Bottlecaps become art

First Posted: 4/7/2014

The Abington Business & Professional Association’s (ABPA) Recycled Plastic Cap Project resulted in some colorful reminders that recycling works to reduce the amount of litter in our environment.

During the month of March, thousands of bottle caps in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors were collected in bins at the Abington Community Library, the Clarks Summit Borough Building, Abington Art Studio, Everything Natural, and at numerous schools and organizations.

“Artistically-inclined” library volunteers pre-sorted the caps and were invited to let their creativity flow as they crafted 10 four-by-four foot sculptures using the donated caps at workshops held on Fri., April 4 and Sat., April 5 at the Abington Community Library.

Abington Art Studio owner, Diana Lombardi, bottle cap project co-chair, led the workshop and pre-sketched designs of real and fantasy plants and animals the artists used as a guide for cap placement on the plywood boards. The plywood was donated by Dalton Do-It Center.

Charles Sandercock, of Summit Frameworks, and Oliver Pettinato, cut out the shapes. After they were painted with donated Sherwin Williams paint, volunteers, including Library Trustee Jim McVety, Mayor Patty Lawler, and a local Brownie Troop, helped to place and staple the caps in place.

Lombardi said the brightly-colored bottle caps she used for this and other sculptural projects made her “inspirational juices start to flow.”

“What we get out of this is not only recycling, but almost a mosaic experience,” Lombardi said. “How to blend and create new colors by putting two different colors together…”

Lombardi’s co-chair and Abington Community Library director, Leah Ducato Rudolph said last year she was mesmerized by a similar project created by Lombardi for Marley’s Mission. The horse, “Hope,” was on display at the Library for several weeks.

“Diana graciously agreed to help me do a project with the caps throughout Clarks Summit, under the auspices of the ABPA,” Rudolph said. “I ran it by Barry Kaplan (ABPA former president) last year…I said what do you think if I take this idea and run with it around Earth Day? We are tying in our recycling events with Arbor Day this year, because this year Earth Day falls on Easter.

“It’s not a fundraiser. It’s a membership perk for ABPA members to bring people to the Summit. We’re creating and selling to members at cost. It’s artsy but also makes you think about how much we throw away daily,” she said.

Sculptures were available to members at $100.

The sculptures, she added, will be delivered to the ABPA businesses and organizations that purchased them and the community will have an opportunity to view them April 25 to 27 during the Clarks Summit Earth Day and Arbor Day festivities.

Other activities that weekend will include Electronics Recycling at Everything Natural and the Friends of the Abington Community Library Spring Book Sale on Saturday, and Arbor Day activities on Sunday.

“My hope is that the ten-plus businesses that participate this year will store their sculptures and next year, we’ll be able to offer more (sculptures) to more members, thereby growing the event,” Rudolph said.

Clarks Summit resident, Amelia Lloyd, 14, was one of the volunteers who gave her time to create a sculpture.

“I volunteer here, so I thought it would fun to do this,” she said.

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