Friday, November 30, 2007

Add a Little Zip to Your Home Décor


I love finding examples of people reusing materials that might otherwise be deemed "junk" to produce beautiful works of art that people will line up to see. Given that, one of my new heroes is Donna Jean Petrell, a retired nurse who salvages zippers from old clothes and turns them into gorgeous, kaleidoscopic feasts for the eyes and fingers. Petrell arranges the zippers into artistic patterns and glues them down to flat surfaces, like plywood or cardboard, and completes the artwork with frames she picks up at garage sales and similar sources. Check out pictures of her stunning work at her web site, D.J.’s Zipper Works. It’s particularly interesting to read the page about a zipper work in progress, which demonstrates how Donna creates her art, and which provides her address should you care to donate used zippers for her work. She does note on this page that she sometimes uses new zippers, but states that she prefers to use old zippers salvaged from used clothing or other craft projects. If you’re interested in purchasing her work to make your walls a bit more zippy (groan), contact information and a link to an online (Snapfish) album with prices are provided. Her web site also provides links to the sites of other zipper artists and educational pages about the history of the zipper and how zippers work. To learn more about Donna and her work, check out the article on her art which appeared in the February/March 2007 edition of PLENTY Magazine, The Zip-up Artist, written by Deborah Snoonian. (Unfortunately, this is not yet available online, but according to the PLENTY web site, an archive of past editions is coming soon.) In that article, Petrell explains that she began her zipper art as a hobby when she bought a used copy of a now out-of-print book called Zipper Art by Edna Tunison and Mary Corman. She was inspired to try the projects she read about and created her first work, a landscape, in 1988. Reuse (in the form of the used book) inspiring further reuse…I love it!

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