This blog installment is a homage to random acts of upcycling in Missoula. The Garden City is full of recreated and repurposed wonders. Some of these you may recognize. Perhaps you pass by them on your daily commute/dogwalk/regular walk/bike ride/streaking session/jog? No matter which direction you go, you're bound to come across some upcycled awesomeness out there. So, to all the random upcyclists making our city just a little cooler, thanks for sharing your work and thanks for being badasses!
Here we have this north side’s most exquisite equine. This beaut greets us everyday as we travel along the northside’s bike path. It’s just one of the many art installations that makes this part of town a hotbed of creativity.
Coolest mailbox in town! Pretty sure this one's a boy.
Finally, let us bow our heads to this majestic warrior found on the north end of campus. The warrior is throwing a lance through a hoop, which is the traditional Native American hoop game. This gem was recreated with parts from abandoned automobiles. Thank you, Jay Laber, for adding some creative and cultural beauty to our campus.
This February Upcycled is taking First Friday off to support our fellow Upcyclists in person. We will be spending the night at Draught Works with their featured artist of the month, B. Martinez. She is a close friend of Upcycled and an active participant in Missoula’s art scene. She first began selling her art 7 years ago after her first First Friday hosted by the Green Light. She has since taken part in many First Friday’s and has become a popular name in the Garden City’s arts community.
She began making art when she was child and her mother handed her a glue gun, fabric scraps, a pair of scissors and a box of crayons. She quickly found herself akin to the creative process and has been inspired ever since. Today, she works with mixed media on reclaimed/recycled and liberated paneling/particle board/canvas/wood.
B. Martinez’s passion for repurposing materials is at the core of creativity and sustainability. American’s generate approximately 251 million tons’ of trash per year, with an unfortunately low recycling rate. Organic materials such as yard trimmings and food waste are the largest contributors to municipal solid waste. However, materials such as metals, rubber, textiles, leather and wood make up a significant fraction of our country’s waste.
Through the creative process, she seeks to lighten our landfills and inspire resourcefulness. It’s easy to see why we at Upcycled are so fond of this artist, we share the same philosophy waste not, want not.
So, if you find yourself wanting some nifty recycled art, you should probably heed that call. Join us this Friday, February 5th, at Draught Works Brewery for some great beers, great company and some liberated lumber.
We launched a Kickstarter campaign, and would love for you to check it out. We've crafted a new adaptable line of wallets designed with flexibility in mind. Our goal is to raise funds for a laser engraver to etch our logos into our wallets and we'd like some other equipment to help us scale. Please check us out and share with friends!
This past week I had the chance to teach a kindergarden class about upcycling. I showed them some examples of upcycling and then we crafted some greeting cards from cereal boxes and yarn. This was my first experience crafting with very young children and I'm pretty sure I learned more from them than they from me.
One thing I learned was that five year olds are genuinely excited to try just about anything and will enthusiastically pour themselves into an endeavor in ways you could not foresee. I also learned that while the mind is willing the manual dexterity isn't always able, so the simpler the projects the better.
My experience left me pondering about good ways we can introduce wee tikes to upcycling so they both understand and take part. The Upcycled Kids section on our Pinterest page has a bunch of cool little projects kids can do with a little help from their parents. Perhaps next time we will start with a small project like the upcycled bracelets pictured here. The basic design is super simple, but the bracelets scale well at differing abilities. Have a better idea? Feel free to
A few days ago, I was afforded the opportunity to give a presentation about upcycling to the Hellgate High School student body. A good part of the presentation covered why one might upcycle to begin with. While some of this may be self evident, I still think it is useful to examine a bit closer. So for what it's worth, four major reasons to upcycle.
Why do you upcycle?
Random musings, interviews and other prose...