Recycled Tin Cans in My Studio
These tins, diverted from their destiny as trash or rescued from the recycling bin, wait to be opened up and flattened as my raw material.
I use ordinary tins like the olive oil tins above from the grocery tins.
Vintage tins are displayed around my studio. It is very interesting to observe what packaging has to say about time and place. Colors, words and images are a reflection of social structure and the values of society.
First, the bottoms are carefully pried off and the sides pounded flat. This takes about 10 minutes per can.
After the tins are flat, they are stored on shelves. Look at Wall of Tins to see just a small portion of my flattened tins.
People often ask where do I get my tins? The answer is that everyone I know gives me tins all the time -- from my exercise class, my children's orthodontist, the dry cleaner, and many others. My father also gets lots of tins at flea markets and church rummage sales. My sister goes to yard sales.
Frequently, people who read about my work in magazines or on the internet just send me a box of tins.
Sometimes people give me tins because the tin can holds emotional or sentimental significance. They want to know their tins are going to be made into something else, possibly leading a second life.
Wall of Tins
The tins are opened, flattened and organized by color and theme.
Themes organizing the tins include:
- candy patterns
- standing women
- sitting women
- vintage ads
- new products
- and more!
The wall of tins in my studio has 1000's of tin cans ready to use as my raw material.
* Photo Credit for all images on this page: Aryn Shelander