Upcycle Progress: Pennies

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for this project and a couple ideas were bouncing around in my head. I was originally going to make some sort of plant based project that would grow within a glass bottle, as seen in the picture below.

However, after contemplating the interest level I had in that idea as well as other ideas I had come up with, I have narrowed my choices down to one idea that I want to do and it will involve US quarters, Styrofoam, and yes, pennies. Originally I wanted to try and create something somewhat functional but with this penny project idea, I am definitely going for more of an art installation than a functional device. I will be laying pennies on a Styrofoam piece and laying the pennies down in a certain way that I do not want to disclose yet as I want my final creation to show my thought. I will only be needing to use pennies, quarters and/or dimes and nickel, Styrofoam, hot glue and possibly some sharpies. But I want the colors of the currency to really stand out and make this piece. My concept sketch below shows somewhat what I am trying to produce. I am going to call the art piece the “Death of the Penny”.

Though the picture below shows the art of laying pennies down, I could not find a good picture that is similar to what I have in mind. This makes me excited however because it makes my idea feel unique.

Image result for penny art
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIfx8uQId9g
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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Joseph Coulombe
    February 3, 2019 11:40 pm

    I find using pennies as a medium to be opening to a lot of creative paths. You could even paint the pennies or use the pennies based on their sheen to create a shading effect to your project. Overall I am interested in seeing what the finished product will look like.

  • What is the inspiration behind the pennies/quarters as a medium? Are you going to get really descriptive with your visual (realistic), or will it be more based on a pattern/graphic?
    I am curious to know if you have considered the transient nature of the materials you are using (no one is saving a stockpile of pennies and styrofoam is thrown out after the food is eaten). There is merit to create art that does not last past an initial viewing. I am thinking in the vein of sand mandalas, which are absolutely beautiful and incredibly fragile. https://www.mandala-painting.com/sand-mandalas/

    • To be honest, I cannot think of a certain moment that inspired this piece. However, I think the general uselessness of the penny in present times helped me. (I updated the post since you replied). I am going to go to a bank and exchange a dollar for a stack of new pennies as you can generally do this there. Otherwise, I have enough pennies laying around that I will be able to use. As for the Styrofoam, I think I have some extra Styrofoam laying around from various packages that I can use.


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