Exploring: Fun

The last two posts have been about the wonderful “IDEA Store” in Champaign, Illinois. Today I will share the original reason for my trip there – a workshop! Presented by artist Michelle Stitzlein, aimed at those who create art with children, we re-purposed plastic lids into creative works of art.

plastic lid assortment

plastic lid assortment

Each person was given a 24×24″ piece of plywood to work on, which we first painted with a layer of paint as we pleased. Since we’d be working with round shapes there would be areas of the background that would probably peek through so this made a much better background than just plain wood. Once the paint dried then we began to arrange the lids into whatever pattern we desired. Look at the assortment of lids we had to choose from:

I think I started and stopped arranging at least three times before mine finally began to take shape like I wanted it to!

After it was  arranged then the hard work started: DRILLING. It was about this time I realized that larger caps equaled less drilling, but it was a bit too late. Good information for future projects though! 🙂 Needless to say, I did NOT get everything drilled to the board before time ran out.

I’m pretty sure my design changed between removing it for transport and re-assembling it when I got back to the studio.

"Fun" 24x24" mixed media art on wood © 2013, Lynne Medsker

“Fun” 24×24″ mixed media art on wood © 2013, Lynne Medsker

But that’s okay, I like the way it turned out! I think this would be a really fun piece to hang in a kids room or at a daycare, peditricians office, etc. Bright, cheerful and eco-friendly! Here’s a detail shot:

detail from "Fun" © Lynne Medsker

detail from “Fun” © Lynne Medsker

It really gave me lots of ideas for future projects and other materials that could be used to create with. Fun, indeed!

Lynne

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Upcycled/Recycled

Not long ago I blogged about trying to help the “green” effort with materials in my studio and hinted that I’d been getting creative with some of those materials. Today I’m going to show you some of the items I’ve created and what they are made of!

aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker

aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker

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finished pieces, ready to assemble

I love to explore something new and this idea had been bouncing around in my head a while until I couldn’t contain it any more.

Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker

Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker

Earrings from recycled/upcycled materials? Oh, yeah. I made a few pair from plastic drinking bottles to see if it would work (and it did!) and the rest of this initial group were made by covering old packaging/shipping envelops with aluminum.

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shapes cut from packing envelope, ready to be covered with aluminum and colored

Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker

Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker

Since that time I am looking at every container that comes through the house as potential supplies. 🙂

materials waiting to be transformed

materials waiting to be transformed

I’ve got a nice pile of “almost ready” pieces for the next batch of earrings, including these painted book pages that are sandwiched between pieces of packaging plastic.

I’ve been wearing one pair and they are fabulously lightweight, which I love! And the compliments aren’t bad either. I’m thinking this may be a potential new class for me to teach, anyone interested?

Lynne

Staying Green

One of the things that I try to do in my studio (and my home for that matter!) is to be aware of the resources that come through and use them as fully, or dispose of them as properly, as possible. One thing that I have a bit of a personal crusade about is packing and packaging materials! Most of them seem to be over-kill and a waste of paper, plastic, space and time (especially trying to get into some of them!!). Lately the companies that I order my supplies from have been using flat brown craft-type paper in long, crunched up rolls to pad the shipments. This I LIKE! blog, packing paperA few minutes to smooth out the wrinkles and fold it neatly and it has all kinds of uses in the studio. Whoot! I keep any styrofoam packaging to use in building mixed media sculptures as well as the plastic packaging bags to use for protection of work surfaces, floors and even the finished art. blog, plastic bagsThey are great for sorting class supplies in too!

When I purchased the shelving for the studio all the pieces were wrapped in plastic, I’ve got a good stash going now! As for the actual boxes, I break them down into larger flat pieces (again for projects, surface protect, material to create bases for 3D work, etc.) and then the lid flaps I tear up into smaller pieces that I use for stamping texture and designs on work. Look at this tub full of fun!blog, cardboard pieces

There still ends up being some things that I can’t use but if I’m lucky they are items that can be recycled. Here’s some of reusable stuff I got from the shelf packaging:blog, art recycle

I’ve also been working on some artistic projects that use packing/packaging materials but I’m saving that for a future post! Well, okay, maybe just a little teaser for you: web, upcycle  4

Till next time!

Lynne