Size: 15.5" x 15.5"
Materials: paper cloth, paint, wool tapestry yarn, colored pencil, audio cassette tape, glass beads, fabric
Size: 4.5" wide x 14.5" tall
Materials: paper cloth, cotton thread, embroidery floss, paper, paint, glass beads, fabric
Size: 5.5" wide x 4.4" tall
Materials: paper cloth, cotton crochet thread, embroidery floss, aluminum can, paint
Size: approximately 12" tall
Price: Commissioned work
Materials: cement sculpture base, VHS video tape, paint
"The Resourceful Gardener"
Size: 20" high x 21" wide x 12" deep
Price: $389--available at Commonwheel Artists Co-op, Manitou Springs, CO
Materials: VHS video tape, corrugated plastic, cardboard, electrical tape, soda bottles, plastic wrap, cement, sand, wire, fabric and fiberfill, audio cassette tape, aluminum soda can, glass beads, coffee cup sleeve, paint, varnish
Statement about this work:
An episode of "Craft in America" opened my interest in the Mexican sculpture style of Tree of Life, and then a recent visit to the Fine Arts Center piqued it even further. And when the concept for this show was announced the pieces all came together.
It's been interesting to follow the recent proposals for cutting costs in the Parks and Recreation Dept. The thought that removing trash cans from our parks will decrease the costs involved in emptying them is a puzzling one. I'm pretty sure that not all of our park-using citizens will respect that idea. This issue, coupled with the possible cutbacks in grounds-keeping and water usage, left me imagining a park with unkempt, browned grass with the only color coming from food wrappers and soda cans.
To transform this image into art, I drew on the Tree of Life form, working it in "trash"—video tape, soda cans, audio cassette tape, and other items. The armature for the sculpture is made from corrugated plastic, cardboard, tape, plastic soda bottles, cotton rag, and wire. The body of the sculpture was knitted in the round with double-pointed needles. The roses were knitted on straight needles. The bird and nest were crocheted and stuffed. The smaller yellow and blue flowers were crocheted from a blank audio cassette tape. The video tapes used in the construction of this piece held episodes of "Inspector Alleyn Mysteries," "Dinner Ladies, "American Kickboxer," "Backbeat," and "Dad's Army."
The nesting bird crowning the sculpture symbolizes hope that we can find sustainable options that will benefit the community as well as the bottom line. However, the lack of eggs in the nest shows that the future is still to be determined.
Previous Incarnations of Video Knitting
That's made from video tape?
Colorado Springs artist, Juanita Canzoneri, has unvelied a new line of products this holiday season—shopping bags and purses created from VHS video tape. These fully functional bags are surprisingly strong and machine washable. Since video tape comes only in black, color and design are added with plastic or glass beads, fabric, buttons, and needlework stitches.
Ms. Canzoneri hit upon the idea through the collision of two problems. Her husband was slowly converting his video collection to DVD and wanted to get rid of the old tapes but could not find a local recycling program. Meanwhile, she was amassing a large collection of plastic grocery store bags and forgetting to recycle them. She decided to make a fun and functional shopping bag, easy to remember to take to the store (thus slowing the collection of plastic bags).
The concept is part of a movement in "upcycling." According to Wikipedia, "upcycling" is "the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. This process allows for the reduction of waste and use of virgin materials."
Each item is designed and created by Ms. Canzoneri and comes with a care label which tells what was on the video tape used to create it. The bags are available by contacting Ms. Canzoneri.
Items are also available by special order. Contact Ms. Canzoneri at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
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