What is Eco Art?
So you have found yourself here and can't stop wondering what the heck is eco art? Well, there is not one black and white answer for that question. Some say eco art is just art that is focused on nature, using nature, or created within a natural habitat. Some believe it is the act of repurposing materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill into an artistic piece. While others believe it is art created with the intent to improve the environment with an activist spirit.
To generalize it, eco-friendly art is a movement to increase awareness to environmental issues using art as its megaphone. Here are several ways I practice this concept...
Art in Nature
Mother nature offers us bountiful blessings of many natural materials to create art with. My journey focuses on utilizing the organic materials available to me within my own backyard. I sustainably gather fresh foliage throughout the seasons to preserve and capture its beauty within a timeless piece of glass. The leaves are flattened at their prime and coated with colored powdered glass before being fused onto a sheet of glass. This technique fossilizes the leaf permanently into an artwork allowing the viewer to appreciate the simple beauty of natures complexity.
Reduce, Re-Fuse, Recycle
The unique characteristics of glass allow it to be 100% recycled. Glass can always be melted into something new or even smashed up and used in a mosaic project. Any and all glass scrap in my studio is saved to be reused in another project. I like working with recycled glass such as beer bottles, picture frames, window glass, and even old or broken glass dishware. You name it, I save it. I believe there is greater beauty in a piece of art that has transformed from a past form into something new.
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Other ways to thank the environment...
Unfortunately, to create my artwork I utilize several large equipment that can suck up some serious power.
Fortunately, my studio is powered entirely with the renewable energy of the sun. The sun breeds life, vitality, and happiness. I believe everytime I start up my solar powered kiln the art within will bring those same values to its new home.
All cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts are stored to be reused for sending out shipments. Any extra boxes that don't make the cut are recycled through the towns single-stream program which ranks in the top 10% of the state. I am also currently looking into packaging tape alternatives and even recycled shipping labels.
You see that glass storage rack under my counter? That happens to be an old dresser turned on its side with the doors taken off. What about those glass organizers in the back of the countertops? Those are folder organizers a local office building was no longer using and even an old dish rack on the right. My studio has become home to many forgotten pieces in need of a new life.