Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things Made From Other Things

Over the next couple weeks, we'll be featuring items from our store that embody the spirit of the upcoming Earth Day (April 22). We're happy to stock a selection of not just organic and items made from recycled waste, but also things made directly out of what otherwise might be trash. (I don't think the concepts of re-use and recycling are particularly new, just making a comeback after being beaten down by consumer culture for a good while. I'm curious how many synonyms for trash we have in English compared to, say, Swahili or Hmong.)

These bits of trash turned into art, decorative items or even useful things always provide a unique sort of thrill as your brain recognizes a brand name, or material, or a shape but can't quite contextualize it for a moment. Then it dawns on you, "Wow, that necklace is made of flip flops". Whenever I see a customer have that epiphany, they always grin and start looking for someone to talk to.

Today, we've got these cameras by Dionisio Silva.
Dionisio is an 80-something street artist in Mexico City who makes a variety of things from aluminum cans: neckties, curtains and these cameras. The cameras are obviously and charmingly handmade, gobs of glue hold the seams together and the moving parts are ingenious in their simplicity. They don't take a photo, but there is a viewfinder, a shutter, a lever, even a knob to forward the imaginary film.

Rotate the lever and voila!

Our friend who met Dionisio in Mexico City tells us she was out to lunch with him one day and when the Coke he ordered was delivered in a can, he sent it back, saying he only drinks from bottles. What does he know about those cans?

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