Durban 281111
 Art from recycled scrap
Pic Terry Haywood
Durban 281111 Art from recycled scrap Pic Terry Haywood

Plastic bottles, tin cans, paper, broken china and wire – items that would normally be tossed into a bin – are being turned into works of art by artists in the city.

Maureen Ganess’s “bronze” pieces are made from fabric-covered plastic bottles and buckets.

The bronze shoes, urns, vases and ornaments would take pride of place in any home.

“I learned my craft from a simple course at a craft fair and now it is my life,” she says. “I take cotton fabric and immerse it in fabric hardener. It is then placed over the bottle or bucket and moulded into a shape.”

Michelle Silk is also using discarded items to create art. Her materials are discarded cement (left over from builders who renovated her kitchen), scrap chicken wire, old electrical tubing from demolished kitchen walls, broken coffee mugs, rubber tyre tubing and black oxide.

Her dog head “poke” was inspired by her Doberman who pokes people with his nose, hence the elongated nose in her sculpture.

Artist Terry Angelos’ materials are scraps of paper, from which she creates beautiful pictures of flowers.

“I made a protea picture using scraps of paper combined with drawing and painting to create a 3D art piece,” she says.

“The frame was salvaged from a charity shop and converted to a box frame which I techniqued. The paper rose was made from vintage pattern paper.”

Her work is on show at Malva in Florida Road, Durban.

Ukhamba Craft, a self-help organisation for women in Hammarsdale, negotiated with a fabric mill to take their waste fabric and the results are crocheted mats, bags, hats, cushions and a lamp studded with buttons and a tin foil shade.

The proceeds of this initiative enrich the lives of the local community and are beginning to lead the trend in grass roots, self-sustained start up businesses.

Ricardo Vierra’s material is scrap metal. Discarded fire hydrants are turned into lamps, containers and even postboxes.

He sources metal offcuts and steel strapping that are treated and made into wallhangings.

“I would like to see this grow,” he says. “All big companies generate waste, much of which could be turned into new products.” He will sell his wares at The Stables market from Sunday.

* Visual Arts Network of South Africa exhibition is on at Gallery 415, 415 Umgeni Road, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday 9am to noon. Enquiries: 031 309 6404.

* For information on Ukhamba Craft, see

* Ricardo Vierra can be reached at The Stables market off Smiso Nkwanyama (Goble) Road, Durban, or at 072 224 7324.

* Malva, in the courtyard behind Spiga d’Oro restaurant, Florida Road, Durban, has many recycled art items, call Lauren at 084 308 2024.