Editor’s note: We’re pleased to start a new content partnership today with Low Impact Living, a very comprehensive site dedicated to “helping you lower the environmental impact of your home and your daily life.” The first post we’re publishing definitely belonged here at Feelgood Style: LIL co-founder Jessica Jensen profiles four decorative artists working with recycled materials. This post was originally published earlier today (April 28, 2008).
We have recently come across the outstanding artists who are using found and recycled objects to create their masterpieces. Their work is gorgeous, intriguing and sustainable– what could be better?
The first we want to highlight is the “mosaic fusion” of artist S A Schimmel Gold. She collects junk mail and incorporates it into her stunning portraiture. Some are pure pop, some are moody and moving. I saw them “in person” at the AltBuild Expo last week and was floored. The artist says of herself and her work, “I am a rabid recycler – I am compelled to upcycle unusual resources to create my art and give others’ images and words a new life in my work. Look closely for menu items, cruise itineraries, gallery openings… stand back to view the sum of the parts – a textural representation of beauty.” Please review the Schimmel Art collection here.
The second artist we love is Tammy Roy, who is the founder of OneEighty, an eco-art studio. Tammy takes used washers, rebar and other found metal objects and welds them into compelling pieces. She makes lamps, bowls, wall pieces– and the amazing fireplace screen shown here. Tammy and her mom love to go dumpster-diving together– she says, “Unlike most mothers and daughters, you won’t see us in the malls, but instead pulling scraps of steel from salvage yards!” See the entire OneEighty collection here.
If you have not seen the plastic bag mandala art of Virginia Fleck, you have a real treat in store. Fleck collects brightly colored plastic bags and turns them into spiritual post-consumer gems. She is grounded in both the traditions of American quilting and the mandala art of Tibet. Some of the pieces are fanciful (including images of Scooby Doo’s face) and some are more abstract and modernist. Fleck’s work has met with great critical acclaim, and once you peruse her collection, you will have no question as to why.
Kwytza Kraft was the original idea of founder Bryan Parks, an American who lived in China for several years. He became disturbed by the refuse created by single-use chopsticks, and decided he needed to do something about it. Now he collects chopsticks, sanitizes them, and creates stunning lamps, bowls, and other objects. He even makes purses and necklaces out of chopsticks. Please take a look at the Kwytza Kraft collection.