Bellevue, the biggest city on the Eastside of Lake Washington, hosts several art fairs ever year in July. This year, I toured all three "co-synchronous" fairs (and luckily for my feet, "co-located") and found four talented artists offering upcycled wares.
Chris Giffin makes humorous, finely crafted pieces out of vintage wood and metal items. I first saw her work a few years ago and I've never forgotten it. Blinking antique doll eyes give her animal creations lots of personality. Many have antique-looking clocks in their bellies. Some, like the bunny above, appear to be contemplating the mysteries of life.
Other pieces, like this wall clock, are haunting.
BVA DesignBrad Van Anderson, from Bozeman Montana, creates surprising sculptures out of discarded metal, "turning junk into something precious" (his motto). Guess what this bigger-than-life cross (about 10 ft. tall) is made of?
Old lawnmowers! How cool is that? Brad also makes fun creatures, both animal and "other":
Kwytza Chopstick Art
Bryan decided to find a way to re-use these billions of chopsticks while at the same time drawing attention to their negative environmental impact.
Kwytza's products include placemats, table runners, folding baskets, jewelry, and more. (You can buy them online here.) Well-made and all natural, these items are true examples of upcycling.
Water-ski Functional Art
Pete Gratama also works with discarded wood, but on a much larger scale -- water-ski scale. He makes beautiful Adirondack chairs from vintage water-skis.
I love the way he incorporates the logos and other graphic details of the skis into the chair's design. And they're comfortable too!
Besides chairs, Pete makes one-of-a-kind lamps and wall pieces.
I'm so glad I braved the crowds to visit the fairs this year! Maybe next year, I'll be showing my own upcycled wares.