Coming into this class, I already knew that one of the first major assignments revolved around upcycling and reusing materials that we had readily available around us. So it was no question in my mind that I could create something with the bottle caps that I had been saving for quite a while. I had over 100 of them, saved for no particular purpose, simply because I thought they were neat and that an opportunity might come along at some point where they would be useful. But even with a material in mind, I had no real game plan for what kind of project I wanted to tackle. Should I go for a functional upcycling project, or something purely artistic? Should there be a statement in my work, or is creating something that looks good enough for me?
These were all the questions that I kept in mind as I looked around for inspiration. At first, I turned to Google. A quick search for “upcycle bottle caps” turns up with a seemingly endless list of possible projects. Some of the most popular options include jewelry and artistic murals. A few of these examples are provided below for reference.
Image Source: https://recyclenation.com/2015/07/13-creative-bottle-cap-upcycles/
Image Source: https://www.fiskars.com/en-us/crafting-and-sewing/ideas-and-how-tos/upcycling/monthly-kidart-resolution-plastic-bottle-cap-art
Another source of inspiration came from Professor Hertzberg herself, during one of our brainstorming sessions in class. She recommended making clothing out of the bottle caps. This would be a unique project, and one that would be functional and aesthetic.
Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/51932201939215521/?lp=true
However, I think the best bit of inspiration was from fellow student, Ben Chang. After class, while looking through the available materials in the studio next door, he recommended that I use the bottle caps to mimic the shape of a bottle itself. Not only would this be a unique project, it would also be quirky in the statement that people took from it.
After searching through all the different avenues for inspiration, I think my plan moving forward would be to follow Ben’s advice, or to create a purely artistic piece.