Recycling is great, but there are only so many times that a glass or plastic bottle can be melted down and made new again. Artists and designers who manage to find new uses for these discarded disposables give them a new sense of value that can last for generations. These 13 works of art transform used bottles in surprising ways, turning them into vases, chandeliers, chairs, ornaments and more.
Vessel by Caroline Saul
You would never guess by looking at it that this delicate vessel by artist Caroline Saul is made of recycled milk bottles. While the holes make it less than ideal as a vase, the piece is more like sculpture, an object to be admired just for the way it looks.
SIE43 Chair by Pawel Grunert
Made for the ‘Eco Trans Pop’ exhibition at the Colombari Gallery in Milan, Italy, Pawel Grunert’s ‘SIE43 Chair’ is made of dozens of blue plastic water bottles. The reclaimed bottles are fixed to a stainless steel frame.
Glass Ornaments Made of Bottles
Broken glass mineral water bottles are transformed into beautiful transparent ornaments by glassworker Dean Wolf, who says of his ‘bottle balls’, “We tried out various found metal molds on the bubble, so each turned out unique in the optical effects of its walls.”
Bottle Cap Art by Mary Ellen Croteau
Artist Mary Ellen Croteau creates subtle variations in tone by stacking multiple plastic bottle lids, which enabled her to assemble this amazingly realistic self-portrait.
Milk Bottle Art by Charlotte Hughes-Martin
(images via: oddee)
A mysterious person who came to be known as ‘bottle Banksy’ took used milk bottles from doorsteps in Stourbridge, UK, etching beautifully detailed images into them and then returning them. That artist was later revealed to be artist Charlotte Hughes-Martin, who also uses clear soda and beer bottles for her creations, and occasionally creates creatures out of broken shards.
Dragonflies & More Made of Detergent Bottles
In a promotion for detergent company Skip, The Jupiter Drawing Room worked with a local artist to turn a bunch of the company’s plastic bottles into a beautiful installation of seagulls, fish, water lilies and dragonflies.
Bottle Cap Necklace by Yoav Kotik
Israeli artist Yoav Kotik gives discarded bottle caps new value with his unusual recycled creations, which include this multi-layered necklace, strung together into quite a statement piece.
Recycle Lights by Johanna Keimeier
Cut or melted and then assembled into strange tentacled light fixtures, ‘Recycle Lights’ by Berlin artist Johanna Keimeyer sometimes look like a plastic bottle in the process of exploding. Keimeyer sometimes chooses certain bottles for their colors, and at other times looks for the kinds of distinctive shapes that manufacturers hope will help their product packaging stand out on the shelf. Her treasure-hunting expeditions for these bottles have taken her across Europe including Slovakia, Spain, France and England.
Recycled Water Bottle Lampshade by Sarah Turner
Would you ever guess that this modern light fixture was made of recycled plastic bottles? Turner, who often works with plastic bottles, hand-cuts and sculpts them into forms that make them virtually unrecognizable. In this particular lamp, entitled ‘Cola 30′, Turner has sliced up the sides of the bottles and then pushed both ends together to form bloom-like shapes.
Chandelier by Michelle Brand
The flower-like bottoms of plastic bottles look like crystal petals when strung from wire and arranged around a light source. Michelle Brand’s recycled bottle chandeliers are composed entirely from recycled plastic and some trail all the way to the floor, looking a bit like jellyfish out of water.
Wedding Gown Made of Thousands of Bottles
“Green with Envy” is a wedding gown by designer Michelle Brand, made of 2,200 recycled plastic water bases, 6,512 plastic bottle tops and 13,880 tags. The dress took months to create, weighs 22 pounds and boasts a train that trails an incredible 16 feet.
Luzinterruptus: Cascading Bottle Sculpture
Glowing blue water bottles seem to pour out of a drinking fountain like water in this sculptural public art installation by Spanish collective Luzinterruptus. Filled with LED lights and strung together, the recycled glass bottles call attention to a lack of public water facilities in the city.
Bottle Family by Sarah Turner
Another bottle sculpture from Sarah Turner sees the discarded plastic transformed into an adorable little family – complete with a dog. The bottles were lit from within and installed on a public street in Nottingham, UK.