How to make fine art from recycled plastic bags

How to make fine art from recycled plastic bags


Hello, I’m Harriet Muller and in this
video I’m going to show you how I made a whole art exhibition out of recycled
plastics. Firstly, I’ll show you the process of fusing plastic bags together,
then the painting stage, and lastly, how I put it together for my exhibition. Flatten out the plastic bags and cut off
the handles using scissors. In a well-ventilated area, place one sheet of
greaseproof paper or baking paper on the chopping board. Lay two plastic bags, one
on top of each other, followed by another sheet of greaseproof paper. Using an iron
on its lowest setting, move it around on top of the greaseproof paper until the
plastic layers below have fused together. If you’re in the UK or Europe I actually
found Lidl plastic bags to be the best for fusing. Repeat this with all the 10
plastic bags next cut the fused plastic bags to size so that they fit your
canvas. I then glued them to the canvas using PVA glue. I found this took a while
to dry, so for the next canvas I used a sewing needle and thread and sewed them
together and then glued them using a small amount of superglue to the canvas.
I then folded the edges around the canvas and used a staple gun to attach
it to the wooden frame on the back. In a well-ventilated area
(I actually use my patio and protected it with recycled cardboard underneath) I
then used gloss paint and cups to drip it onto the canvas. I tilted the canvas
in different directions to get the paints to mix. This is what it looked
like once it had dried. This piece called Ocean Circus was included in my
exhibition ‘Aquastic’, to highlight how we’re polluting the seas. According to
Greenpeace, up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean
each year, threatening certain marine life with extinction. Here’s a clip from
my exhibition: Here we are at my exhibition ‘Aquastic’. It’s on for one more week until Saturday. It’s here in Bournemouth at Pavilion Dance
South West and I’ve used recycled plastics to create a lot of the
paintings. This is one using recycled bubble wrap. Here we have one using recycled
cardboard. This one is called ‘Gilded Cage’: it’s of a
whale shark and obviously netting to show how we’re polluting the seas
and hurting the environment. This one’s called ‘Golden Coral’. I made
this one out of fused plastic bags, you may have seen some it on previous Muller Mondays and I’ve used some diamond dust to make it sparkle a little bit. This one’s
called ‘Ocean Circus’ and it’s of a shoal of fish: semi-abstract, same
technique using fused plastic bags sewn together and gloss paint. And moving on to Jelly Wrap made on fused bubble wrap which I had to jump up and down on to try to get
all the air out. That was really fun in my studio and then I just painted all over it.
If you’ve enjoyed this video please consider liking and subscribing to my
channel where you can learn other painting techniques, such as painting on
mirrors. Thanks very much and I’ll see you on the next one.

6 thoughts on “How to make fine art from recycled plastic bags

  1. Hi can you please reply ASAP I got my real art exam on Thursday. Can you use acrylics? If not how can I make the canvas be able to hold acrylic? Can I glue the plastic on a strong art paper?

  2. Hello this is very nice I live in Philippines the one problem here full of plastic I would like to help my country so very thankful in your video

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