Where Art Meets Craft + Ecology + Commerce


Craftcycle is a blog documenting the life of trash, life with trash, and trsh life-style. Craftcycle is equal parts art, humor, documentary, and free-thinking. Welcome - and enjoy!


This just in: Open Call to Artists!

Via artist Audrey Roemer and

Open Call
Initiator: artshape mammoth
ParticipateDeadline Jul. 31, 2016 TypeResidency, Art FairCategory Activism, Conceptual, Installation, Mixed Media, Other, Sculpture..
Open for applications

Apply Now!

SEA ART : A Trash Art Adventure

ArtShape Mammoth will host an artist residency journeying through Eastern Indonesia on a Pinisi ship which sets sail October 14, 2016. Eight selected artists will travel on the ship for one week, sailing through the islands, interacting with the islanders and experiencing their culture, but also witnessing the incredible amount of ocean trash polluting both habited and uninhabited islands. They will tour for one week on the ship, returning to Lombok’s Mentigi Bay Dome Villas for the second half of the residency (through October 29th) where each artist will create a work of art with trash found on the islands and install it at Oceans Care and the Sound of the River festival in the capital city of Lombok. The festival will draw thousands with international musicians, street vendors, and surrounding community celebrating and fundraising for the installation of a hydro-solar powered trash wheel for the Jangkuk River, the islands largest river that empties into the Indian Ocean.

We are looking for artists that can handle close quarters on the ship, and eagerly accept full-out adventure! You will get dirty, the food will be spicy, and the sun will be hot; we are looking for those willing to embrace the experience and create a compelling piece of work about the journey using trash. The artwork can be anything – all ways of manipulating and reimagining the materials are welcomed. You will be guided and assisted by Oceans Care Art Director and ArtShape Mammoth artist and residency organizer Aubrey Roemer, who helped organize the Indo Art Adventure in April of 2015.

Apply at :

There are about 4,500 tons of waste generated in the Indian city of Chennai per day.  Talking Trash in Chennai blog  is full of interesting posts about some of the ways citizens are dealing or not dealing with this fact.  Here you can find posts on all sorts of trashtalk…from trying to trace Chennai’s paper recycling system to checking out model zero-waste homes and the Exnora community (with its catchy slogans of  “Don’t Transfer the Waste, Transform the Waste”),  a peek at daily life at the all-organic, not-for-profit shop, reStore, and a walk and talk with an informal waste worker along the Cuuom River, a bright green sludge and trash-filled waterway. In the thought-provoking  post ‘Bagging Rights: Plastic as a Status Symbol‘…… the author contemplates a retired ITT professor claim that  “…to live sustainably in Chennai is a matter of ridicule because it appears to be for the lower classes, ostensibly because concern over the materialities of consumption is intimately connected with economic status.”  There are things we can learn from lending an ear and eye to Chennai while it’s Talking its Trash…. listen/see for yourself.

via Associated Press and Yahoo News:

“GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A torrent of gray, toxic water spews from a drainage tunnel and surges along the ravine, tumbling along garbage that has fallen from the Guatemalan capital’s main landfill 1,000 feet (300 meters) above. Despite the foul odors, the danger of unstable piles of garbage collapsing and the chance for heavy rain to suddenly raise the water level, dozens of people are busily at work searching for jewelry and other metal scraps knocked loose from the trash. They call the ravine the “mine,” and refer to themselves as “miners.”….”

read the full article here:

Art of the Plastic Bag

August 13th, 2011

via DesignBoom:

Plastic bags have become a symbol of consumption and waste, but artist josh blackwell re-invents them
by embroidering them with other waste materials. these everyday shopping bags and transformed into art
using thread, fabric and other materials. each bag is different with an array patterns and colour
embroidered into the thin plastic. many of the bags feature patterns which recall those of african or
indigenous north american art.


This inspiring documentary is Absolutely not to be missed:

Synopsis: Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

watch the trailer:

Wasteland official trailer

Great looking announcement that was passed along today. The sponsors, PBS and the creators of the television show Design Squad, are looking for some sport. Hook up with some yung’uns and pitch in – looks like fun!

Trash to Treasure Competition

Click here to download the Trash to Treasure Flyer

Collage Washboard TableWhile I was in Ithaca last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Romanoff, restorationist and artist. One of the pieces of ‘functional salvage art’ she introduced me to was her “washboard table.” The idea is elegantly simple: for an open-faced (front and back) table, join two antique washboards together with a top surface and an interior-mounted lower shelf. For a closed-back table, join three washboards together.

I had fun over the weekend creating some collage-texture work and joining them together as a side table. To give the top a nice clean edge, I trimmed the lip all the way around at 45 degrees. A coat of waterbased finish later, voila! A bright, colorful and very stable but lightweight table.

Next time, I’ll have to make sure I find matching washboards to match: I was so excited to get started on this effort that I’ve used a bronze, horizontally oriented board on one side, and a plated silver, vertically oriented board on the other. Both made by National Corporation of Chicago and bought locally for about $4.00.

Guide to Dumpster Diving?!

April 28th, 2008

The Huffington Post, perhaps coming off a toxin-free Earth Day ’08 celebration, runs a story on “dumpster diving” first thing Monday morning. Wow – cognitive dissonance on one cup of coffee. Here’s an excerpt:

Though I have never riffled through the trash myself, I must admit to having tremendous respect for those who do. “Dumpster diving,” aka urban foraging, skally-wagging, garbage picking, binning, skip-raiding, skip-weaseling or trashing is an eco-excellent way to cut back on today’s excessive landfill waste, pollution and rampant squandering of non-renewable resources. Think about it! By salvaging that which is still usable, garbage scavengers, or divers as they’re commonly referred, lower landfill levels while preventing the energy-sipping manufacture of resource-robbing objects.

Sounds as if, in the best traditions of lefty journalism, our intrepid reporter got ‘down and dirty’ with the natives, even picking up some hip new lingo. Hm, maybe someday artwork made by these new heroes of the intelligencia will find their way into their parlours too.  Well, I guess I’m glad for the coverage. Want more? Go ahead and ‘skip-weasel’ your way over to the HuffPost…

Victoria Romanoff Spice RackWhile in New York recently for a “Greening the Arts” syposium, I had the very good fortune to meet an artist, preservationist, and self-described “recycling fanatic” Victoria Romanoff. Touring her converted firestation – which serves as her home, studio, and office – I was struck by how full and well-lived her life is, which is so richly conveyed in everything that Victoria produces. She has this eye for the scuffle, bumps, and scrapes of life that are bound up in a scrap of wood or painted façade alike.

A show curated by Ms Romanoff was recently brought down at the Thomkins County Public Library – I wish I’d been there in time to see it! Nonetheless, I was able to get a sense of the materials – principally wood and metal – that compose her works. More importantly I was introduced to the range of motifs captured in her dense works. I caught whiffs of the gothic, romantic and even baroque mustiness bound up in these very modern works (Constructivism meets Duchamp with a nod to Rauschenberg’s ‘combines’?).

Just about all of her materials are found at historic preservation sites and dumps, which she gives new life through spontaneous composition, clever joinery, and uniform coating treatments. Another interesting aspect of Ms Romanoff’s work is that is serves equally well as functional and decorative works.

One disappointment: there’s not alot of her work online. You’ll have to meet her yourself and seek out every opportunity you can to find her works on view!

Scrap Box Contact Icon GuyIn Ann Arbor, Michigan there’s a little shop doing its part to keep waste out of the waste stream. The Scrap Box, a community-based non-profit organization, is a massive 9,000 square foot space that, in addition to cleverly sorting and selling a wide range of crafty materials, hosts a gallery and workshop space. Their wesbite has some fun project ideas as well, many of them captured in nice little “how to” videos.”

From their site, “The Scrap Box is the place for creative recycling. You will find a large assortment of unique materials  which manufacturers and businesses would otherwise send to landfills: remnants, samples, seconds, and scraps. This good “junk” can be recycled into useful materials for  art classes, learning games, science experiments, crafts  and other expressions of creativity. The Scrap Box is open to the public.