It is Simply taking garbage, junk or items that were or would be allocated to the junk yard/land fills and transforming it, or parts into something original, often functional with the primary purpose of making the item aesthetically pleasing from the artists viewpoint.
How did I get into recycled Art?Many years ago, living in Wausau Wisconsin every spring the town holds a spring clean up, where citizens simply throw on the curb side everything they no longer want, it is removed by garbage trucks. Beds, mattresses, everything imaginable is thrown on the curb.
I could not drive by the heaps of piles of stuff, without feeling a pit of sadness in my belly. All these things once loved, cherished, purchased for their home now held no meaning. It brought memories of my favorite Christmas tale of the Island of Misfit Toys, I felt for these inanimate objects that were unloved and rejected. It might have been a chair that initially provoked me to jump from my car and rescue it! It was such a nice design , I loved the shape. However when I got this chair home I saw and smelled why the owners may have abandoned it. it was covered in animal hair, smelled horrible , was ripped and torn. What was I going to do with it now that I gave it a new home?
It stayed in my garage over the summer. As every year, as an artist I take my sewing machine, paints and what not during Halloween, my favorite holiday. We decorate our yard to the extreme, in fact we have mad it to a few local newspapers in our day for our elaborate decorations. It suddenly occurred to me that "what the heck, why not try to transform that chair into a "haunted" or 'spooky' chair, what could it hurt? "
I got my tackle box full of medium grade acrylic paints, found some scrap Halloween fabrics and went to work. I thought why cant I paint the chair? It is fabric...approach it like a canvas. After a good brushing to remove the hair and debris, I hot glued or stapled any hanging cloth and went to work. It took the paint marvelously! I drove right in, how could I go wrong, I reasoned. well I couldn't. I had so much fun. Where ever there were tears in the fabric, I simply put spider web fabric over it, it became a patch work of blues, purples and became a witches chair. The smell was gone, the acrylic paints seem to really do a number on horrible smells. I was hooked.
I love recycling chairs, rescuing them and giving them new life. However , I collected far to many
and have a problem in fact. My back yard is filled with chairs. I feel like an old hillbilly. I have had to give up my passion for transforming chairs because of this. they are big , bulky and hard to store. In addition, they are not very conductive to selling on line. During the time my gallery was open , I did sell my chairs...now I have had to abandonment rescuing any more chairs for the dump pile.