And so In -Depth begins again!

This year I’m pretty excited for what I’m going to do. In fact, it took me a really long time to get this post up because every time I went looking for a picture I got distracted by all of the cool recycled art on the web.

Joe Pogan’s Recycled Art, courtesy of his website gallery (

So, what’s recycled art?

It’s basically taking old stuff, and making art out of it.

This is sometimes known as “Upcycling.”


verb (used with object), upcycled, upcycling.

1. to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original:

ex. “I upcycled a stained tablecloth into curtains.”
I want to do this because,well, who doesn’t want to learn how to make cool stuff? Plus, not only will I be making artwork, I’ll be helping raise awareness about the environment and reducing the waste I produce! I’ve been interested in scrap bits and pieces from a young age, and any of my friends can tell you that I carry around rubber bands, a broken combination lock and taken-apart pens in my pencil case for whenever I get bored. I’m just taken with the idea that scrap junk can become beautiful works of art, which really makes me wonder about how humans place value on objects. If that bird sculpture was given to me as a Christmas present still in the form of a bunch of nails and screws, I wouldn’t consider it as special as the sculpture above. But it’s the same stuff! Isn’t that weird?
The “how” of the project is where it starts to get complicated. I’ll take used materials, and combine them using glue, string or soldering tools (if I get access to them)to make art. I want to make sculpture pieces and one or two pieces of jewellery. There’s tons of awesome stuff being done with really small, simple sculpture.
Matthew Bartik’s flatware Recycled Fork Musicians.
Recycled insect sculpture by Justin Gershenson Gates
 I will obviously collect spare pieces of scrap metal, electronics, cork, old books, cassette and VHS tapes, or scratched/broken CDs and DVDs. I will also ask friends and family to send me all of their used materials, but I’m not sure how much this will bring. Finding a mentor is a big part of meeting these challenges. I’m hoping my mentor will be able to suggest some good places to find materials and, if possible, I will also contact someone who does metalworking to learn about soldering metal sculpture. So my needs are materials, a mentor with experience in sculpture, soldering tools, and an instructor who can teach metal soldering.When I searched for local resources and artists, I had a hard time find recycled art specialists, but I did find a free family drop in class about recycled art at Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam. I’m going to attend the first workshop there on Jan. 15 if all goes well, so I might be able to talk to the supervisor of that class about possible mentors. In the meantime, I’ll continue looking for a mentor.

My timeline goals are to complete a project a month, roughly. I’ll attend the workshop at Leigh Square after school, as it runs every second week starting Jan. 15th until the end of March. Coming up soon is my mentor-finding. I want to have found a mentor by Jan. 18, about a week from now. I’ve found many independent artists who do recycled art, but most of them live quite far away from here – the one Canadian artist I found lived in Ontario! But I still have a lot of searching to do.


In-depth posts update every week, so check next week to see if I’ve found a mentor and see some design sketches!