Collect 2019 – In the broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a currents-driven massive and polluting agglomerate of floating plastic waste which also shores to the heavenly beaches of Hawaii. If you happen to reach the Kamilo Point like the environmental activist Sophie Thomas and designer Louis Thompson you can immediately glimpse the devastating, deadly and poisonous impact of globalized consumption. The duo collected plastic waste and crafted it into the Broken Ocean up-cycled bespoke glassware collection.
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“90% of the world’s rubbish that floats around our oceans is plastic, and currently only 5% of the global plastic waste is recycled. We cannot just cut out plastic from our lives, but we need to find ways to deal with it.” Says Sophie Thomas to Archipanic.
Broken Ocean debuted at Collect Open, the creative platform of the Collect International Art Fair for Modern Craft & Design promoted by the UK Crafts Council. The statement design series aims to raise awareness on the urgency of regulate and deal with plastic consumption.
“It’s like beautifying rubbish. But not for the sake of it, our main purpose is delivering a strong and sustainable message,” adds Sophie Thomas. “These hand-crafted colourful objects represent a horrific future that we will leave behind if we do nothing about our dependency on plastic and its easy disposability.”
To create the Shard Vessels Thomas and Thompson picked a plastic ocean waste fragment which inform the design. This was followed by a process of gathering and adding waste glass, shaping and blowing. Some of the waste shards have been engraved and enameled with illustrations of nets, seas and ships. The piece was completed by adding original plastic piece.
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The hand-blown Barnacled Bottles come with waste glass fragments melted into the surface. Pieces of the waste glass are etched and enameled with illustrations of ocean currents and fragments of nets. Each piece comes with a bottle top recovered from oceans around the world referencing the bottle’s once useful life.
The Sea Bottles series was created from the inside out, using waste coloured glass shards and forming them onto molten clear glass cullet, then dipping and rolling in coloured chips and strands to represent the breakdown of plastic into smaller and smaller pieces.
The Buoys collection was inspired by epic whaling battles, mythical sea creatures, commemorative sea voyages and sailors’ ships. Etched onto these glass buoys are imaginary visual records from future seas. “By 2050, if we carry on business as usual, there will be more plastic in our oceans than finfish in weight.”
All photos: courtesy of Sophie Thomas and Louis Thompson, and Collect.
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