The Black Plastic Gyre Necklace has been a marathon effort to complete within a tight timeline. It has taken the combined effort of many people.
I have been collecting black plastic for years but didn't have nearly enough to fulfill my massive vision because I avoid buying anything packaged in black plastic. However, through the generosity of people that know me personally, or through Facebook, quantities of black plastic started coming in. Some people gave me black plastic one piece at a time, others a bag or whole boxes of black plastic. I couldn't have reached my goal without this help.
On Saturday, an entire box of black plastic came from Suzane Beaubrun that she collected from her neighbors. It provided a mind blowing variety of black plastic.
I am both dazzled and dismayed at the vast selection of shapes and patterns -- both seductive and sinful at the same time.
Even the employees from RethinkWaste in San Carlos sent an envelope of special shapes in black plastic.
I cut all the plastic shapes myself, but this consumed every available moment, day and night, for the past seven weeks.
My studio assistant, Margo Plagemen (right and below) saw this project from beginning to end. She drilled holes into many of the black plastic parts and helped with threading the black plastic tentacles as we solved problems and refined the plan for assembly.
Early in the project, I was looking for additional project assistance for threading the individual pieces together. Shoshana Phoenixx and Aliza Abrams worked as outside constructors at their shared studio in Oakland.
Shoshana and Aliza discovered my Facebook post seeking project assistance on the Facebook group titled Support Network for Artist Re-use Contra Costa (SNARCC). This group is organized by RC Ferris. I am told that she is the "recycling queen" for Contra Costa County. RC Ferris also donated two separate boxes of black plastic. If you work with recycled or reused materials, check out the Facebook page for SNARCC.
Since this "necklace" is going to be 24 feet long, I needed an assortment of odd black plastic spacers (i.e. junk stuff) and went to SCRAP in San Francisco.
Bottle caps, pen caps, black straws and all too common black plastic parts (diverted from their destiny as trash) were readily available.
SCRAP is an amazing resource for artists, craftspeople, teachers, or anyone looking for materials to reuse at affordable prices. They always have an amazing diversity of discarded paraphernalia from paper to plastic, tins, wood, fabric and more, that can stretch your imagination.
For my family and me, a regular stop at SCRAP is always a destination in San Francisco because what they have in their building comes and goes. The prices are very low. Donations of materials, leftovers, surplus office supplies, nicknacks, and overruns from businesses and individuals in the Bay Area provide an astonishing range of scrap materials. When you pay for your jackpot from SCRAP, double the amount they ask for as a donation, and you still have a great deal.
My husband. Bill, is my home support. He drove me to SCRAP while I "double-timed" and cut black plastic in the car. Bill also provided transport dropping off plastic in Oakland to Shoshana and Aliza and picking up completed sections. And toward the completion of the necklace, Bill helped by tying the knots (with his Eagle Scout knot expertise) so that the knots will be invisible and secure as one long Black Plastic Gyre Necklace.
I am still cutting black plastic, but the finish line is fast approaching (or I am hearing the "bell lap" with the Winter Olympics in the background).
Shoshana and Aliza tell me they have finished their final two units. Knot tying and adjustment are scheduled for this week.
Suzanne Ramljak, the curator, will see the Black Plastic Gyre necklace this coming weekend. YIKES!!!!!!!!!! Next on the agenda is a shipping box and photography for the catalog.
The photo session with Philip Cohen is scheduled for March 3, 2018. The Pinterest board for planning the photoshoot is here. The plan for the final professional photos includes trying the necklace on a mannequin, and subsequently on two or three live models. I will document the photo shoot preparation with Phil Cohen so it can be shared in a future post.
Stay tuned for updates on documenting the plastic trash on the street. I have written to Trader Joe's, Lyfe Kitchen, and the local newspaper hoping to gain some traction on eliminating the use of black plastic while I continue to collect black plastic trash off the streets, gutters, and sidewalks.
Thank you to everyone who has made a contribution to this Black Plastic Gyre Necklace.
RC Ferris Support Network for Artist Re-use Contra Costa (SNARCC), CA
Madison Guzman – RethinkWaste, San Carlos, CA
SCRAP, San Francisco