The aspect of the this assignment with which I struggled with most was not time constraints or a lack of resources, but rather a barrier of creativity and originality through which I could not breach. I saw upcycling as a beautiful concept: at times, turning something vaguely useless into something with purpose; and at others, converting an object from one use to an entirely new one. But I found myself completely devoid of creativity or inspiration for this project. I don’t really need anything for my room, and while a shelf or wine rack would be nice, I wasn’t all that interested in making one. While I do have quite the surplus of wine bottles on my desk, and I toyed with the idea of making drinking glasses or wine glasses or even a light fixture out of the empty, dormant bottles, I found these ideas entirely devoid of originality. Searching “wine bottle chandelier” on Google returns countless search results for images of elegant wine bottle-adorned arrangements, accompanied with a step-by-step guide on how to obtain this exact result in one’s own upcycling project. And this left me, time after time, completely devoid of interest in that particular project. The nature of DIY on the internet is one of immense accessibility, with Pinterest and Instructables at the forefront of the scene. And while they give individuals the ability to produce things they maybe never thought they could have, I personally feel like they take the creativity and originality out of production, whatever the product may be. In order to subdue any possible feelings of imposter syndrome on my behalf, I decided not to try to use the internet for inspiration, and instead chose to just search for object around my home which could be put to good use in an upcycling project.
And so, I decided to search for things around my home which may spark an idea. I rather enjoy vinyl records, and my father has quite the collection of Minnesotan-themed paraphernalia which he has accumulated over his many years. Finding an old clock in the crawlspace of my basement bedroom, and a forgotten old Gershwin vinyl in a box, likely from a “free” section at a garage sale, I decided to see what I could do to combine these objects into one that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing to me. The clock came apart very easily, and there was only one moving part in the back, which was powered by a single AA-battery. I chose a modern, numberless design, and to keep with the modern theme, I decided to paint the vinyl with bright, pastel colors. I chose pastel colors because I felt like vinyl record clocks are probably something one would see in a 1980s apartment or home, and being that bright, vibrant colors are the cornerstone of the 80s aesthetic, I felt this decision would be appropriate.
The finished clock hanging in my room.