Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reimagined/Recreate: Upcycled Art

Being involved with my local Art Center means that I see and hear about things before others might. So when I heard about their plans to have an upcycled art exhibit, I immediately thought of all of the jewelry I have made over the years with upcycled objects. I approached our director to see if she might be interested in any of my jewelry for the exhibit and was so pleased when she said yes! I have sold my jewelry for many years but I have never been in an actual exhibit. How exciting!!!

Since I now have precious few minutes to steal away to be creative, I was a bit relieved knowing that I already had many designs in my personal collection that were composed of tea strainers, silverware, drawer pulls, and men's ties. But, like many others, I have recently caught the bug to create with decorative tins! So, I did have to carve out some time more recently to make up several tin pieces not only for show, but also for sale. (Which is why I haven't been able to blog/show any new work lately). Upcycling is such a huge trend no matter what type of medium you are working in, so I know I am by no means reinventing the wheel here. But I do strive really hard to create things with my own twist on them.

I will be doing some more posts about this exhibit. I plan to show pictures of some of my favorite tin pieces soon. And then pictures from the exhibit itself. But for now, please enjoy the following pictures and article that were featured in my local paper today! Gosh, I felt lucky enough to be in the exhibit let alone have the paper come to my studio to interview me! It was such a fun experience, and forced me to clean my mess of a studio (let's see how long it stays that way)!

And if you are in the Battle Creek area, we'd love to see you at the Art Center!

A flattened fork in a parking lot is nothing but litter for most of us, but to Heather Trudeau it has potential as something new and beautiful.

In her curry-colored workshop last Friday, Trudeau showed a peacock pin she made, with the curled tines of a fork suggesting feathers in motion.

"I guess I'm always on the lookout for unique things to use," Trudeau said.

Besides parking lots, she finds items at the supermarket, off of old furniture and in rummage sales to incorporate into her jewelry making.

This trend is known as upcycling, and while Trudeau has been making jewelry for the past 12 years, finding a new purpose for life's detritus has become popular in the past couple of years.
"To me, it means using unexpected objects -- or even things that people might throw away -- into art," she said.

Trudeau's unexpected jewelry will be part of the Art Center of Battle Creek's next exhibit, "Reimagined/Recreate: Upcycled Art" from Tuesday until Sept. 24.

It takes keen creative instinct to see a butterfly in a tea strainer or a blooming flower in the pattern on a candle tin. Trudeau's art has been featured in professional magazines, such as Stringing, and can be found for sale at and the Art Center, where she is a board member.

However, making jewelry is a hobby first and foremost for Trudeau. She said that when the process becomes about selling, the pressure of creating something new takes the fun out of it.
She said art is something that helps her relax and that she can balance with her full-time job as an accountant and time with her husband and baby son.

At the moment, Trudeau is experimenting with shapes that she cuts out of decorative tins that would otherwise be destined for a rusty trash heap. For instance, one of her favorite pieces is a mosaic necklace made by linking together discs cut from contrasting tins. It will be part of the display at the Art Center.

The other featured upcycle artist is Steve DeMaagd, who makes insect statues from crashed car parts.

Visitors can also look for their own artistic inspiration in a bin of "junk" provided by the Art Center to create their own item to add to the exhibit.


Silver Parrot said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I LOVE those cuff bracelets! Are those made from tins? They are darling!

SummersStudio said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Congratulations! This very exciting news. The cuffs are fantastic and I do love your peacock. Of course you have a peacock :-)

Shel said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Beautiful designs! Love them!

TesoriTrovati said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hot damn, little girl! You are an EXHIBITED ARTIST! Woot! That is so awesome. I'm with KJ, those cuffs are cute! I love to use upcycled treasures and that is precisely where my company name came from. I love this! I wish I were closer to come to your exhibit, Miss Heather!
Get back to creating now!
Enjoy the day!

Jo said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a fantastic article, and great photos! Congratulations! I love the peacock and the cuffs especially. Good luck with the exhibition.

Heather Powers said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Heather these are amazing! I love each one!