Friday, April 21, 2017

Plastic Bottle Art: Part 1

Yes, "Part 1."  There is just so much to share about plastic bottle art.  Do you doubt me?  Read on...

The plastic bottle art described in this piece, now known as "Part 1" was created in the hope of solving a small problem.

Each morning at our home in El Salvador, we are awakened by an alarm provided by Mother Nature and a large flock of small parrots.  The birds spend the night roosting on one side of the valley, and shortly after sunrise, every single day, they relocate to the other side of the valley with great speed and an enthusiastic cacophony of squeaks and squawks.  The parrots navigate their morning migration in 4 or 5 groups, sometimes flying so close to our open window that we can hear the whirr of their wings.  As they swoop into the light, their feathers shine brightly green, and within a minute they all settle themselves into the shadows of fruit trees, gardens and forest.  They spend their days hiding and eating, and then just before sunset, the great daily migration happens in reverse.

Our windows face slightly to the west.  In the late afternoon, they reflect the image of the sky.  One day, as we sat with friends enjoying the late afternoon sun, our relaxation was interrupted by a great SMACK against the window.  Feathers and bird poop inside and out.  Not a pretty sight.  On another occasion we returned from time away to discover the remnants of a parrot on the porch with evidence of its demise by a brutal encounter with the window.

Something had to be done, not only for the preservation of the parrots but also because the trauma-induced poop-splosion while highly informational with respect to the determining the diet of said parrots, is disgusting.

The parrot deterrent needed to be created from products at hand, as well as rain-proof, wind-proof and not too ugly.  I decided to make a hanging art piece from a plastic bottle.  I liked it, so I added another.  It seems that thus far, the Plastic Bottle Parrot Deterrent is doing its job.

This could actually be a fun project for a group of children or youth who are learning about recyclables or how to make art from everyday things.

Supplies
1 used and washed large plastic bottle with cap (2 liter soda bottle works well, but a milk jug or juice container would also work)
1 smaller used and washed plastic bottle with cap (water bottle works well)
Acrylic paints
Brush
Strong ribbon or cord
Scissors or knife

Process:
1.  Cut the bottom(s) off of the bottle(s), just above the curvy base - if there is a line there, follow it

2.  Paint any design inside the bottles -- remember it is in reverse; let the paint dry

3.  Cut a length of cord long enough for the small bottle to be suspended from about 2 inches below the neck of the large bottle.

4.  Tie an overhand knot, connecting the ends of the cord so it forms a loop.

5.  Place the knotted end inside the neck of the bottle and screw the cap on so that it holds the cord in place and leaves a long loop of cord above the cap.

6.  Cut a cord and repeat procedure for the big bottle.  Before tying the knot, pass the cord through the loop above the small bottle.  Knot the cord and attach it to the large bottle with the cap.

7.  Final assembly is a little tricky.  If the bottles hang a little crooked, don't worry about it.  The wind will be moving them around anyway.  Be sure to screw the caps on tight, and add a little glue if you need to.  (I did not use glue.)


Enjoy your plastic bottle art!  And, yes, stay tuned for Part 2.






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