Friday, May 30, 2014

Using trash in artistic gardens

 Todays two artists love using reclaimed objects to add design and definition to their homes.  Check out their work and an open collaborative upcycle sculpture project being run by Danielle Barbour in Warwick, NY this summer.

Stacey Monks

While looking for do-it-yourself garden projects, Tennessee mother and crafter Stacey Monks was inspired by a dresser-turned-planter she found online.  

“Someone had this dresser in the garbage,” she said.  “We nailed it to the tree, shimmed on bottom, and… put a brace in the back and drilled it into tree so it doesn’t move.”
The drawers are filled with perennial creepers that will eventually spill over the edges, using their root systems to hold the dresser together when weather begins to break it down.  She also left room to plant new annuals every year that will reflect the changes in her yard and her life in this ever-changing piece of upcycled art.

Stacey upcycles not only because she loves to craft, but because she is trying to downsize on some of the items in her home.  She’s used dome light coverings to make bird baths, and an old tractor tire to make a garden pond. Crafting with reclaimed materials allows her to use things she already has rather than adding to the clutter in her home.  In addition to keeping things out of landfills, it also saves her money.
Garden pond made from an upcycled tractor tire
“I’m an efficiency expert at work,” Stacey said.  “I make things faster, I work towards getting companies to go paperless, maximizing resources and minimizing waste.  I can’t do efficiency at work and not do it here.  I have two kids and in a few decades they’re gonna get what I throw out.”
decorative flowers made from soda bottles and spray paint

Crafting keeps Stacey busy and keeps her creating.   “I like making something pretty out of something that’s simple… Not only am I making something pretty, but I’m making something pretty out of something that’s not going in a landfill.”

Find Stacey Monks on Facebook at
Stacey will seal this mosaic made from reclaimed jewelry and place it in her garden.

Danielle Barbour

Artist Danielle Barbour of Warwick, NY has a newfound love for pallets.  She’s used them to provide structure for an artistically designed couch, and a bar built with an old fish tank stand and a piece of granite countertop that was being thrown away.

She’s even used pallets to create a meditative garden in her yard.
Danielle's mediative garden made from pallets is in its first year

Danielle has a background in fine art, and is using that knowledge and talent to coordinate a collaborative sculpture project.  Participants in the project will use their creativity to create a sculpture using donated pieces of coroplast [] that were destined for the trash.

This free day of art will be held on August 17th in Warwick, NY.  If interested contact Artist Danielle Rose Barbour []  or visit the Facebook event to RSVP.  

This and other events can also be found on the Mind Key Calendar  click, or use the calendar tab in the menu bar above.

This week's blogroll:

"Art or Garbage: What is Upcycling?"
"'Retrash': Finding Beauty in Lost Things"
"Poptabs Purses: Weaving art from tiny shiny things"

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