Archives for category: Stanelco

The photograph below shows the brown biodegradable sheet i have been working with to make the bark of my biodegradable tree for Stanelco PLC.

Thermo-forming sections of this brown sheet over the clay mould (shown above) transfers the texture imprinted on the mould to the biodegradable plastic sheet. I made the mould by using the clay to adopt the texture of a real tree bark. Once i have formed enough sections of bark i will melt all the small sections of together and will eventually have what will be the trunk of the tree.

As well as the bark texture the trunk will take on the shape of familiar plastic shapes in certain parts of the trunk as seen in the photographs below.

After cutting all the bark sections out i saved all the left over bits to use to make the branches – REUSING 🙂

To follow, the branch making…

Photos below show trials for tree trunk and branches.

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This time last year my world was yellow. But now it’s green, biodegradable, and tree like!

Working with biodegradable plastics since November, it has without a doubt affected the way i feel about plastic. Not only do i always ask not to have a plastic bag in a shop, but it completely riles me to see people taking bags for just one item! I would say that the way people go about consuming so much plastic with no regard for the environment has become my biggest pet hate.

Earlier this evening, a friend of mine was telling me about how he drinks at least two bottles of water a day and then just bins them – that’s almost 800 bottles a year!!! Whatever happened to using a glass and a tap?? Although I must admit that the water here in London, in my opinion is vial! Being used to the Cheshire water i am not used to seeing half a beach at the bottom of my mug of tea!

Anyway, I haven’t spoken much about the pieces i am working on for Stanelco until now, perhaps because i have just had a big mass of biodegradable thoughts and experiments whirling around in my mind. But now i am focused on two very different installations.

Trying to overcome issues of storing previous art works such as my portable toilet and caravan, you would think this would have some impact on the scale to which i have decided to work with on this project – but they are the biggest yet 🙂

It’s an exciting time for me in the process of creation as all the plans are well in place, the experimentation has been exhausted and the final stage of making has begun. In other words, this stage for me is the, ‘dont stop ’til it’s finished part!’. Hence it’s midnight on a Wednesday evening, the working day is over and i am sitting in my bed surrounded by some newly made biodegradable branches, diagrams of how my trunk will slot together and writing about trees!

Photos to follow!

Don’t you just want to eat it?? I think it reminds me of sweets 🙂

My work for Stanelco is well underway now 🙂

After spending quite a bit of time getting to know the material and it’s capabilities i am now working towards three very different installations.

Getting to this point was quite difficult because the material is usually fed through industrial machinery, popping out several hundred pieces of the same product all with a purpose or function. But how could this be used to make art?? (And can ‘art’ and ‘function’ be used in the same sentence??)

What i wanted to know was what the capabilities of the material were if i had a big lump of it sitting in front me me in my studio with an array of tools! Well, I am stronger than i look but this stuff is tough! So for this reason i went down the route of trying to design something big made out of lots of smaller components. I spent time thinking about the material being made from a natural renewable source, and the way it biodegrades right back to nature. I liked the idea of showing this full cycle in my work, as well as demonstrating the biodegradable potential of the material, yet at the same time showing that despite all this that it is completely functional and wouldn’t biodegrade if you didn’t want it to!

Meanwhile, since i started this work i have had a huge bag of biodegradable pellets taking up space at my Mum’s house and she keeps asking me why it’s still there and why it’s not biodegraded out of her way yet!

I don’t want to say too much now about what i am making until i have got a little further with it but soon i will upload photographs of my progress.

I am writing this post from Weeze Airport after having been in Germany for the past couple of days with work.

I spent yesterday at an absolutely massive plastics exhibition/trade fair in Dusseldorf swatting up on all the different types of plastics, as well as all the different types of machinery used to form them. I think the scale of this trade fair, and the distances in which people had travelled both to visit and exhibit demonstrate just how big a part plastics play in our lives.

Starting work on my commission from Stanelco, i really can’t help but notice plastics everywhere i go and think about all the oil that is wasted in making them when there are so many alternative materials which could be used.

So, having four hours to pass at this little tiny airport and all different plastics whirling around in my head i have decided to see exactly how much plastic i can spot in this place:

(Typically with me i started at the toilet, although i cannot include what was in the mens 😛 !):

– 8 plastic toilet seats

– 8 plastic toilet brushes and 8 plastic toilet brush holders

– 8 plastic coat pegs

– 8 plastic toilet roll dispensers

– 9 plastic door handles and locks

– approx. (although judging by the amount of time i have to waste it’s probably pretty accurate) 48 metres of plastic sealant strips around the cubicle walls and door

– 14 plastic bin bags

– 10 plastic legs on cubicles

– 1 plastic air freshener holder

– 4 plastic door-stops

– 2 plastic light switches

– 2 laminated plastic cleaning rotas

– 2 plastic soap bottles

– 3 plastic laminated no smoking signs

– 77 plastic seat pads

– 87 plastic condiment sachets

– 30 plastic laminated menus

– 36 plastic Pringles lids

– 2 plastic tills

– 2 plastic drinks pumps

– 48 plastic straws

– plastic fire hose

– 3 plastic vending machine fronts

– 8 plastic sandwich containers

– 17 plastic-wrapped baguettes

– 14 plastic-wrapped muffins

– 16 plastic-wrapped bakery items

– 32 plastic advert banners hanging from ceiling

– 2 plastic laminated ‘staff only’ signs

– 4 plastic sit on rides for kids

– 2 plastic ‘A’ boards

– 4 plastic computers

– 2 plastic illuminated advert boxes

– 16 plastic leaflet holders

– 18 plastic- wrapped items in vending machine

– 2 vending machines of plastic bottles

– 38 plastic seat pads

– 17 plastic signs for lifts/departures etc

Trash Luxe is a collection of work by young designers who specialise in finding beauty in humble materials or salvaging otherwise unwanted goods, which they use to create dynamic, luxurious pieces.

This exhibition was extremely interesting not only in terms of the work itself, but the way in which it was chosen to be exhibited and especially the choice of venue.

Held at Liberty’s among their existing range of luxury items, this gave the work a real sense of luxury too. This was interesting because if the range had of been shown in a second hand shop i would have seen it in a completely different light. With environmentally friendly products often costing more to produce there is definitely a place for them in the luxury market as well as the extremely contrasting more hippie world!

As well as the choice of location for the exhibition what also fascinated me was the reaction of people about recycling and recycled products and i think this is something i would like to analyse further.

After spending a year painting my caravan and it’s contents yellow, i have a very exciting new commission!

Seeing as i usually ‘live’ my projects this could mean quite a lifestyle change for me as it involves going green and working with a material that is not harmful to the environment!

Stanelco is a company that produce bioplastics which i will be using to create my next installation.

Bioplastics can replace oil-based plastics and because they are derived from corn and potato starches, as well as being used for life-long plastic products they can biodegrade right back to nature. As it is a very new material it is extremely exciting as it’s capabilities are not entirely known so will involve a lot of experimenting and fun!

Taking on this work has increased my awareness of lots of environmental issues, particularly focusing my attention on all the wasted plastics we come across daily – so much so that i have a new found feeling of guilt when i put plastic in the bin these days!

There are lots of artists that explore environmental issues and this will be something interesting to look at as i get a feel for this new project.