Fused plastic for the Union of Concerned Scientists

The Beyond Garbage blog got me started fusing plastic – not the most environmentally friendly of activities.  Yes, it reuses materials, but the toxins released during the fusing are a bit frightening.  Open windows!  Mucho ventilation!  Still, I am very happy with the piece I made for the call for entries and the jury liked it too, so I got in.  The show was up for a year at the DC offices of the Union of Concerned Scientists (1825 K Street, NW, in downtown Washington, DC) and after the show was over, they bought the piece!  So it is still there.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

I really enjoyed making this piece.  It is a wall hanging with an element of movement and shadow.  Depending on how you light it, the material can look more or less translucent, focusing on the surface qualities or on the space around and behind the piece.

Joss paper detail

This piece is about many of the “green” issues plaguing us these days.  It is made from fused plastic shopping bags.  The tree trunks are Whole Foods bags (highlighting the irony of buying organic fruits and veggies and taking them home in plastic bags).  The colored plastic is a combination of heavyweight fancy boutique bags with layers of flimsier clear veggie bags to fuse the layers, with acrylic paint incorporated to add a metallic accent.  The fluttering leaf/squares are inspired by joss paper, squares of often gold-leafed paper that are burned for good luck (e.g., hoping for a prosperous New Year) and to venerate one’s ancestors.  By adding leaf outlines to the joss paper, I hoped to show the “free” leaves as being “money to burn.”

The frame is made from copper tubing left in my basement by the previous owners of my house, so I got to reuse almost everything in the sculpture.


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