Recycled Art Secrets Revealed in our Fall Issue!

Here’s a fun fact: I have a handbag filled with junk: a rusty washer found in a parking lot, various store and restaurant flyers, a couple of rocks and a twig from a walk, ticket stubs, clothing tags, and napkins (clean). While these may seem like a hoarder’s collection, trust me, they’re not. They are inspirations for my recycled art.

I love working with recycled and repurposed materials more than almost anything else, and I’ve done it since I started making art. Nothing thrills me more than taking an item and doing a 180 on it, transforming it into something beyond its original purpose. Most people see a cereal box, but I see book covers. A map is a blooming rose, and a tattered quilt piece is the focal point of a stitched collage. Seeing the potential in castoffs is thrilling, and planning and executing the conversion is the ultimate creative satisfaction. That process gets my wheels turning like nothing else.

Creating recycled art just takes a little imagination, and we have tons of inspiration for you in our Fall 2018 issue! Kristen Robinson turned plain cardboard into beautiful, textural shrines. (Photo by Sharon White Photography)

I know I’m not alone. Judging from the fantastic recycled art I’ve seen and the innovative recycling techniques that artists continue to develop, there are a lot of people stuffing odd bits in their pockets to use in their creations. Our everything-is-disposable world has no doubt motivated artists even more to rescue items from the trash, or visibly mend what’s tattered and torn. In doing so, they’re further pushing the limits of what art is, what can become art, and what can be used to make art.

Step into the studio of mixed-media artist Karen O’Brien, who designed her workspace to serve many functions. (Photo by Jennifer Butler.)

The artists who are included in our Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors all bring something inventive to the discussion. Roseane Viegas related a compelling story: She didn’t have access to her usual supplies, and had a creative epiphany while drinking from a juice box: the metallized interior might be perfect for making monotypes. The result is beautiful, vivid monoprints that you can make on your kitchen table.

See the results of Rosane Viegas’ creative inspiration and discover how to make monoprints with juice boxes. (Photo by Sharon White Photography.)

I’ve been following Jennifer Collier’s work for years, absolutely fascinated with how she transforms 2-D paper into 3-D masterpieces, like cameras, typewriters, sewing machines, and shoes. For her article “Found-Paper Dresses” she transformed found papers into lovely frocks, complete with details such as pleats, piping, and button loops (that’s her dress on the cover!). Instead of tossing leftover grout from a DIY home project, Sandra Duran Wilson made it a textural element in an abstract piece. Candy Rosenberg saved discarded books from a landfill by turning the spines into a spectacular modern Victorian corset. This piece involves tons of cool techniques, including papier-mâché, creating a rusty patina, and more.

Get in touch with your inner fashionista when you learn how to make a corset from Candy Rosenberg, using recycled book spines. (Photo by Sharon White Photography.)

In Paperology, you’ll find Kristen Robinson’s elegant shrine made out of cardboard that’s all about texture and details. Debbie Blair raided the toy box to create a bold, wearable necklace made with recycled checkers and other unexpected items.

Don’t miss our profile of the creative duo Dosshaus, who take recycled art to another level with their dimensional work. (“The Artist’s Room,” photo by Dosshaus.)

The issue is filled with so much more great inspiration. We profile Dosshaus, a creative duo from Southern California who fashion whole worlds out of recycled cardboard and paint. Seth Apter kept a journal during his artist residency, and we have it! His insights will fascinate you. Katherine DuBose Fuerst’s incredible dimensional paper clay birds will make your jaw drop. Chris Cozen shows how to create a mixed-media painting inspired by the abstract work of Richard Diebenkorn, and we have lots of studio inspiration from Karen O’Brien in Studio Spotlight (so jealous of her workspace!).

Learn how to work with paper clay to make these fanciful birds. Katherine DuBose Fuerst even shows you how to create a sculpted face. (Photo by Sharon White Photography.)

Using this issue as inspiration, let’s start a recycled art challenge—use at least one recycled item per week in your artwork. Better yet, make an entire art piece from repurposed materials, along with your favorite go-to supplies. Excuse me while I rifle through my handbag.

Sneak a peek of the brand new Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors with our colorful lookbook!

Learn how to recycle plain envelopes into a vibrant handmade journal in this blog post.

Get tips and techniques for making amazing recycled art in the Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Get your digital  or print copy today!
Get tips and techniques for making amazing recycled art in the Fall 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Get your digital or print copy today!


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