Saturday, December 16, 2006

Upcycling is fun!

Mark of Beauty, originally uploaded by jtorrant.

Etsy is having a Upcycling Contest right now, and this piece is one of my entries. Here's a bit of info on Upcycling from Etsy...

"The word Upcycling was coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braugart in their book on ecologically intelligent design, Cradle to Cradle. In the simplest terms, upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. In this contest we challenge all Etsy users to create an object to sell on Etsy that is comprised of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash heap."

I have never heard of "upcycling" until now, but I have been very familiar with both recycled and found object art, and I'm a fan of both. I love the sustainability aspect of recycled art, and often feel a little guity for all of the new painting products I purchase, and the packaging that comes with it all.

In this piece, I started by cutting up pieces of junk mail and layering them on top of each other with acrylic medium as a binding agent, until I got to the thickness of a heavy weight watercolor paper (or even a little thicker than that). Then I did the ink drawing, and came in with acrylic washes of paint. It's fun to reveal certain parts of the paper underneath and obscure others with the paint. I'm excited to keep thinking of ways to revamp used or throw away items and happy to know there is a market for these creations!

There are some really amazing, funky creations people have made on Etsy for this contest. Just search this tag "upcycleBB" to find all of the entries.


Mary said...

This is really very, very good Jessica! Incredible what you can do with things that usually en up in the trash. Although I think you have to have a very creative mind to come up with somehting this good.

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

This is way cool! I love how you used junk mail, that is the ultimate in upcycling I'd have to say! I'm going to have to figure something out for this contest, I've been considering making something out of all the small matboard scraps I tend to accumulate.

Happy Holidays to you too Jessica! I probably won't be posting much in the next week or so myself. We are traveling down to see my brother and dad in Las Cruces and El Paso respectively.

ttyl, after the holidays are over and life gets back to normal! :)

Anonymous said...

Your very creative Jess! I love your work! This one looks really kewl too!!! I envy you!

Unknown said...

This is beautiful and is the epitome of upcycling!

Take care,


Martha Marshall said...

I love it! You should do more!!