Monday Morning Mail Art Call: Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash

There were rumors… people were talking… it was whispered in corners….

Now, it’s official!

Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash is an exhibit designed to bring about an awareness of trash as art.

Intended to coincide with Earth Day 2018, it is to be an exhibit of my own Trash Bubble creations alongside those created by other artists and mail artists around the globe. In addition, there will be public workshops culminating in a mass mailing of commemorative Trash Bubbles.

The purpose is to bring about an awareness of trash as art, as poetry. These pieces shock and awe on a fun and engaging level. I hope to spark conversation and encourage participation. A venue is currently being sought in the Pittsburgh area, details to follow.

In the meantime, I’d like all of you who said, “I might like to try my hand at creating one of those Trash Bubble thingies!” to get the ball rolling.

Here’s what I need from you:

  • Make a Trash Bubble using ANY SIZE of clear plastic consumer packaging. Note: I have found that pieces smaller than 4x6x2 usually require an envelope, so they don’t get lost. A piece measuring about 4x6x2 can easily be mailed without an envelope and currently costs less than $3 to post within the continental US.
  • Fill it with trashy bits. Let the bits speak to the viewer, telling whatever story you wish. Think Trash Poetry. If necessary, add words to guide the observer.
  • Seal it with tapes, stitching, staples or other fasteners, making certain that your piece will survive the post.
  • Decorate the edges if you wish, but leave room on the back to address it to:

Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash

The Studio at Piney Creek Acres

107 Marigold Lane

New Brighton, PA 15066 USA

  • Be sure to include your name, email and mailing address
  • Send your Trash Bubble along for inclusion by March 1, 2018
  • NO JURY, NO FEE, NO RETURNS
  • Join the Facebook group: Trash Bubbles: a Poetic Exploration of Trash to see the contributions of artists as they arrive and to receive updates concerning the exhibit.

This is going to be a grand adventure! I am eager to see your interpretation of the theme.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Trash Bubble: Full Head, Big Life!

The Colgate toothbrush package used for today’s Trash Bubble had been floating around the studio for some time. I hung onto it because its chambers appealed to me, as did the color. I mean, who doesn’t love a little metallic red?

I was going to remove it from its place of honor and put it in the Trash Bubble drawer… (Yes, there’s a drawer!) but then I read the small print, “Full Head – Cheek and Tongue.” Immediacy struck. I gathered a few things and got to work, never mind that there were more pressing things on my plate.

You know me and my literal translations… there just had to be a real head in there! If I’d have had a doll head that fit… but alas, we ended up with a gentlemanly skull, complete with startlingly blue eyes. He’s sporting a Monopoly top hat for the occasion. A Full Head, indeed!

As I carefully threaded the bits on the metal rod, it occurred to me that most people whose brains are full and active are known to lead BIG LIVES, lives of purpose and contribution, lives that are full and rewarding… this guy is no exception. It took me a while to locate the “BIG” bead I’d found on the ground outside a local craft store, but I persisted because I had one of my famous preconceived ideas that are difficult to shake. I backed out the rod, added the bead and a “life” sticker to the old, red, star eraser that served as his chest and began to reassemble the whole.

Full Head. BIG life. Cheek & Tongue.

I very nearly changed the “&” in “Cheek & Tongue” to read “Cheek IN Tongue.” I’m glad I left it alone. It seems funnier somehow… and I’m fairly certain folks will still get it.

There you have it! My process for this particular piece is fairly close to that of other Bubbles I create. Granted, there’s a little more planning, a little less spontaneity in some of the others, but generally speaking, this is how I work.

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy next week’s Monday Mail Art Call. I will be issuing a call for Trash Bubbles created by YOU, my readers. The call is in preparation for an upcoming exhibit; Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash. Be sure to check back for the details.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Thursday Trash Bubble: PINK!

June and July have been restorative and I am back in the studio creating Trash Bubbles with giddy abandon as I prepare for an upcoming exhibit.

PINK! is a piece that began with a literal interpretation of itself. I believe that this packaging originally held a few sample size bottles of Victoria’s Secret products.

It now contains all manner of PINK goodness….

Appealing to any young girl with a love of Princess Pink, this Trash Bubble is not to be mistaken for a child’s plaything.

The texture-rich interior can be glimpsed from both ends, as well as through the front and back.

The creation of PINK! delighted me at every turn, despite the fact that pink is far from my favorite color. My hope is that you are able to find some level of enjoyment in it as well.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Wishes and Stars

One of my big goals for 2017 is to re-purpose my ENTIRE STASH of consumer packaging into Trash Bubbles. I can’t even tell you how many pieces I have waiting in the wings… probably hundreds!

Creating Trash Bubbles is, for me, an intuitive process that can’t be forced. It sometimes takes weeks or months to complete just one.

Working on several at a time is ideal for me because it gives me variety. Often when I’m stuck on one, another will grab my attention. In this way, I can keep working and making progress.

Last week, I snapped this pic as I began working on several bubbles…

This week, I managed to finish this one, Wishes and Stars.

It’s a very personal piece for me, filled with encouragement to “Reach for the Stars… Endless possibilities… Warning: Dreams can happen!” echoing all manner of affirmations that have been presenting lately, as I firmly set my intentions for the remainder of the year.

Often, I use a vintage bit, if not true trash, centrally in the bubble. This vintage Westinghouse button helped to anchor the affirmations. Like some of my other bubbles, this one is interactive. All but three of the stars are loose inside and when jiggled they float around… it reminds me of that little vintage game that you shook to get the balls to fall into place…. Please tell me that you remember it, too?

The back side of the packaging got a little workover, too. It tells one that “When you SHAKE it you can transform your LIFE!”


In the end, I was pleased with the way this bubble morphed from glow-in-the dark stars and planets packaging into an encouraging talisman.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Tuesday Trash Bubbles:

Last week, I offered out the E6000 & Duct Tape Trash Bubble as a give-away. It didn’t go over as I had hoped, so I am back to my tried and true method of finding homes for my bubbles… intuitively making and sending.

Today, I offer up a different kind of Trash Bubble. This one is smallish in size and requires no mailing. It is meant as a gift tag, or package topper.

Back in 2013, when GreenCraft magazine published my article on Trash Bubbles! in its winter issue, I showcased several kinds, the gift tag/package topper being one of them. This was the example given in the magazine spread:

greencraftwinter2013-010

FLY is my current example of a Trash Bubble for use as a gift tag/package topper.

FLY (front)

Made from a Tim Holtz idealogy blister pack, I utilized the design on the insert as my background.

FLY (close-up brown bird 2) FLY (close-up orange bird) FLY (close-up blue bird)

The dome-like sections provided the perfect space for nesting birdies and the theme was born. Bits of string, thread and other fibers not useful for any other projects and normally considered trash, were used to construct the “nests.” The birds went into the domes first, followed by the bits. It was tricky to strike the correct balance of bits to support the tiny birds without burying them, or knocking them off-kilter within the domes.

FLY (washi close-up)

Needing to cover up the printed information on the package insert while leaving the design exposed, I used washi tapes that supported my theme. Rubber stamp letters were then used to stamp the title on the piece before I sealed it up.

FLY (back)

The back was painted with black gesso and finished with black washi tape. I am unsatisfied with the insecure closure, so I will eventually go back and strengthen it before using it.

That’s it for today. I hope you’ll consider creating this type of bubble for your next wrapping job. Please share if you do.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Adirondack Solution Ranger

Inspired by the packaging I chose to work with, it easily provided the color palette and the message. It was magical, the way it came together.

Adirondack Solution Ranger

The contents of the bubble were found objects, with the exception of the plastic spool. The top is comprised of a red twist tie, inserted into a gasket of sorts complete with it’s dirty residue.

Adirondack Solution Ranger (top)

The bottom gold ring with tabs came from some bottle or another, but I really liked the way it played against the inside of the spool.

Adirondack Solution Ranger (bottom)

It went out on Monday and I forgot to jot down the bit about it that I’d written on the back. Maybe it’s recipient will find it in her heart to fill you in when she receives it.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again.

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Original Quadra Trash Bubble

Usually, my Trash Bubbles are created from one, single post consumer package. Often, they are too small to mail as art and are used as ornaments and gift tags, or are added to a larger flat piece for posting.

Close-up Original Quadra Trash Bubble (top)

This time, I broke the confines of my own definition by building a piece made up of FOUR!!! identical packages.

Introducing the Original Quadra Trash Bubble!

Original Quadra Trash Bubble

These pieces were anchored together using Tim Holtz’s Tiny Attacher, permanent double-sided tape and seals.

The interior packing cards were replaced by heavy paper cut to size, and folded accordingly to mimic the original.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up (bottom)

Despite using trash as filler for these pieces, I follow closely the elements of art composition. Form. Line. Color. Space. Texture. Doing so turns the trashy bits into a cohesive art form.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up

This particular piece is heading to a fellow mail artist in New Hampshire. You may recognize him as having been around a while.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble (back)

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for another installment of Tuesday Trash Bubbles.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!