For those of you who want to start upcycling but haven’t found the right material or object to use, this next material might be something for you. I’m talking about cork, and especially the type that’s used for wine bottles. Cork is such a special material. The look and feel of it is unique. I really like it if designers come up with a way to make an attractive design by using wine or champagne stoppers. Previously I’ve shown two upcycle design pieces on upcycleDZINE made out of cork. An amazing looking chandelier using champagne corks that’s called Celebration chandelier, designed by Alkesh Parmar. And another one is a lamp CORKY, designed by Becki Chan using wine corks.
And now another article about upcycling wine corks. This time it’s all about ART.
Cork turned into amazing portraits
The moment I stumbled upon this artist I was mesmerized by his artworks. The size, amount of work, number of corks and the way the finished creation looks made it clear to me I had to share this with you.
The artist behind these painstakingly made pieces of art is Scott Gundersen, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan | United States. His love for working with wine cork finds its origin in his travels through the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007. There’s when he noticed that Congolese people wasted nothing. Whether an old water bottle, broken shoelace or the bark from the Banana tree, every object was creatively upcycled.
Compelled by the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the people he met in each village and market, Gundersen returned home dedicated to infuse his own art with these same concepts. Drawing on this idea of recycling, along with his love for mosaics and his penchant for drinking red wine, Gundersen collected corks for two years before making his first recycled wine cork portrait in 2009. In the years since, Gundersen has used over 200,000 corks in mosaics created for private collectors and corporate clients on four continents.
These images show again that a simple object such as a wine cork can be used to create impressive art and design. Most people throw them away without thinking, well most of us anyway. And by showing these examples of upcycle art I hope to make people wonder what and why they throw stuff away. Waste shouldn’t be wasted!
If you like this cork portrait you should definitely visit his website and/or Facebook page to see this artist’s other amazing portraits. One day I hope to see one of Scott’s portraits in real life, because it must be even far more impressive to see all the details and all the different heights of the corks.
After seeing Scott Gundersen’s work you might have become exited to try and do it yourself on a smaller scale. But where do you get enough corks? Although more and more wine bottles have screw caps, there are still more than enough wine corks to be found. Well one way to get them is by searching ebay. Okay, it would be great if people would save them for you, but buying 1000 corks for a nice price could be a way to start. Have fun.
Photos & videos © Scott Gundersen
Design by Scott Gundersen | Facebook