Upcycle Progress Report: Spacecore

Here is my progress so far on the Upcycle project. Sadly, I have been swamped in homework for the past two weeks and there is no sign of an end in sight. That being said, I am doing my best to put in my full effort for this class and this project in particular. I really would like to avoid neglecting the creative side of my college education. Still, I have not had as much time as I had hoped.

So far, I have continued brainstorming my project plan and how to incorporate my aesthetic, spacecore. On my last blog post, one of my fellow students brought up an interesting proposition: using lights in my design. I really liked the idea, so I’ve been thinking of ways to incorporate LEDs into my artwork. One of the ways that I’m planning on using is by cutting an aluminum can in half, down the long way, so I can use the curved aluminum to represent a spaceship or pod floating through space. I could cut slits in the side of the can to look like ribs where colorful light can shine though, or I could cut out the bottom of the can and use to LED to represent a thruster pushing the spacecraft forward. I have not yet researched how to practically implement LEDs into my design, and I know I cannot buy the LEDs new or it would not be upcycling. Still, it is an element I’m excited to include going forward.

The first thing I did towards actually making the piece was finding a lot of cardboard and cutting it into random shapes and sizes. They look really ugly at the moment, but I plan on painting them and arranging them on another cardboard base, which of course I will also paint. The shapes of these pieces are not permanent. Instead I will use the shapes to inspire elements of my design, and once they come together, it should be a nice looking mosaic.

Secondly, I was able to borrow a bunch of acrylic paints from one of my friends, since I don’t have any paint of my own. I’m assuming this still counts as upcycling because I did not buy them myself, and they are all relatively old. I will also be borrowing spray paint from a friend to incorporate in order to add more depth and complexity to the design.

Lastly, I gathered up some bottles, cans, bubblewrap, clear plastic, plastic bags, and a bit of styrofoam. I already discussed what I will be using the cans for, but for the clear plastic, I want to cut strips of it to use as light rays or comets in the night sky. I will crush up the styrofoam to make speckled stars, adding depth, and aiding certain painting techniques. The bubblewrap and plastic bags are for making textures on planets and galaxies along with wet spray paint. I’m trying to seek out some news paper which I will use for a similar purpose. If you have ever seen street artists paint planets with spray paint, I’m sure you know the technique I’m referring to.

All in all, I am a little bit further behind than I would like to be, but I still have a plan and I am confident that I will get it done on time and have fun in the process.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I like how the project is turning out so far especially how you have done the cardboard base. Looks like jagged metal or glass. Would you consider instead of using the carboard switching it with cut up pieces of cans or some other metal?

    • Thank you for your thoughts and support. And yes, I’m planning on using bits of aluminum and various plastics to add texture to the piece. I’m using cardboard as the main base because it is fairly easy to cut, paint, and glue to itself. Also I have an abundance of cardboard, so I figured I may as well work with what I have. Thanks again!

  • Hi Michael, super great and thorough post! Sorry to hear you’ve been swamped with homework, but I really respect your attitude towards the class and creativity and giving it your best. It was nice to hear that. I was thinking that like a peanut butter jar lid or something could be another shape you could potentially use to get another sized circle for your planets. Excited to see your project done!

    • Thank you for commenting! I’m definitely into that idea of using the peanut butter lid. Once I really get this project going, I’m sure I’ll be pulling all kinds of garbage out to include in the design. We’ll just have to wait and see what the final product will look like. I don’t even know. Thanks again for your thoughts and support!


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