UPCYCLING PLASTIC PLATES INTO ART

My husband frequently shakes his head when he sees me experimenting with things to recycle into art.  "You're going to do what with that?" is a common thing I hear.  I figure that anything is fair game for me in my never-ending quest to turn stuff into art that would otherwise end up in the trash.

Case in point.  These plastic plates.  I wish I still had one unadorned and un-embellished so you could see a "before" photo of it.  Sadly, I did not have the foresight to do that.  These were white plastic, disposable plates with quite a beveled edge to them.  Nice looking actually, for plastic plates.  They are actually about a half inch in depth and 6X6 square and as soon as I saw them the reminded me of frames, so it wasn't much of a stretch to think they would suit having art put on them.

I spent a lot of time on the backgrounds of these two pieces.  Many, many layers of stuff went into each piece.  The scans are pretty dark but they are representative of the finished pieces which are also kind of dark and grungy.  The top piece is titled, "Soar" and the bottom piece is titled, "Virtue."

I started with purple tissue paper and podged that all over the plates, then added many layers of different types of paints and inks including acrylics and Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble crayons .  You'll notice how lumpy and textural the tissue paper turned out and I really liked that.  I knew right away that a grungy look is what I wanted, to juxtapose with the stark white plastic underneath.

I just kept scribbling with the Neocolors and putting on more layers of acrylics, sometimes using a sea sponge, or a brush or a bit of punchinella as a stencil.   I had already created the bird in "Soar" by drawing on a vintage letter and adding the human eye, so when I came across the vintage dictionary definition of "soar" I knew I'd found the theme for this piece.  The butterflies are cardstock stickers from a Tim Holtz set, I think.  All the curlycue doodads were the result of an experiment with my Silhouette machine.



"Virtue" has the vintage dictionary definition included in it too, along with a wonderful vintage image from my collection.  I loved the look on her face and am very pleased with how dark and moody the piece is overall.  You really have to look at it closely to even see her.  There are a couple more of those Tim Holtz cardstock stickers in this piece too, and lots and lots of layers of Neocolors and and paint.


When they were done, I fashioned a loop for them to hang from with recycled wire and adhered those to the backs and covered all the messiness one often finds on the back of part so that it would have a decent finished appearance.  Because the plates are beveled, the art sits away from the wall a bit.  Of course, they could also be displayed on small easels (hence the need to finish the back well).

"Soar" has sold but "Virtue" is still available if anyone wants to give her a good home before I list her in my Etsy store.  $24.95US and as my thanks for your support I will cover the shipping costs in North America (about a $10.00 value).

All the best,
Joanna

2 comments:

Erin Fish said...

Joanna - these are gorgeous. When are you going to start doing online workshops?

Boo said...

They are both lovely. I really like the idea of using a plastic plate as a canvas.