My Chosen Material and Process

For my chosen material i decided to use Aluminium and Steel cans. My concept for my designs is to follow the idea of UPCYCLING.

The idea of upcyling rather then recycling is to INCREASE the value of the material as well as save resources such as energy, reduce polution, waste etc. During recycling materials often loose quality stage by stage eventually becoming worthles waste material.

Upcycling stops this by reusing materials in a positive and benefical way.


I chose to use cans due to their abundance and the visual impact of using a materials so recognisable in such and new and different way.


The materials was suprisingly easy to work with and i found alot of guide online from several upcycling websites. I found using scissors rather then a knife gave a much cleaner cut. Not only this but it was smooth to the touch stopping any issues of having the end product being too sharp to touch.

Cutting in a continuous curve also helped with this problem.

I found cutting under water also helped reduce the mess and keep track of the spare bits of metal, as well as gving strength to the cans while i was cutting them.

My process also involved EMBOSSING, CUTTING, and STICKING.

In order to get my sheets of metal to stay flat i found that i could run them against their curve on the front of the sink, this countered the curve of the can.

As well as making object i experimented with making the cans into block printers to create printed posters or cards.

Making butterfly to highlight the issues of items such as CANS and other rubbish being left, promoting upcylcing.

I also experimented by making many other objects from a neckalce using old PC parts to a venus fly trap plant out of tin, highlighting the issues of littering.

Food from trash, making sushi out of cans and plastic bags to highlight the issues of sea polution.


Inspired by the amazing pieces of art created out of waste, i decided to make my own objects for this brief. I made objects such as, a penguin (was made too!) dice, flowers and toys.



I liked the idea and Kate seemed like it too.

I researched into real butterfly collections, looking at the types of frames, typography and naming methods. I wanted to try and recreate this using cans. I sew the butterfly shapes i cut out onto card and took photgraphs of them, i stuck on some labels using a similar typegace to that which i found on real butterfly collections.

while i did dearch for an accepted norm for a style convetion, i did not really find a consistant method that worked for me.

I settled on a generic serif font as used on the examples i came accross. I also made up fittign names forthe butterflys based on the type of can used in the process, tango, cola etc using the same latin used for real classification. The meanings o went with pointed out that fact that they were made from abandoned rubbish enthesisign the need for upcycling, or at least some positive enviromental action.

I felt not only was this a good use of waste materials, it also looked good!

I created templates on tracing paper as it is strogner then normal paper and meant i could re emboss several cans using the same pattern. Potentialy this could easily be made into a mass production, or at least sped up with die cutters and made into a commertial project.



Expaning on my Flower idea which i also liked i experimenting in making something a bit more ME, i chose to make a venus flytrap inspired by the flowers in super mario game.

can4 can