PanelPop Frames Art With Reclaimed Timber & Recycled Polystyrene

Recycled timber art frames by PanelPop. Photos: PanelPop website

Cheap, flimsy art and photo frames -- especially tacky plastic ones made to imitate wood -- are awfully common nowadays. But Australian company PanelPop has the right idea: to make frames from real, reclaimed wood that would have ended up in a landfill, while offering artists the choice of either printing their artworks, or even painting and drawing directly on their uniquely-made "liquid" stone medium surface.State of Green recently featured PanelPop, and includes an interview with founder Emma Griffith, who along with Nick McGrath, worked with PanelPop inventor Tony Knoll to launch the company in 2008.

Griffith states that the point of PanelPop is to "to make something truly beautiful from the waste no-one else can work with" -- reminding us that the creative endeavours of art (like fashion) can be a pretty wasteful and environmentally-unfriendly business. So it's great to see companies like PanelPop offering eco-minded artists a recycled alternative.

PanelPop's website describes the components found in their frames, which includes salvaged timber, recycled polystyrene and liquid stone made from industrial by-products:

The PanelPop is made from: Timber , which is acquired from industry and salvaged from renovation and demolition. This timber is often in thin lengths and no longer a viable building product and discarded (at cost) to landfill.

Polystyrene (EPS) forms the backing for the PanelPop, creating structure and support so the panel can remain lightweight. EPS is extremely hard to recycle and largely ends up in landfill. What is recycled uses vast amounts of energy for little outcome and ends up in road fill. PanelPop reuses EPS directly from manufacturing waste such as fruit boxes and refrigeration/electrical goods packaging.

Liquid stone: PanelPop uses a composite of gypsum based cement and industrial by-products to create its unique porcelain-like surface. PanelPop in combination with Melbourne based company Zeobond are striving to remove all carbon inputs from the stone mixture.


Beyond being able to create directly on the prepared liquid stone surface, the scratch- and weather-resistant surface is toothy enough to absorb watercolour too. Artists who want to print their uploaded digital images on the surface instead won't have to use protective glass either, since the company uses UV-resistant ink.

Check out PanelPop's website to find out more, or to upload your images. They also have an online store and non-virtual store in Fitzroy, Australia, which features pre-printed art for sale. They will also take your unwanted timber and polystyrene free of charge.

If you're in the right frame of mind (pun intended), we've also got other recycled frame ideas in the links below.

More on Reclaimed Frames
Tastefully Reclaimed Sound: Rebaroque's Upcycled Speaker Frames
Green House Framing: TH-Friendly Picture Frames and Mirrors
3 Places to Find Green Picture Frames
More on Polystyrene
Polystyrene Insulation Doesn't Belong in Green Building
The Facts About Styrene, Cancer and Bike Helmets

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