Making art from JUNK…
A professional development initiative
by Ian Griffiths, August 2009-June 2010
Mining others‟ garbage for resources
Four old metal garden chairs
were rescued from the garbage…
This is the painted seat for one of them.
Four metal “garden”
chairs were found in
the garbage in Pointe
After a Tremclad
paint job, 2 pieces of
¼” plywood were
primed and painted
using acrylics, then
coated with varnish.
They were then
attached to the
Design and paint job
metal chair with 4 By Ian Griffiths
small bolts each.
I plucked 3 vintage 1950’s
chrome kitchen chairs from the
curbside garbage in Pointe
Claire. The old blue and white
vinyl seats were stripped and
then new red vinyl and custom-
made white “piping” were
stretched on the cushioned
This great chair
was found in the
Line drawing by Sam Pearl, Pre-U
Drawings by senior students of
some “rescued” chairs.
Pattern designed by Ian Griffiths
for a laminated corrugated cardboard “lounger”
(size 3’ X 5’2”)
“The Napster” corrugated lounger. I started in
September „09 collecting boxes and stripping them
down (removing tape, flattening and organizing by
size). I then began gluing layers of boxes together in
a rectangular shape that was more than big enough
for the design I had made on brown paper. After I had
about 2.5” laminated and thoroughly dried, I traced
the pattern and cut out the shape with a jig saw.
After more than 6 gallons of bondfast glue and
probably 120 layers of cardboard I have the “beast”
pictured. I modified my original design by cutting
holes out of it to lessen the weight and to give the
work a lighter, more aesthetic look. It is about 18”
It required about 5 gallons of white glue
to laminate the whole project.
I cut out the holes when it became
June 7,2010 apparent that the chair would weigh
too much. Also, from an aesthetic
point it looks more interesting.
All it needs now
Is to be sanded.
A dusty job!
I picked up more than 300 used CD’s
and have made a few items. Here is the sunflower
lamp, simple socket set-up etc. I had also made a
hanging shade from 7 discs but I found it
Sunflower Mirror ball sculpture
Large tomato sauce and pre-cut vegetables cans were collected
from the school’s kitchen recycle bins to make this 3 foot square sculpture.
The TOASTER Series
A classic toaster from my childhood. I just about
lived off of toast and tea from the age of ten onward.
The Corrugated Toaster Series
Based on my childhood toaster the
Morphy-Richards Model TA/1B c. 1949
Scrap wood was used to make
these life-sized versions.
I wired an LED light to a 9-volt battery
with a switch to add interest.
As the saying goes….. “You are what you eat”.
Above….self-portrait on white pine (pain blanc) is
in consideration of my life-long love of TOAST.
Go to www.toastthis.ca (not up yet)
for more of my comfort food stuff!
Next year… I am going to offer a carving club
one day after school (3 or 4 students ONLY). I bought
4 dremel-type tools at a great price. Some students
have indicated interest in carving, so I will try to get
this going. They will sculpt small objects with much
the same approach that I have taken on my wood