Artful Jellyfish-like Bowls From Upcycled Plastic PET Bottles (Photos)
Photos: Gülnur Özdağlar
Plastic bottles -- that environmental bane of a disposable, modern society -- can be both an abundant form of pollution in waterways and oceans, as well as a materials source for mind-boggling art. In the skillful hands of Turkish architect and upcycling designer Gülnur Özdağlar the unremarkable PET plastic bottle is transformed into gorgeously diaphanous and functional objects like bowls and jewelry.
Using simple tools like a candle, scissors and a soldering iron, Özdağlar upcycles bottles into a bewildering range of ephemeral accessories that under the light, look like fantastical, tentacled sea creatures or little undersea treasures. So from this:
... to this:
That's pretty neat!
Alchemy of upcycling
As TreeHugger Lloyd has mentioned before about how 'redesign', not recycling, will be the wave of the future, Özdağlar asserts that large-scale recycling is not the solution, rather
... the real solution is "upcycling" rather than plain recycling. Her aim is to substitute with labour and artistic value the characteristics that the material loses during transformation, thus obtaining a product of higher value. Her aim is also to obtain objects from things that have been discarded that are so beautiful, that we would want to wear or exhibit them, thus underlining the importance of "recycling" and encouraging it.
Özdağlar's vision for upcycled plastic knows no bounds. Istanbul TreeHugger Jennifer quotes Özdağlar as imagining
... elegant ladies wearing PET jewelry, linen covers ornamented with PET shells, the dining tables decorated with PET bowls sitting next to fine china, PET chandeliers taking the place of crystal chandeliers.
Her collection, called Tertium Non Data (a lovely alchemical term referring to the Latin translation of the phrase "the third is not given") epitomizes how separate elements can be combined and creatively upcycled to create a third, emergent artwork with a new life of its own. Check out more of Özdağlar's amazing functional art pieces, jewelry on her website. Plus, take a gander at more Turkish green design innovators here on TreeHugger.