I have been using found and recycled stuff in my work for a number of years - I love the challenges non-traditional materials present as well as the freedom they allow because they are usually inexpensive or free. One of my all time favourite artists who works with recycled stuff is Harriet Estel Berman. This lady makes amazingly bold pieces of jewellery and sculpture from tin cans. I find her work fascinating and thought it was high time I shone a light on her! The great thing about Ms Berman is that her work may look decorative and jubilant, but it always has an agenda - some kind of commentary on our world.
Here is a little video from her website.
This is someone who embodies my own sentiments about the materials we use - it is not about using intrinsically valuable materials, but about challenging our perceptions of what we believe to be valuable. Not long ago, I was wearing a neckpiece that I had made from a soft drink can and recycled paper. A jewellery lecturer admired it and suggested that to sell it for a "decent" price I could get the drink can bezel cast in silver. Right there and then I knew that I could indeed go down that road or I could stick to my guns and in my own small way, work towards changing attitudes and steering people towards seeing the true value of an item that is recycled/sustainable -that beauty and value don't have to cost the Earth - literally.Lucky, lucky me - I now have an official bandwagon!!
To see more of this talented lady's work head over to her website here.