Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Art from the Class Wars - Embroidered Toilet Paper

A remnant from the American Class Wars circa 2011, when the stock market crumbled, unemployment rose, people lost their homes, and the Tea Party held congress and the country hostage in their bid for power. 

This hand-embroidered toilet paper, stitched by the very poor, is designed to offer the very rich the ne plus ultra in bathroom decor and creature comforts. Unbelievably fluffy and soft to the touch, the paper is painstakingly embellished with 4-ply, pure cotton floss in an array of colors and designs.

From the "Second home in Napa with four bedrooms, five baths" collection

Detail from the Napa collection

Detail from the Napa collection

Extended view of the Napa collection

Sneak peek at the new "Condo in Belize that looks just like a condo in LA complete with huge master bath, twin sinks, rainforest shower head, and sunken tub" collection

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcycled One Buck Man's Shirt

Found: an over-size, button-down collar, standard, boring man's shirt in the dollar rack at the thrift store. The material: a really nice cotton-rayon blend and lots of it, since the shirt was so huge.

The result:

Front: A sewing pattern for a sleeveless shell was adapted by lengthening the shell and lining up the bottom with the bottom of the original shirt.

The front of the new shell blouse was cut from the back of the original, voluminous man's shirt.

Sleeves from the original shirt were cut into strips, sewn into long, thin tubes, and then sewn down to form spirals on the front of the new shell blouse.

The front of the original shirt becomes the back of the new shell.

The buttons still function.

The word "upcycled" has been emboidered vertically on the back.

To see a variety of other takes on men's shirts, see Repurposed Men's Shirts. To branch off into other repurposed clothing and assorted textile creations, see Clothing or Textile.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eco Barbie - Experiments in Fused Plastic

The stimulus: a garbage can by Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, overflowing with plastic bags.

Note, as we come in for a close-up, an illuminated message glowing on a discarded coffee cup inside the bin, created by: a) letters cut out of the metal container; b) sunlight; and c) the fact that someone put a paper cup in the can section of the bin, creating a perfect screen for the illuminated letters.

Whatever mishaps contributed to this transmission, it is clearly a message from on-high. In fact, it is so very cool that we move in for an even closer shot.

Message received, we move into action, collecting assorted colorful plastic bags and ironing them together to create 8-ply sheets of fused plastic, suitable for sewing into just about anything (if you can put up with the stiff texture and multiple needle pricks). There are many good instructions for how to fuse plastic bags on the Web. Try this one from Etsy on YouTube.

Now we have any number of beautiful sheets of fused plastic material at our disposal. What to make, what to make?

The decision was easy—a recycled, fused plastic raincoat, hat, and boots for Barbie, who is herself entirely made of plastic and will be here long after we are gone, maybe even longer than the Venus of Willendorf. There is no better spokesperson for the uber-plastic world we have created.

Eco Barbie, decked out in fused plastic rain gear amidst a plastic landscape.

Eco Barbie tries to run from the problem but she can't run away from herself.

Eco Barbie realizes that before she can solve the problem, she must come to terms with the fact that, being plastic herself, she is the problem.

Note that all art pieces I have ever made using a Barbie doll (such as the Wonder Barbies) always recycle the same Barbie doll. Because there is no good way to throw her away, I will keep her until I am dead and will then will her to my oldest grandniece and so on through the generations until the end of time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seed Bomb Accessory Pin - The Secret Garden

For a more elaborate (and somewhat more practical) seedbomb accessory concept, see Seedbomb Bangles. The pin below is a one-off, fashioned from recycled scraps and showcasing a small watchcase featuring stored wildflower seeds.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GIGO - The Book of Garbage

The GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) book was made from garbage that cycles through my house over a day or two (including the junk that arrives in the mail). The magazine pages and scraps are from magazines I fished out of the dumpster in my building.

Cover: Portion of fiber bar box, magazine scraps, junk mailer, nicotine gum plastic packets, nicotine gum foil. The scraps inside the plastic packets rattle around when you shake the book.

Pages one and two

Inside of fiber bar box, humming birds from used paper towels, flowers from scraps of pink plastic shopping bag

Scrap from cereal box, seagulls from junk mailer, magazine scraps, assorted plastic and paper refuse
Pages three and four

Inside of cereal box scrap, squares of shiny foil wrapper, "nest" of dryer lint, thread scraps, foil bits and paper refuse

Magazine page and clippings, used notepaper, return envelope that came with a bill despite the fact I pay that bill electronically, Netflix mailer scraps

Pages five and six

Magazine page, birds from foil wrapper containing Trader Joes seaweed, Netflix mailer

Portion of clear plastic lid, magazine pages

Pages seven and eight (the wetlands spread)

Magazine page and scraps, great blue heron from paper grocery bag, grass from green plastic garbage bag, assorted scraps of garbage among the grass

Fiber bar box, magazine scraps, clapper rail and foil water ripples from seaweed package, grass from green plastic grocery bag, assorted garbage among grass from garbage scraps

Back cover: inside of fiber bar box, dodo from old train ticket, lettering from magazine, pile of garbage from assorted scraps of refuse

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sporescape: The Angel of Blessed Bacteria

Based on earlier success experimenting with Living Mold Jewelry, I am currently working on several "sporescapes," combining assemblage with live mold cultures. They are growing, with greater or lesser success, in the dark confines of my storage closet. This is the first, more will eventually follow.

The celestial perspective

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