12 Shops for Christmas – Shop Six

12 shops for christmas banner

On the sixth day  of Christmas I went to see: ArtePlastique

Butterfly Garden Stake, Yard Art, Seaglass Flower, Sea Glass, translucent pale teal blue, spring green peony, Crystal, planter

Water, rushing downwards. A river winding its way in and out the folds of the land. Pebbles traveling to the sea. Murky depths , swirling and then clear. A cool deep blue. The sea green. I’d like to add a mermaid with a turquoise wand, topped with a cupped flower, shining under the sea. Shimmering. The colors of the sea and somehow the petals of this flower look as if they are rippling like waves on the beach.

ArtPlastique has been open for just over a year and it’s owner and designer Leanne, hails from Arizona, USA.  The shops sell a variety of items, mostly floral in design, they range from large open flower topped garden stakes, jewelry, cake decorations and wedding decor, unusual bridal bouquets and a series of napkin rings. She makes all these creations out of used and recycled plastic bottles, (the kind most of us throw away every day), cutting, molding, hand painting and transforming them into wonderful (and) functional objects. What stuck me first about this shop was the array of colour that hit me as the page loaded. Every colour under the sky was there and I could hardly believe that these creations had once been old plastic bottles.  Like a small child, colours grab my attention and hold it more than anything else. I also love the idea of art that’s both beautiful to look at and functional at the same time.However I suppose that even a painting hanging on the wall is functional, because it give you pleasure, lifts your spirits, makes you happy and so on, that’s its function. The above picture I choose because of the “images”that came into my mind as I looked but further down this page is a set of Festive Napkin rings. I can only too easily imagine them on my table, Christmas Lunch time, light flickering off the copper colours. Now that’s what I would have this Christmas.  In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming. .. .

When looking at artists and their work, I always end up thinking about where they got the inspiration, what part did they liked best, what led them to their art and so on.  As I am painting silk I think of the colours, deciding which to use, balancing dark with light and loving the way they spread across the fabric. I’ve decided to ask each of the featured shops the same six questions.  I am really excited to see the answers; some may be similar whilst others may vary enormously. Everyone has their own way of working and viewing their art, so the answers should be very interesting. Let’s see what Leanne says!

Interview with Leanne

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Coral Napkin Ring Set of 6, flower filigree, upcycled, recycled plastic bottle, pastel peachy pink, wedding decor pale peach

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What led you to using recycled plastic and fashioning them into flowers? 

Every Saturday in the summer I have a booth at my local farmers market near Tacoma. In my colorful “shop” I make flowered headbands, flowered hats, key chains, children’s jewelry and bubble wands. As an artist I continue to try different mediums and techniques and one day I googled “flower tutorial” and came across an artist that made flowers from plastic bottles! They were so beautiful and looked like Chihuly style blown glass that I had to try it. That was almost two years ago and when you see the transformation between the first ones I made to today, you would laugh. I’ve been obsessed ever since and I no longer look at plastic bottles as waste and it’s not unusual to see me gathering them at parties, pulling over at the curb and grabbing a stray empty bottle or coming home to bags of bottles collected by my family and friends.

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Peacock Wedding Flower Garden Stake, Set of 3, Colorful Yard Art, cobalt and teal blue, emerald green, teal Suncatcher Sun Catcher

What is your favourite part or what do you like best about your art or process?

As I paint the flowers it is hard to control how the paint flows. Each layer of the flower is painted one at a time, dried and layered over each other. When all the layers are dry and then I start assembling them with all my findings I get so excited when it all comes together. Some days it comes easy to me – other days I will stare at the flower and re-do it over and over until I get it right.

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Vintage Crackle Glass Pitcher with three hand painted flowers, arrangement, beaded, orange, pink, golden yellow vase, gold

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Inspiration?

Growing up in the Northwest I’ve always been surrounded by fantastic glass artists like Dale Chihuly, Martin Blank and even my high school friend, Scott Curry. I’ve collected vintage glass like amberina, fenton, and vaseline glass plus more contemporary blown glass and a common theme through all of my collection is the saturated color. When I found out I could mimic the look with plastic bottles I’ve been in heaven.

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Christmas Decor, Napkin Ring Set, Red & Gold Decoration, Hand Painted, Recycled Plastic Bottle Glass, beaded flower, home tabletop

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Do you ever have music on when you work? (I like this question because I always do, in fact I can’t work without it).

During the Jodi Arias trial, my t.v. was on all day long. In the past I listened to the radio but I found that the same songs played over and over on a loop so until I install a CD player or get satellite in my craft room I’ll watch my guilty pleasure: reality t.v. such as all the real housewives, the X Factor and Shark Tank.

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Do you have a favourite piece of art in your shop?

I sold my favorite piece and the avatar shows part of it. It was very colorful and just made me smile. I also love the Tiffany blue napkin ring that one of my customer’s designed for her daughter’s wedding. I made 150 of them (not counting the rejects) and I never got tired of looking at them.

ArtPlastique

And finally what would be your “dream” Christmas gift to receive? 

For a dream Christmas present I want to go to an artist’s week-long workshop and learn different art techniques. At the end of the day there would be a fantastic dinner, wine and massages (maybe not in that order).

Thank you ArtePlastique

That’s it for the sixth in this series. Half way there already! Don’t forget to check out the shop!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ArtePlastique

After this article, I don’t think I’ll ever look at a plastic bottle as waste again! I love to learn new crafts and art techniques. On my list are mosaics, basket weaving, candle making. I’d rather like the idea of making tapestries (not sure if my eyes would hold up through) and now, if Leanne ever wants to create and sell a tutorial, I’ll be the first to buy. Seriously.

A big thank you to Leanne for taking the time to answer all my questions.  I have also set up a Pinterest board for all the featured images. You can see it by following my Pinterest link at the top of the page.

Please keep reading this series. Check back next week for the seventh shop for Christmas.

Have a creative day!

M

FIN

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