Monday, August 30, 2010

Objects d’reinvention ...

Curating a ‘trash to treasure trunk show’ is right up my alley! I love to disassemble worn objects and reconstruct them to serve another humble purpose. So, showcasing some of these recycled materials may spur a few of your own ideas.

I dressed up a worn blackboard by
trimming it down to fit in an old frame
It was fun to rip the fabric off a discarded lampshade
to create a postcard carousel for my studio

I am totally impressed by the ingenuity of others who can transform bits and pieces into remarkably inventive, new serviceable goods and unique, imaginative art.

Take a tour through the gallery below, and leave inspired to reclaim your trash for a higher purpose.

*(junks-ta-po-zish’ –un); noun, the art and placement of junk for design purposes; a great little art house out of Pennsylvania with an online shop full of recycled jewelry and art.

Love their artful pendants (left) that feature words to live by. These chips started out as Formica samples. Who knew they could be so cool!?!  JuNxtaposition's typewriter key bracelets (above) and rings are cute enough to make any admin swoon! Visit

They may have started as wine bottles or other glass containers, but now, they are simply 'bellissimos' (beautiful things.) The recycled glass is hand-cut and frosted into a handsome bell (left). Jerry Kott presents a variety of artistic treasures on his website at

The Green Glass Co. also creates drinkware and votives from reclaimed bottles (right). Their online product catalog is at

Among my new-found favorite artistic reclamation projects is the one operated by Ten Thousand Villages. It supports environmental and entrepreneurial programs in Third World countries. Providing vital, fair income to disadvantaged people, Ten Thousand Villages markets indigenous handicrafts – working with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.  The magazine basket right is handwoven from fast-growing Tilob fern by artisans in the Philippines. Visit

The big box stores are also working with artisans to use reclaimed materials in new ways. Anthropologie has this fabulous Kilim Sofa shown below (using pieces of worn, ethnic Kilim rugs) in its stores nationwide. You could get the same look by recycling any old, nubby, colorful blanket (I'm thinking Mexican or Guatemalan) as upholstery fabric. If you're into Southwestern design, think Indian blankets from New Mexico.

This beauty from Anthropologie could totally make me rethink my current residence.
One look at it, and I want to own a casita in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The size is perfect for trips to market.
'Paperboy' bags and totebags from Austin Woodhenge are great for the beach, toting groceries, packing baby travel supplies and diapers, and they are great as gym bags, too. The size of these babies will take you from the flea market to the farmers' market with room to spare. And, I absolutely love the linen grainsack material.

You can buy them at shows from Texas to Georgia to Colorado and California, but don't look for a storefront - there isn't one. However, Austin Woodhenge does have a website

Artisans Don and Kathy Gross sell the bags washed, dyed, ironed and screenprinted. Or, you may find inspiration to recycle some of those fabrics collecting dust in your closet. I am thinking of some richly-aged, long-forgotten hemp material that is calling out from a stack of sewing fabrics.

Oh yeah, moma's gonna have a brand new bag!


Krystina said...

Great idea with the lampshade! You are so inventive!!

Roseanna said...

Wherever did you find those gorgeous clips on the lampshade? Just love the way it being used!! said...

This article is nice and I really like, thank you for sharing!

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