves nicely to "mechanical" embellishment.

They seem to appeal to guys too - which is a plus. I think everyone should wear jewelry of some sort... and hats of course!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fantastic Interview with Harriete Estel Berman by Ira Mency

The fearless leader of the etsy Recyclers' Guild, "WasteNot", coordinated an interview with professional artist/craftswoman Harriete Estel Berman as a part of one of our on-going monthly projects; "Spotlight Guest Member Award."

Questions were submitted by various team members and Harriete gave such thoughtful and thorough answers! This is a great read for anyone who wants to be inspired to start/continue pursuing their art as a business.

Check out the interview here; Interview with Harriete Estel Berman