Fantastic Recycled Plastic: 30 Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination
by David Edgar and Robin A. Edgar

Lark Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-600-59342-0.
Reviewed by Susan M. Andrus
Posted on 02/10/2010

Nonfiction: Creative Life; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment; Nonfiction: Arts/Crafts

As a confirmed recycler, I felt intrigued by a book showing how to transform those plastic jugs, containers and bottles into something useful. Being an artist myself, after reading the book, I decided to try my hand at creating one of the simpler critters shown in the book. Out of one quart-size yogurt container, I made two plastic butterflies for a mobile. What fun!

David Edgar started out as a metalworker and later, with his wife's help and encouragement, began gathering plastic from the neighbors' recycling bins to convert into three-dimensional critters, fish, toys, jewelry, lamps, and other useful objects. Although his description of the tools needed to fabricate these objects seemed somewhat intimidating leading me to rank this book a little lower, his instructions are clear and using the templates at the back of the book, one could conceivably create each of his creations out of plastic.

The Edgars provide background on plastics as well to make this book a teaching tool that could educate today's youth on the importance of recycling rather than sending all our plastic containers to the landfill or incinerator. Sprinkled in among the instructions, the reader will find an intriguing gallery of art other artists have created from found/recycled objects.

You don't have to be an artist to enjoy Fantastic Recycled Plastic. Just reading and viewing these full-color pages will inspire you to recycle, learn more about plastic, and appreciate the art.

David Edgar, inventor of the Plastiquarium, is a third-generation Floridian now living in North Carolina with his wife, Robin. An MFA graduate in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, he also holds a BFA in sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. A former arts administrator and associate professor of art, he is credited with the development of both the Crealde School of Art and the Armory Art Center, both in Florida. He also worked as a production artist on the EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland projects for the Imagineering division of the Walt Disney Company. A full-time artist today, Edgar's exhibition history reflects over 30 years of consistent activity, and his artwork is represented internationally in corporate, institutional, and private collections.

Robin A. Edgar, namer of the Plastiquarium, writes profiles, art reviews, and features for national, regional, and local publications. She travels throughout the United States as a keynote speaker and workshops facilitator, teaching reminiscence-writing techniques based on her two books, In My Mother's Kitchen: An Introduction to the Healing Power of Reminiscence and Personal Legacies: Surviving the Great Depression. After many years of helping David schlep his steel work around, she is delighted that he is so successful with the lighter medium of recycled plastic.

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