A few weeks ago, UpcyclePost asked me if I would join the team to beta test their new Marketplace. Let’s see… help a movement that I adore succeed in creating a groundbreaking platform for artists such as myself to promote and sell their creative works? Uh… yeah!!
What is upcycling? You’ve heard the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, right? Recycling is an example of that – taking someone’s discarded item and reusing it. Upcycling goes a bit further by taking the best of recycling and adding the creativity of Do-It-Yourself-ing. Upcycling is a vehicle to view and use discarded items in ways that often add more value to the item than it had in its original form. Upcyclers are more likely to say “Trash? What trash? How could you possibly think this is trash? Don’t you see the new shirt/ring/shoes/table/lamp etc. that’s just waiting to be made out of this? It’s beautiful. Here, let me show you…” And they proceed to create the most amazing treasures.
I have always recycled scraps of wire to make elements, and I started purchasing reclaimed wire years ago when a local refinery offered it to jewelry artists. I also recycle/rescue from vintage and broken jewelry. My first experience with upcycling occurred before I even knew it had a name. My husband was fixing his car and had to
replace a ball bearing ring. He cleaned up the old one and challenged me to make something out of it. I made a kinetic meditation pendant with an onyx accent. I wore it until a woman stopped me in a grocery store to ask me about it. Before I finished my shopping list, she approached me again and asked me if she could buy it from me. Cool!
Since then, I’ve kept a small stash of “someday I’m gonna make something out of this” items including a crashed motherboard, coins,
laundry tokens, and orphan flatware. No, I’m not a hoarder (beads don’t count) and now I have a way to make good on my word. My shop in the UpcyclePost Marketplace is already filling up with the “someday” projects that I’ve completed.
When I had to get a tire repaired, I spent most of my waiting room time drooling over the mechanic’s impressive collection of road detritus that brought customers to him –
nails, bolts, chunks of glass, antlers. I could see bracelets and earrings and necklaces in just about everything on his shelf, and asked him if he would be willing to part with a few items. He gave me that ‘lady, you’re scaring me’ look but declined to part with his precious.
I am proud to be a member of this movement, and I’m always on the lookout for my next creative challenge. And so it goes with most upcyclers: the products we create range from functional to decorative to wearable. Some of my favorite upcyclers are furniture makers and lighting artists. The craftspersonship and creativity of the artists in the UpcyclePost Marketplace is amazing. I hope you check out the site, shop and join the movement.