The artefacts in this case were made by hand by artist-designers directly from plastic products that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The recycled nature of the medium (rather than the precise identity of the recycled products) is part of the meaning of the works as is the making by hand, a contrast to the mass-production of the original product.
These lights (1) are made, by Michelle Brand, from cut and painted water bottles strung on a rope of low energy consuming LED lights. Brand's work is inspired by the unseen beauty of everyday objects and is a response to environmental problems. Every bottle base in this work represents a bottle that has been creatively diverted from landfill. The beauty of the work is not only its aesthetic appeal but also its development of closed sustainable feed loops. The making process is of equal importance as the finished design. The artist-maker supports the philosophy of slow design as a counterbalance to the fast consumer society in which we live.
This ruff (2), by Laura Anne Marsden, is made from plastic bags worked in the 'Eternal lace' technique. This is a technique invented by the artist that combines hand-stitching and needle lace-making with various heat processes to change the properties and appearance of the plastic bags. The artist is interested in historic costume and enjoys the dialogue between the period form, the traditional and modern techniques and the modern material. She aims to challenge preconceptions about undesirable recycled products.
Kate Ward's bag (3) is made from over 70 plastic carrier bags, the orange areas from Sainsbury's bags, made from 50% recycled plastic, and the white ones from dry-cleaner bags. All the bags made by Ward are documented according to the provenance of their medium. The designer-maker likes the idea of taking an item that is usually discarded and turning it into something to treasure.