When people look at some of my up-cycled accessories, for the most part, I receive really positive feedback. Lots of “Wow! What a great idea!” “How did you do that?”/”Come up with the idea for that?” what have you. And I love that!
I am not a knowledge hoarder. If I know how to do something, or figured out a better, more efficient way of doing something, I am more than happy to show, demonstrate, or teach. I love the expressions on peoples faces when I show them what I do. Especially when the realize they can channel their creativity in a similar way. Everyone should have a way to channel their creativity and to create beauty.
Sometimes, however, I get the “My 9 year old niece/nephew, daughter/son, friend’s kid, whatever could do that.” Or “Bottle caps/Mint tins, huh?” “Why is this so expensive if it’s just recycled bottle caps/tins/whatever I used in the piece? You already had them lying around, right?” Or my favorite (when they miss the whole “up-cycle” thing to begin with “Were these used?” Um…yes. That is the purpose of up-cycling. Using what you have to create something different, and minimize waste.
There are several steps involved to preparing recycled items for their eventual transformation. For instance, for the bottle caps….beer needs to be consumed. 😉 Then the caps washed. Then dried in the sun. (The Arizona sun and lack of humidity does make this part easy here.)
Then, they need to be primered. It took me two batches of 50 caps each and a couple of cans of spray paint to figure this out, but there you go. Live and learn. In order to get a nice color coverage and not have the logos show through, you have to primer it.
I do these in several large batches so even if I don’t paint color on all of them at once, I have primered ones ready to paint.
Then comes the fun part! Experimenting with color! The color that’s on the cap is not always what the paint looks like when dry. Especially when you use primer. I’ve found some cool colors lately so I tried some out. Like Metallic Black Cherry. Just so:
Or Glacier Blue:
I played with lots of other colors today, but you get the idea. All this doesn’t even include the stamping, or drawing and inking of the artwork, inclusions, or the adhesion and sealing processes. Don’t even get me started on the resin. Factor in curing and drying times and there is quite a bit of work that goes into making these pieces.
I love doing what I do, and I’m lucky enough to be able to set aside a few hours a day to be able to do this.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because something looks easy, doesn’t mean it is. I take an immense amount of pride in the pieces I make, whether it’s jewelry that I sell for $100 dollars, or art tins that I sell for $15, or even pins I made from old bottle caps that I sell for $5 or $8.