Seeing Art in Trash

Discarded glass takes on new life in sculpture form.

Discarded glass takes on new life in sculpture form.

By Matt Basheda

Courtesy of Christene Sockoloski (sculptures)

Arlington artist Cindy Ann Coldiron takes an environmentally friendly approach to her work, using recycled glass for her sculptures, like the sparkling dragonflies in Barcroft Park. Three years ago, when she noticed the lack of any literature unifying recycled glass art as its own genre, she took it upon herself to reveal an emerging artistic world. Her book, “Sculpture and Design with Recycled Glass,” took two years to research and ended up taking her all over the world, from Swaziland to Australia.

“My main goal in writing this book is for someone to never look at a discarded bottle, or even discarded window glass, in the same manner again,” she says. “Basically, if you were a painter and you saw canvases on every street corner, you’d grab them because you knew you could use them. … There really are wonderful uses you can make from [glass].” And to that end, she includes detailed instructions for four simple projects that readers can try. However, magnificent professional sculptures feature prominently as well, including a sun-struck bus stop made almost entirely out of discarded bottles.

Not forgetting the “design” portion of her title, Coldiron dedicates a chapter to the swiftly growing role of recycled glass in current construction and interior design. Also included are step-by-step narratives of three public art sculptures from inception to installation. And most non-artists never imagine the technical issues of various art forms, but Coldiron covers that facet as well.

Info: ‘Sculpture and Design with Recycled Glass’ by Cindy Ann Coldiron; $37.49 @ Amazon

(January 2012)