The Third Function: Reclaiming the Discarded and the Invisible

C2bPhotobyAlanJ.Crossley

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

The LA based multidisciplinary artist, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga (better known as Caro), has created the CONNECT Series of spectacular, cascading, and seemingly traditional chandeliers. These chandeliers however, are not made of glass or crystal but have been carefully crafted using discarded bike parts.

Carolina Fontoura Alzaga Photo by Alan J. Crossley

Carolina Fontoura Alzaga Photo by Alan J. Crossley

Caro professes that she became inspired to create the series when she started exploring the “third function” of materials. She describes the lifecycle in three stages of discarded materials being transformed and reclaimed into something new –

1. they serve their original function
2. their original function becomes obsolete and they become ‘trash’
3. they cease to be ‘trash’ as they are transformed into something entirely new

Photo by Caro Fontoura Alzaga

Photo by Caro Fontoura Alzaga

Through this process she seeks to transform objects deemed to be excess waste by “effectively reclaiming the ‘discarded’ and ‘invisible’ to create something far more powerful and commanding.”

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

As a result the “chandelier itself becomes a metaphor of reclaimed power.”

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

The CONNECT Series chandeliers are influenced by both modern and Victorian styles, as well as by bike culture, and a strong belief in the concept of sustainability and environmental preservation.

“The idea for ‘The CONNECT Series’ began from seeing pots and pans hung from a makeshift pot rack made from a bicycle rim. It inspired me to make a mobile made from a bike rim, bike tube, and bike gears. The result was lovely but too simple and it was the semantic mistake of calling it a bike ‘chandelier’ and not a mobile that led me to make a proper chandelier.”

C13photobyAlanJ.Crossley

Photo by Alan J. Crossley

Caro has a unique gift for recognising value and functionality in unwanted objects, allowing these to serve a purpose even if it greatly differs from their original use.

“In her art and her life, Caro works to find beauty in the discarded, and challenges the necessity of the new.”

Photo by Caro Fontoura Alzaga

Photo by Caro Fontoura Alzaga

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The Wingin’ It Floor Lamp: Pianos, Nuts and Bulbs

BRC Designs features modern studio built furniture by Benjamin Rollins Caldwell made from sustainable materials. Their latest pieces include the Wingin’ It Floor Lamp .

Wingin' It Floor Lamp

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp

Inspired by the numerous defunct pianos collecting dust at second hand stores and charity shops, Caldwell sought to use these piano parts as a material for his furniture.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up

After creating the Korobeinski Chair and the Hammer Chair from the piano keys and the hammers, the Wingin’ It Collection incorporates the wood planks on the back end of the piano keys.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up

The Wingin’ It Floor Lamp shows how versatile lighting structures can be, instead of a conventional single bulb and lampshade, several bulbs are wrapped around the wooden structure to emit a unique lighting effect. The lamp also uses 15 energy efficient LED bulbs, altogether consuming less energy than one 70 watt incandescent bulb.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp

Each plank is attached to the other using wing nuts and bolts, and dubbed the Wingin’ It Collection which refers to not only the wing nuts used in the structure of the piece, but also the haphazard manner in which the whole collection is pieced together.

Wingin' It Floor Lamp close up

Wingin’ It Floor Lamp close up