I had envisioned an upcycling project that would use either water bottles or these 3-inch dia. lids in repetition to make a sculpture. There’s a caveat when it comes to upcycling: It had occurred to me that I really needed to stake claim on someone else’s trash in order to use it in my “treasured” art project. Water bottles are a fantastic material due to their relative cleanliness, but the mentality of the average person in this world is to throw it away. Thus I cannot find enough water bottles without laying claim to them ahead of time.
I picked these lids up from the Environmental Center’s table at the UMC, just enough to start prototyping, and I was able to make a basic octahedral “Tensegrity” sculpture. Tensengrity (or tensile integrity) is a structural principle wherein a skeleton of a material in tension (in this case, kite string) holds together parts in compression (in this case, the lids) without the compressed members touching. I was able to use one strand of string to thread through holes in the sides of the lids that I cut with an Exacto-knife. I recommend safer approaches in the future, such as a single-hole punch. The holes of the lids were cut approximately every 120 degrees thus turning the lid into a “triangle” as the face of an octahedron (like D8 dice). The “not touching” part didn’t happen, but I used the tension in the string to pull the lids together. It was really difficult – so I should try to simplify that process.
Thus, I continue the search for circular materials to find something that really ‘clicks’ for my sculpture. I was imagining a chandelier. Perhaps there is a more aesthetically pleasing way for it to come together.
All Pictures by Luke Collier