Friday, April 2, 2010

Plastic bag extravaganza

So, this amazing artist that I met recently, Virginia Fleck, makes these unbelievably intricate and beautiful mandalas by cutting up plastic bags. Seriously, they're not to be believed. There's some of them down on 5th St. at the Whole Foods bus stop. They're just so beautiful they kind of blow my mind.

She also does these bigger installation pieces with her chosen medium, the ubiquitous plastic bag. Like the piece above, which was at Laguna Gloria. Pretty cool, eh??

So anyway... she was taking down an installation piece she did in Arizona and she was needing to get a few boxes of extra solid colored bags off of her hands. I was SO pleased to oblige! I have been so in the mood to just do tons of experimenting, or tinkering if you will, with some otherwise scorned or thrown out items. So when Austin Creative Reuse opens up, we'll just be rife with dazzling new ideas of ways to use our cast-off items.

I've got lots of ideas and lots of things I want to try, but I haven't really nailed it with anything yet. I'm including some of my failed efforts because I was so inspired by some of the points that Gever Tulley was making. About being failure-positive. And about encouraging others to be failure-positive, too. Like if all we put out there are our most perfect efforts, they can often be intimidating rather than inspiring. And people are less inclined to just give it a shot, if it interests them. 'Cause people on these blogs only ever share their best efforts. And it makes it look like everything that streams out of you is divinely inspired. Like good old Soulemama.... who posts a non-stop flow of perfect handmade crafts... but does she ever share her botched sweater or curdled yogurt? But no one ever shares their mishaps along the way... so I thought maybe I'd share a few. Maybe it's good to do and maybe there's no point to it at all... it's all an experiment, so we'll just have to see now, won't we?

If nothing else I figure I can just cut the bags up into skeins and skeins of plarn. Plarn for all!

Another experiment... with a coffee cup and a straw. If you've got any ideas for me let 'em fly!
I've certainly got the bags to spare.


Kitten Muffin said...

Ooh, plastic bags have been my play thing recently. I'm quite envious of your hoard! Have you had any sucess with plarn? I tried it a long time ago and just ended up with a knitted piece that was way too stretchy to be of use as a grocery bag. I think I used the wrong type of plastic bag or something. I shared some of the shrivelly mistakyness of my plastic ironing efforts ;) Nuthin' ventured nuthin' gained!

Kami said...

KM, you are awesome!! I know, your posts could not have come at a more perfect time! I am dying to experiment with what you have discovered. You are the ultimate person who actually tries new things and discovers these amazing new crafts/activities/things to make... super inspirational!
Yeah I heard from someone else that the knitted stuff wasn't that great... but I just saw some woven efforts and they even looked a lot better, and are hopefully stronger. Gonna try that... and your fusing technique... wish I didn't have to sleep at night!!!

Kitten Muffin said...

Yeah, the whole sleeping thing is such a nuisance! Guess it stops you from going stark-bollock-raving-mad in the long run though. I played about with how much sleep I can get and not feel like a total lunatic after a week of it, and the minimum seems to be about six hours a night for me. I heard that Margaret Thatcher managed on 2 hours a night longterm, but I suspect that she was insane to start with.

Kami said...

Yes, trying my best not to go insane, so I think I'll keep the sleep!