What can you do with hardware, dirty car windows, garbage, flipflops, umbrellas, pencils and plastic bottles to brighten up the world?  Let these artists inspire you to appreciate the life around you in a new way.

Starry night 4
There are over 1,250 door knobs, levers and backplates in this recreation of Starry Nights at Union Hardware in Bethesda, Maryland. The background consists of ¾ inch PVC boards.
starry night, 2
starry night 3Go here for more info on Union Hardware.
Wash me, scott wadeArtist Scott Wade loves to draw on dirty car windows, but unlike you and me, he doesn’t just draw smiley faces and clever sayings, like, “wash me”. Scott lives on a mile and a half of dirt road composed of a blend of limestone dust, gravel and clay. Driving over this surface results in a fine white dust coating the rear window. Being an experienced artist, it wasn’t long before Scott started experimenting with different techniques to create these intricate drawings.
wash me, desertwash me, palms
dirty-car-art-by-scott-wade-uncle-albertwash me 2wash mewash me, 3Here’s Scott Wade’s website.
Francisco de Pájaro aka Art is Trash transforms piles of garbage left out in the streets.

Francisco de Pájaro aka Art is Trash transforms piles of garbage left out in the streets.

human ingen, art trashhuman ingen, art is trashhuman ingen, art is trash5human ingen, trash art human ingen, trash art 2human ingen, trash art

human ingen, ocian 4Kenya’s Ocean Sole sandal recycling company collects discarded flipflops that were previously polluting waterways and coastlines and transforms them into colorful handmade toy animals. Talented artisans from local communities earn an income transforming the collected waste into  flipflop creations for sale across the world. The company recycles 400,000 kilos of rubber waste a year.

human ingen, ocean sole, 3human ingen, oceanhuman ingen, ocean 3human ingen, ocean, 6human ingen, ocean sole 4human ingen, ocean 2human ingen, ocean 5Click here to go the Ocean Sole website including a video of them working.

human ingen, A Floating Orb Fashioned from Hundreds of Discarded Umbrella Frames, see wordIn 2011 the folks at SLO Architecture and a team of Bronx teens built a giant twenty-four-foot diameter, floating spherical dome constructed from discarded, broken umbrellas and plastic soda bottles. The dome set sail towards the Inwood Park Hill Inlet, but inclement weather caused it to shipwreck on Rikers Island. The structure was then requisitioned and destroyed by the New York City Department of Correction.

human ingen umbrell 2Without losing hope, husband-and-wife team Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi launched a Kickstarter fund to build Harvest Dome 2.0.  They raised $7,596 out of their $7,500 minimum goal.  The 24-foot-diameter orb was built entirely out of over 400 disposed umbrella skeletons collected around NYC and a ring of 128 two-liter soda bottles to keep it afloat.

human ingen, umbrellhuman ingen, umbrellahuman ingen, umbrel, 4human ingen, umbrell 3human ingen, pencil 3Budapest-based artist Cerkahegyzo manages to produce all his artworks out of a single pencil. Some give the impression that he somehow fuses together the elements of multiple pencils to achieve the desired effect, but it’s only an optical illusion. He uses razor blades and needles to painstakingly carve away at the lead base and wooden casing, as well as sandpaper, files, and polishing stones to shape his intricate designs.

human ingen, Budapest-based artist Cerkahegyzo manages to produce all these unreal artworks out of a single pencil.  see more on wordhuman ingen, pencil 2human ingen, pencilhuman ingen, pencil 5human ingen, pencil 7human ingen, pencil 6human ingen, lampsColombian psychologist and activist Hélène Le Drogou spearheaded a project that combines local resources with ancient artisan textile techniques. It focuses on the plastic waste that is contaminating the Colombian Amazon and the reuse of discarded PET bottles to make functional products—”PET lamps”.

human ingen, lamps 3human ingen lamps, 3human ingen, lamps 4human ingen, lampshuman ingen, plastic bottle lampsGo here for the PETlamp website.

Much appreciation to Junk Culture for introducing me to many of the artists shown here.  Be sure to check it out if you want to browse through more art from “junk.”

Also thanks to Tim L, and Good News Network.


6 thoughts on “Transforming the Ordinary

  1. Once again, over the top fantastic, Dusky. Do you know about the “Landfillharmonic” Orchestra from Paraguay? They use instruments made from basura found in a giant landfill and concocted into violins, guitars, even a flute and a saxophone. The musicians are teens from this impoverished community of trash-pickers. They gave a concert last night at the Kennedy Center that was standing room only. If you haven’t seen their you-tube video, I can send it to you.
    Keep it up!

  2. Salute to the artists whose imagination produce work of art from the discarded garbage. I like the pet lampshades the best as plastic bottles and allied products made from plastic cause enormous health hazard.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. The artistic work made from the pencils requires tremendous skill and steady hand besides the imagination. great work.

  4. Gees, Peter, I googled them and they are amazing. I’m sorry I didn’t know about them for this post, but I will definitely include them in the future. I saw a 3 min. story about them. If you have something more, please send it. The concert must have been incredible. Thanks.

  5. It gives great hope to see creative and ingenuous ways that talented people of all means have transformed mundane or discarded material into works of art or functional objects!

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