We love featuring creative representations of recycled art and the artists that bring these crafts to renewed life, as it shows there is more than one way to recycle that plastic water bottle, old jacket or cassette tape you might have around the house.
Typically referred to as upcycling rather than recycling, these artists take materials commonly thought of as waste and fashion them into new products. There seem to be few materials these artists won’t consider using, as even that old kitchen sink, as the “everything but” expression goes, is worthy of a second life in their eyes.
What’s Out There
These days, it’s possible to find almost every material imaginable crafted in to a new one, but we thought we would feature a taste of what’s available.
reMade USA makes unique leather bags from old leather jackets (you know, the style that went out with the 80s). The company hand crafts the bags in San Francisco, certifying that each is truly a one-of-a-kind creation. The company always accept donations of all kinds of leather and will even custom make you a bag out of your old jacket.
French artist Gilles Eichenbaum, known by many as Garbage, takes old kitchen appliances and transforms them into artistic lighting fixtures. From teapots and coffee machines to the occasional non-kitchen item (like the front end of an old Mercedes), the artist makes beautiful creations of items whose functionality in the kitchen may be long over.
Even the kitchen sink has a place in the world of art, albeit architecture, as Dutch architect firm 2012 Architechten has built an entire building out of reclaimed industrial kitchen sinks. The building, used as a community center, is a shining (and shiny) example of reclaimed design. It’s sustainable design even allows for the collection of rainwater, which is used in the nearby collective garden.