Just in time for spring, comes these beautiful flower pins made from recycled plastic bottles by American artist Laura Astor. We caught up with Laura to ask her a few questions about what it takes to upcycle PET bottles into stylish jewelry.
Please describe your plastic pin making process.
Well, it’s easy. However, I’m afraid that if I describe the entire process then everybody will start making plastic bottle flowers in their kitchens and ciao my business! I guess I can apply what mom told me in the kitchen, “To be generous and give my friends recipes, but always keep one ingredient secret”.
So here is how I make the pins: I think of a bottle like a piece of fabric. It’s all about cutting nicely, finding a form. I apply several layers and lock them together to look like petals.
PET is the acronym for polyethylene terephthalate, a subproduct of petroleum. It’s almost indestructible and it’s a pollutant. But the good thing is that it’s still an organic substance and, believe it or not, it is “alive”.
Working with plastic, you really interact with it. It’s not that you just cut. You act, and the plastic reacts in unexpected ways. So you have to learn how to tame it. That’s the beauty of organic stuff. Plastic reacts to heat, cold, and all sorts of tweaks. It’s magic. And when the flower finally is born, well, it’s like you gave birth to a real critter.
Where did the idea come from?
I’m not the first to work with soda bottles. I am an avid art-show attendee. I study forms, materials, etc. Plastic is becoming popular among artists. In the past, I worked with wire, fabric, paper, etc. I’m always testing new elements. Now I’m totally in love with PET.
Where do you get the bottles?
I try to be self-sufficient. That means, counting myself, I consume the equivalent of 30 soda bottles per month. Being two in the house, it’s simple math. I gather more than 60 bottles per month. Enough for 240 pins. It helps to think green. In essence, I’m saving the environment 720 bottles per year.
How many bottles to make one pin?
It depends on the size of the bottle and the size of the pin. And your luck. Sometimes you screw up and have to start all over again.
How long does it take from start to finish to make a pin?
It has to do with size and complexity. I keep spare parts that will magically fit days later in a different piece.
What is your favorite type of bottle to use?
My favorite is the hardest to get - Evian. It’s very expensive and I can’t buy that water.
Via: Great Green Goods