Spring Fling Frogs Upcycle

The Golden Bobber

“Trashy Treasure” Dreams Dashed

During last week’s episode to visit the frogs, I pulled an old tire from the river. As much as finding litter on the trail is upsetting, I admit that I get a twinkle in my eye when I daydream about the upcycle potential of a piece of trash. There are quite a few upcycle projects I might accomplish with an old tire. Alas, my daydreams were dashed when the tire proved to be too heavy for me to roll several miles back off the trail. I left the tired tire on the shore of the river for the trail maintenance folks to tag team.

Second Choice Trash

All things happen for a reason, if you’re of that frame of mind. This held true for me for this “Golden Bobber” upcycle. I collect more trash on the trail than I can upcycle. And, while a tire offers plenty of material for creative upcycling, the weathered fishing bobber I found along the river, curiously tangled in a bush on the banks above, proved to be the perfect pairing. The weather was a bit cooler and wet this week, and the opportunity to make art indoors with a smaller “trashy treasure” was a relief.

The fishing bobber was dirty and entangled in fishing line and rope, but I had new dreams for it. It would become a “trashy treasure” upcycle with a golden touch. I looked around my studio to brainstorm about how to showcase a golden bobber. Then I found it—a forgotten canvas I had prepped many years ago, waiting for its moment.

Rolling Up My Sleeves

I got to work polishing the bobber. It cleaned up nicely with the help of dish soap and a wire sponge. I cut away the fishing line and rope when I decided they wouldn’t play a role in the upcycle. And I worked with modeling paste on the canvas to create an environment for my bobber. The process unfolded organically from there.

What I Might Do Differently (suggestions for you)

Before now, I had only used modeling paste for fastening objects during art-making. This upcycle was my first experience creating a mixed media painting featuring modeling paste. It was a challenge to find the right balance of modeling paste, flour, and water.

I used water frequently to offset the amount of flour I had added, making the paste thinner and more malleable. I also added water to the paste after it was on the canvas in order to smooth the sculpture. This excessive use of water led to cracks in the paste during drying. which I filled with more modeling paste straight from the tube. That, in turn, needed additional paint.

In my next mixed media piece using modeling paste, I will (1) try using less flour and rely more on the moisture from the raw modeling paste for cohesion (as opposed to adding water), and/or (2) try using a “light” modeling paste for easier manipulation. I’ll also (3) give myself more time to work with the paste, but such is the rushed state of my upcycle challenge—find “trashy treasures” on the trail one week and create a video, and upcycle those treasures the following week while creating a video. It’s lots of fun, but also a sustained hustle. It stands to reason some of my pieces might benefit from a little more time and tlc. Living and learning over here.

Upcycle Complete

When holding my little, weathered bobber, I imagined I would create a piece this week that would hang above a mantel, a sort of fishing trophy (more rustic/austere). Instead, this artwork is whimsical and better suited for a softer application (kid’s room or happy distraction in an office, maybe?). It’s not what I envisioned, but I am satisfied with it, cracks and all.

Another upcycle in the books!

Do you have your own creative ideas for upcycling a fishing bobber? Let me know in the comments below! We can find inspiration from each other.

I hope you’ll tune in to this upcycle adventure below and watch how a neglected “trashy treasure” turned into a shiny “Golden Bobber.” And please hop over to the Ecopsyched! YouTube channel and subscribe (and also hit that notifications bell) to never miss an adventure!

Happy April, friends! And thank you for joining me on this and future Ecopsyched! adventures!

-Lisa B

My Video Gear

Art Materials

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Spring Fling Frogs Upcycle: Copyright © Lisa Barry 2021.

Timeless by Lauren Duski
Divine Life Society by Jesse Gallagher
Three Wise People by E’s Jammy Jam
Jal – Edge of Water by Aakash Gandhi
Ponte de Abril by Steve Adams

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