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Weekly projects – rebooting in 2020

Welcome to the reboot of the Beyond Garbage Project!

In light of recent global developments, I realize that people may be looking for things to do. Keep busy! Be creative! Learn something!

This is a circle back to this project, started in 2009, and a link to my new Material World Studio website. I know I am happiest when my hands are busy creating and that my goal is always to reuse materials, produce as little waste as possible, and maybe learn something about the material world around me. So here we go. Let’s dive into exploring the reusable waste we are producing in our social isolation. It’s a way to connect with each other and contemplate how we live on this earth – our impact, our choices, and our common humanity.

My aim is to make these projects accessible to children and adults of many abilities. This is about exploring what common materials are and what they can do in an effort to be more aware of the material world around us and to help reduce material waste through reuse and education. Each material can be engaged with on many levels. This is not about making the most beautiful and perfect thing. The point is to let our creative juices flow, to share a common adventure and learn from each other, and, importantly, to develop a sense of community and connection.

How it works

I’ll introduce each new material prompt posted and/or linked here and on Material World Studio and also post notices on Facebook and Instagram (which you are free to share to other platforms or groups as you see fit). I plan to post each week (maybe more frequently). There is an arbitrary deadline of a week after the original post so you have some time to play and I have some time to help post images and feedback as you work. If you want to keep on playing with a particular material after the “deadline,” fabulous! If a certain material doesn’t appeal – skip it. No problem.


I am still figuring out how to adequately post other people’s creations on this site, but as we are in the age of social media (for better or for worse) I encourage you to share what you make on Instagram and tag @beyondgarbageproject and/or #beyondgarbageproject in the meantime so we can get your work out in the world. Other relevant hashtags include (I am sure there are more, let me know): #recycledart, #reducereuserecycle, #upcycle

Please be respectful and only post images of work that actually relates to the group when you tag the project.

I encourage you to help me develop the resources pages (general, crafts, kids) by sending me links to favorite sites and information about books, etc.

Rules/suggestions when working with materials

There really are no rules, since this is your time and effort, but here are some thoughts:

Think about the limitations and advantages of your material before you start. A little planning can go a long way.

Try to use only the suggested material – add as little as possible (adhesives, staples, paint or other added color or thickness). Explore what this material has to offer before you add things that transform it into something else or use it as a surface for something else.

Make something very simple and small. Then see what you can do with multiples of that element to make something larger and more complex.

Have fun!

I am so excited to see what you make and to learn about your experiences.





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